Posted March 17, 2013
By ELIZABETH DE ARMAS
At BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in The Falls, dim lights and relaxing music welcome you. The ambiance is energetic, while laid back, and the food matches the restaurant’s flair. Simple yet tasty.
If you’re looking for an over-the-top plate of flowers and décor on top of your entre, you will leave disappointed. This restaurant is made to be family oriented and provides great food at an affordable price. Though the menu varies in options from chicken to steak to pizza to salads and pasta and vegetarian dishes, the prices are constant – economical is the word.
For appetizers, the chicken lettuce wraps ($10.25) are mouth watering. However, it is extremely messy and there is not enough chicken to fill up the wraps. So, you’re left with an empty bowl of chicken and four pieces of lettuce. Unless you like to chew on lettuce by itself, the proportions aren’t evenly distributed. But, for what it is worth, the starter is a tasty treat.
When it comes to ordering full meals, the restaurant’s deep-dish pizza is a signature dish, especially when you come with your family and children are involved.
It tastes great, and it’s a bang for your buck because you’re getting good quality pizza, a lot of quantity, and for a reasonable price.
However, when not in the mood for pizza (there are those rare occasions), BJ’s offers a great versatile menu with steak, chicken, pasta, salad and seafood options.
The servers are extremely helpful in assisting you select a good meal option. They are honest when you ask questions about certain meals and aren’t afraid to point you in another direction.
At a restaurant this is crucial because it makes you feel comfortable and at ease while dining. You know that your server isn’t just persuading you to try the most expensive dishes. They just really want you to enjoy your time at BJ’s and want to come back. And, that’s what it’s all about.
The Hawaiian Mahi-Mahi ($12.50) was a risky dish because the server said that two people had complained to her in the past because the Mahi-Mahi was “too fishy.”
Though it was not that “melt in your mouth” type of fish, it was tender and well marinated.
The restaurant changes its menus twice a year, and this Mahi-Mahi is one of their new additions. The fish is paired with stir-fried vegetables and roasted pineapple fried rice, which was flavorful and well done.
This entre is part of the Enlightened Menu, which has all of their meals that are under 575 calories. The Thai Chicken Mango Salad ($11.50) is a must have dish if you’re looking for a light meal that is filling, yet healthy. Mangos are delicious (unless you’re not a fan of ultra-sweet fruits) and in this salad, there is no exception.
From the marinated chicken breast to the mango strips to the touch of arugula, citrus-chilli dressing, avocado, mint and a splash of chilli spiced jicama, this salad will have you won over at the first bite. It is extremely flavorful, fulfilling, satisfying and healthy. If there is any light menu entre that should never get eliminated from the BJ’s menu, it’s this one.
Of course, the fried foods aren’t the healthiest, but they are the specialties of this restaurant. Not only are the portions enough for two (if you don’t have a stomach that was made to be a vacuum cleaner) but they are well prepared and well done, especially the BBQ pulled pork sandwich ($10.95) – one of the restaurant’s hottest items.
The slow-roasted BBQ ranch pork melts in your mouth and the French fries are cooked just right – not too salty, not too soggy, not too crunchy. Though coleslaw is not my cup of tea in any restaurant, their signature coleslaw is flavorful and paired with this dish. However, the food was a little cold when served.
If there is one thing you cannot do at this restaurant, it is get full before dessert. The food is good, but the dessert is exceptional. Yes, they have the regular ice cream and brownie if you want to play it safe, but you’re not going to want that.
You’re going to want to try their infamous Pizookie’s ($5.95 to $6.50) – cookie dough fried in a pizza-style pan topped with ice cream.
And, it gets better. Though they have the normal chocolate chip cookie dough, they also have cookies and cream, red velvet, raspberry white chocolate almond and triple chocolate.
And, you can get a mini Pizookie if you’re not sure how you feel about fried cookie dough and ice cream, or you can get the regular size (which is great for sharing) and have half of the pan be one flavor and the other half be another. Think of it like a half cheese and half pepperoni pizza – same concept.
Suggestion: A half red velvet and half cookies and cream Pizookie will have you savoring every moment at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse.
This dessert is one of their classic menu items that will never go out of style. Though it is simple, it is wonderful. Truthfully, the dessert alone will make you want to become loyal customers.
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse originally opened in 1978 in Santa Ana, Calif., as a pizza place. Then, as it became more popular, the brewery concept was created and then other menu options.
It is a family-oriented restaurant that offers a full bar, but the Happy Hour menu is something they should improve on because the options are extremely limited. Currently, there are three locations opened in South Florida – International Mall, The Falls and Pembroke Pines. The location in The Falls opened in the fall of 2012.
- Restaurant: BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
- Address: 8888 SW 136 St., Miami, Fla. 33176
- Phone: 305-251-7550
- Hours: Sundays to Thursdays, 11 a.m. until midnight and Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. until 1 a.m.
- All major credit cards accepted
- Gift cards available
- Vegetarian and gluten free options available
- Kids menu available
- Full bar
- Customers can order online and for take-out
- Opened in Summer 2012
- Review Rating: 3.5 stars out of five.