Recently I was invited to dine at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse to try out some items from their new Brewhouse Slow-Roasted Menu. We had a little snafu with our reservation, as in, there was no reservation. Somehow I managed to get us a table anyway by explaining the situation, but I swear the hostess ladies were skeptical of me and not quite sure what to do. One lady (maybe a manager?) got us a table right away. If I didn’t get that table right away, I was prepared to walk out and just come back another day so at least it worked out in the end.
On their fancy new slow roasted menu, BJ’s offers a 3 course Prime Rib dinner, baby back pork ribs, and a double bone-in pork chop. The Prime Rib is only available after 4PM on Friday and Saturday as well as all day on Sunday. For $26.95, you get your choice of salad, the prime rib with your choice of two sides, plus a Pizookie for dessert!
The three of 3 started off with a few appetizers. I was in a cheesy mood (when am I not in a cheesy mood??) and opted to get an order of Mozzarella Sticks [$9.95]. The mozzarella sticks had a nice thick, golden, crunchy batter on the outside with stringy melted mozzarella on the inside. Jake, T, and I did a bunch of dramatic looking cheese pulls to see who could stretch their stick the furthest. Quite frankly I think I’d always lose this game due to my short arms, but we did pull off some impressive cheese pulls. We all kind of abandoned the included marinara sauce, as it seemed to just taste like plain tomato sauce with little flavor added.
While flipping through the gigantic menu at BJ’s (it’s like a magazine!) I spied Root Beer Glazed Wings [$11.95] and added that to our order. The wings are quite crispy and meaty, which I was happy to see. We were all a little unsure of the root beer glaze, but in the end the flavor of it grew on me. It’s like a sweet sauce with a minor touch of spiciness (similar to how root beer always has a little bit of a bite to it). There were only three wingettes in the batch of 10 which made me sad, since the wingettes are my favorite part. The drumettes are much less exciting to me.
Jake and I shared the Prime Rib dinner and for our first course, I choose the house salad with ranch. There was something off about this salad though, since everything on it tasted weirdly bitter, even the croutons! We couldn’t figure out where the bitterness could be coming from and just didn’t finish eating the salad. In retrospect we should have asked for a different salad to replace it, but our prime rib came out while we were still poking the strange tasting salad and I just didn’t want to deal with it.
For our sides we got white cheddar mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus to accompany our medium rare slow-roasted prime rib. It definitely had the right look about it! The crust on the prime rib is very peppery – a bit too peppery for my liking. I ended up trying to steer around the outer edges because of the flavor. We later asked our waitress for some au jus. The au jus was supposed to come with it, but was absent from our plate. The prime rib tasted a bit better dipped into the au jus, but it still wasn’t particularly outstanding. It’s a fair steak – not the best I’ve ever had, not the worst I’ve ever had. It’s pretty middle of the road as far as prime ribs go. I do think the price is decent though since you get salad and dessert included in your meal and you can easily share this with someone else.
The white cheddar mashed potatoes were good, but still need a little extra salt and seasoning. I love asparagus, but this version was again quite bitter like our salad. The stalks are quite large and were hard to chew through.
T got his own dish and decided to try the Hickory Brisket and Bacon Burger [$13.25]. This burger comes with smoked brisket, applewood smoked bacon, bbq sauce, jack and cheddar cheese, mayo, and red onions. T ordered it medium rare (because we’ve taught him well) and it came out at the perfect temperature. The brisket makes this a tall, messy burger but the flavor was quite good. I liked the mix of bbq, brisket, and bacon on top of the juicy beef patty.
We had our choice of Pizookie for dessert and I opted to try the Salted Caramel Pizookie [$7.50]. This Pizookie starts with a caramel cookie base and is topped with almond toffee, pretzel bites, and white and dark chocolate chips. Vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce tops the whole thing off. I was excited about the sweet and salty thing, but this one missed the mark a little for me as there wasn’t a good balance of flavor. It started to get overwhelmingly sweet after a few bites without a good balance of the salty side. In the future I would stick with one of the original Pizookies – the chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia, or peanut butter – instead of one of “fancier” flavors.
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
1370 Frazee Rd.
San Diego, CA 92108
Disclaimer: I received a $50 gift card to BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse which partially covered our meal. I was not further compensated for this post. All opinions stated here are my own.