BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
With just over 100 locations, California-based BJ’s Restaurant is a sort of commercialized microbrewery; each location emulates sort of an Americana atmosphere and an upscale bar to match. While this isn’t the type of place I’d normally be inclined to sample, BJ’s lends itself to a lot of scrutiny. It’s the first microbrewery “chain” I’ve found in this area of Ohio, with a menu of a dozen or so custom-craft beers. Also, once you find your way through the flashy front doors, the motto of BJ’s is “Wow, I love this place.”
Challenge accepted, BJ’s.
So, as far as food goes, this place has all the stereotypical bar foods; pizza, burgers, wings and fried stuff. There aren’t any special food items on the menu. I suppose this isn’t bad by itself since some sports bar places seem to like the similarity. The atmosphere is pretty stereotypical as well. It’s casual fine dining, with lots of TV’s playing a variety of sporting events, and a ritzy atmosphere. The menu is massive and diverse, I think every kind of bar food I can imagine is represented here. It takes an ambitious place to muster that amount of diversity in a menu.
A pizza is a pretty common affair, but BJ’s has a lot of different options for their offering. Their deep dish pizzas are greasy, but good, and I would say overall a decent item to try on the menu. Overall very delicious; not too much sauce or cheese or dough. What I was most interested in, of course, was the microbrews. Around here there aren’t very many places that make microbrews and it’s unheard of to find a major regional chain with custom house brews. I’m sorry to say I was less than impressed. There is a lot of fizz to the pale ale to give it a little kick, but it’s so smoky you won’t enjoy it, and I tried a pilsner which was indistinguishable from any other. I have a very refined taste for lagers, pilsners and pale ales especially, and I was hoping to find some inspiration but did not.
I will say service is okay. Sometimes you get a good server, and sometimes you don’t. It’s hard to say service is ever consistent at a place, but my experience has been that places that are consistently inconsistent have some problems with management. I suppose that’s a little abstract, though. All in all, BJ’s is a safe place to go for a good meal, and it’s definitely an accommodating location to bring a group. I’m not convinced it’s the best place I’ve ever visited, and I certainly think some of the menu is utterly unremarkable.
Nice try, BJ’s.
- This is definitely an upscale, casual dining sportsbar type place.
- Standard bar food is a safe option here, pizzas and wings among them.
- Try to avoid peak hours to ensure service is as fast as possible.