Friday, September 19, 2014

Food Friday #006 – BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse

White chocolate macadamia nut pizookie from BJ's
White chocolate macadamia nut pizookie from BJ's

A common misconception about introverts is that they hate being around people. This statement has some truth, but is generally misconstrued; introverts like being around people, just not all the time. Social interactions are draining, and we find it hard to make small talk for some reason. Time alone to recharge is necessary to get back to normal energy levels, as opposed to extroverts, who gain energy through other people. This is one of the reasons why I've made excuses to avoid having to go out for a long time, but all the time I spent alone left me restless. However, since it's my senior year now, I've decided that I deserve a bit of fun, so I've been saying "yes" to more opportunities to go out with friends, and I've found that I've really enjoyed it.

Last week, two of my lovely friends, AK and Wei-Wei, invited me out to BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. It wasn't really for any special occasion, but by setting aside college talk and just having a fun experience with friends made it a special occasion in itself.

Menu & Service – 3.5/5
The menu offered pretty much everything, from burgers, to pasta, to steaks, and much more. There was so much to choose from that it was honestly almost overwhelming. The menu was a little confusing, because certain sections were only during a certain time limit, for example, Monday to Friday, so there were a few times when I thought I found something I liked, only to realize that it wasn't offered on a Saturday. The service was average, not exceptionally good, but not horrible either. The payment was also a bit of a pain, because everyone paid differently, but the waitress was very kind and patient and helped us sort it out.

Food – 4.9/5
 I made it a goal to order something unique, something I've never had before, and in the end I settled on the Cherry Chipotle Glazed Salmon (very happy with my choice). In an interesting turn of events, everyone ended up getting a salmon dish. When the food arrived, it looked good, and tasted absolutely amazing. After a brief photographing session, I was speechless after the first bite of couscous; I don't know how they cooked it to be so smooth and juicy (is it possible to describe couscous as juicy? I don't know, but it was just so good). I'd definitely go back just for the couscous alone, but the salmon was also remarkable. The cherry glaze was just sweet enough and not too overwhelming, and it gave a little crunch to the edges while keeping the moisture inside the salmon. My only complaint was with the asparagus, which I usually like, but the asparagus in this dish was rather dry and hard to chew. I ended up giving it to AK who took it home with the rest of her meal in a box. The highlight, of course, was the dessert. The pizookies (giant, fresh cookies topped with ice cream) were absolutely life-changing. They tasted more delicious than I had imagined. AK and I shared a white chocolate macadamia nut pizookie, while Wei-Wei had a chocolate chip. The taste is indescribable, hot and cold at the same time, with the warm cookie and cold ice cream melting in your mouth at same time. If you've never had a pizookie, you need to try one.

Price – 3/5
The meal cost about $18 total, for the salmon and the pizookie, but the value is excellent. Unfortunately, that meant that I was a little low on the tip (because I only brought a $20 bill).

Atmosphere & Decor – 3/5
The restaurant was pretty busy on a Saturday noon, but we were seated immediately near the middle of the restaurant. I remember making a comment about how I liked the music, but nothing in the restaurant decoration-wise was really memorable to me. The lighting wasn't the best for pictures, so the picture quality for this post is kind of low. I edited it the best I could, but some are still a little blurry.

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