Saturday, April 11, 2009

Restaurant Review - BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse, 4151 Conroy Road, Orlando, FL

BJ's Restaurant & BrewhouseAcross from the Mall of Millenia is BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, where the biggest problem you will have is figuring out what to choose from the extensive menu. Besides the microbrew choices, there are burgers, pastas, pizzas, and other specialty entrees.

The restaurant interior is spacious, with light and dark wood floors, large booths, and classic touches such as chandeliers and ornate picture frames. We were seated at one of the oversized booths for dinner with children’s menus for the kids and a book-like menu for the adults. The menu is so extensive that you really need to have an idea of what kind of food you want when you dine here. Do you want a burger or a Chicago-style pizza? A salad or a pasta dish? A sandwich, a stuffed potato, or maybe one of the other entrees? Oh, and don’t forget about the entire microbrew menu.
Avocado Egg Rolls
To buy us some time to peruse the menu, I ordered the Avocado Egg Rolls ($8.95) as an appetizer for the table. These were amazing. Besides being beautifully presented, the crispy egg rolls were filled with large chunks of avocado, cream cheese, sundried tomatoes and other spices, plus a tamarind dipping sauce. The avocado and cream cheese melt together and provide a great flavor combination while the various spices gave some kick. Grandma, Grandpa, BB and I dug in. LB wouldn't touch it because of the "green" stuff inside. It was so good, I might come back and make it my mKid's burgerseal one day.

From the kids menu, both of my boys decided to get the two mini burgers ($4.95 including drink), BB choosing his with all the toppings and LB asking for nothing on the bun but the burger. Other choices on the children’s menu are spaghetti, deep dish pizza, grilled cheese, chicken tenders, and mac-n-cheese, all for $4.95. They both gobbled up their burgers. I loved the happy face potatoes that came with the kids’ meals which are like French fries but are round and indented with a smile and two eyes.
Wedge Salad
Grandpa ordered a sample of the Berry Burst Cider ($1.95 for a 5 oz. taster), and the Chili Cheese Angus Burger ($9.25), with a Wedge Salad ($2.75 with an entrée). The cider was light and very fruity and didn't taste like beer as I thought it would. If you are not sure if you will like some of the beers, BJ’s also offers microbrew taster sets where you can try several of the beers in 5 oz servings. The Wedge Salad was a hunk of lettuce as you would expect bChili Cheese Open Face Angus Burgerut with big crumbles of bleu cheese in the dressing as well as a sprinkling of chopped tomatoes and onions as well. The burger was served open-faced and was completely covered with chili, cheese, and thin-sliced onion rings. Grandpa, who is normally a healthy eater, could not finish the meal but declared it delicious.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken
I ordered the Parmesan Crusted Chicken ($10.95), a pair of flattened chicken breasts, coated with Panko breadcrumbs and fried, with sides of white cheddar mashed potatoes and broccoli. The chicken had a crispy parmesan cheese crust and was topped with a buttery white wine sauce. I couldn’t get enough of the sauce and dipped every piece of chicken in it BJ's Favorite Deep Dish Pizzaand some of the broccoli as well.

Grandma had the BJ’s Favorite deep dish pizza, the mini-size ($9.50). This is a supreme pizza with meatballs, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, onions and topped with chopped tomatoes. She was glad she asked for the mini as it was loaded with toppings and was a generous serving. The crust was surprising light and crispy and not too greasy.

For dessert, we tried the Pizookie, a cookie baked in a mini deep20dish and topped with ice cream. No one could agree on if we should get the chocolate chunk cookie with vanilla ice cream or the triple chocolate cookie with chocolate ice cream. Our server helped us out by offering to do a half and half Pizookie for us. When the dessert came, it was just as our server said it would be, Half and Half Pizookiechocolate chip cookie with one scoop of vanilla ice cream on one side of the dish and a triple chocolate cookie with chocolate ice cream and a piece of Ghirardelli chocolate on the other. The dessert was very rich with the soft cookie and the melting ice cream on top and we polished it off.

I would definitely return to BJ’s as there are certainly some more dishes I want to try on the menu, including some microbrews as well. If you go at lunchtime during the week, there are some nice lunch specials for $6-$8, most including a salad.


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