BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse is a popular chain restaurant that is relatively new to the Fort Lauderdale area but they’ve actually been around since the late 1970’s. They expanded over the US and not only size, but they added their own brewed beer to the mix. Walking into the newer Coral Springs location it’s easy to see how far they’ve come from just the deep dish pizza back in the day.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse is located in the Coral Springs “restaurant mecca” of University Drive. This means stiff competition and lots of places to get your craft beer fix too. When you drive up to the restaurant, the building is quite impressive and does stand out. The tile and overall look of the building gives it a more ‘upscale’ feel than you’d expect.
Inside of BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse is also quite impressive. While the lighting can be a bit dim, dark wood tones and cool lighting really make this place feel cool. The tables are marble and the wood floors also give it a richness. The outside patio dining area looked really nice with lots of seats as well.
While they were busy trying to seat several large parties, smaller parties are seated almost immediately. We were seated at a booth for two, which was a bit on the small side, but comfortable. We started to look over the menu and were a bit overwhelmed. They have so many menu items, it reminded us of the Cheesecake Factory Menu. While we were discussing our picks, we had to keep telling each other what page the item was on. We chose not to order beer on this visit since we had some blogging to do later (beer and restaurant review blogging don’t mix well).
We could tell from the start that our server was quite busy with a few large parties, but he did his best to keep up with things. He was friendly and efficient with our order, clarifying our choices and ‘add-ons’. He did have a bit of trouble keeping up with drink refills, but seemed to catch up at the end of lunch. Our salads seemed to take a bit longer than expected, with our entrees coming out a little too soon after the salads.
Side House Salad with Balsamic Dressing ($3.50 with entrée) – The mixed greens were fresh and we really liked the dressing. It was actually one of the better side salads we’ve had at similar restaurants, but felt the portion was way too small. The price would have been much better to take if it was $1.99.
Side Wedge Salad ($3.50) – This was actually a great value at $3.99 since the portion was so large. We still want to know where restaurants buy their iceberg lettuce for these types of salad as it was so fresh and crisp with really dense leaves. The bleu cheese dressing was the classic choice and went perfectly. The bacon and tomatoes were also quite tasty.
Fish & Chips ($13.50) – Fillets of Pacific cod in a special light batter made with BJ’s Brewhouse Blonde beer. Served with your choice of crispy-thin or wedge-cut seasoned fries, housemade tartar sauce and malt vinegar. We both liked the fish and liked how light and crisp the batter was. Unfortunately, they didn’t give us the malt vinegar and our server was a bit busy and didn’t check on us for a while. The seasoned wedge fries were your standard frozen variety, not really the better choice. Jeff was going to ask for catsup and extra tartar sauce, but wasn’t able to get the server’s attention until almost the end of the meal.
BJ’s Brewhouse Burger ($7.75 plus $1.00 for cheddar cheese) – A classic 5 oz. diner burger on a Parmesan crusted bun with grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes & pickles. The thin burger was just kind of like a ‘diner’ burger but actually eerily similar to Steak ‘n Shake. While I liked the burger meat, Jeff felt it needed salt. The bun was toasted, but we couldn’t find the Parmesan crust as the menu promised. We also didn’t seem to find any grilled onions.
They loaded this burger up with more iceberg lettuce, which worked well and the tomato and pickle were fresh. The skinny fries had a thin coating on them, which we didn’t care for as it gave them a strange ‘un-fry’ like taste.
The prices at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse in Coral Springs are actually quite reasonable, but it seems that some items have a better value than others. The deep dish pizzas seemed popular and probably worth a try on a future visit. The beer selection is great and we love the house brews offered along with the ‘flight’ samplers. If we had a few beers on this visit, we might not have been so aware of the sputtering service from time to time, so that’s the new rule. Always start with a beer (or two) at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse is located at 1580 University Dr. Coral Springs FL 33071.