Sunday, January 10, 2010

BJ's Restaurant - Brewhouse

One of the benefits of unemployment is being able to enjoy lunch whenever I want. I decided it would be fun to take April out to lunch on a budget. We decided to try one of the new eateries at the local mall that has been under construction. It was just before 11:30 when we selected BJ's Brewhouse as our designation. Like most restaurants in malls, it is part of a chain. I was determined to have an open mind and judge it on its merits. As we entered, I was struck with how big the space was. A platoon of uniformed young faces waited for customers. I asked the host if they ever filled the place. She said yes, it was early, the lunch crowd would arrive soon and they were hugely busy at night. I honestly thought that was optimistic corporate response. But sure enough, as our lunch progressed the place jammed and on a subsequent visit, in the evening, there was a wait for tables. Hurray for them! Maybe the economy is getting better.


The bar stands like an altar in the middle of the restaurant and of course, this being a brew pub, there are lots of beer choices. I had to drive and April had to return to work so we stuck with the wonderful house crafted root beer. There are several menus with lots of choices, almost too many for me. We both had lunch specials. I the wedge salad and half grilled chicken club special. April had the unlimited soup and salad, choosing the Caesar salad and Tuscan tomato soup. I did not realize that my meal came with highly addictive shoestring fries. The portion was so large, I ended up saving the half sandwich for dinner. April was very happy with her choice and did not need to ask for another portion. The food was good and both our meals, including drinks came in under twenty dollars before tip. The service was attentive and the food arrived fast. All in all a good experience. One caution: Do not expect to have an intimate conversation in the evening. The celebratory voices ricochet off all the hard surfaces, but the beer is good and the wine is too. Check them out on your next shopping trip.
Unlimited Tuscan Tomato soup and Casesar salad.
Grilled chicken club and the wedge salad

5800 Northgate Mall Ste 159


Zoomie said...

That lettuce wedge salad looks really, really good!

Linda said...

Someone at work told me this place was quite hoppin when they visited recently. Josh made a good point that it makes sense because there aren't really any pubs that serve food in San Rafael. There are tons of them up here! Third Street Aleworks in Santa Rosa has amazing garlic fries. Try them next time! :)