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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dinner Report: BJ's in Alamo Ranch...

The other night I came in from work and my wife suggested we zip over to Alamo Ranch to try out the recently opened BJ's, a chain that seems to be one of those brew pub type of restaurants.
Food? Beer? Yeah!
We beat the dinner rush and were able to walk in and be seated without delay. The place is nice and open, high ceilings and lots of TV's with various sporting events being shown. It looks like they could easily handle a large crowd in this place.

We mulled over the menu - the selection is simply huge with everything from regular bar grub to seafood, to specialty flatbread things. Really, way more than I can ever wrap my brain around for a first time visit to a place. Burgers? Check. Chicken Fried Steak? Check. Fish & Chips? Of course.
Being a beer place, they also had a huge selection of beers to choose from. It is only when you see that each beer is going to set you back $5.00, that you realize you better choose wisely. I did like that the menu had good descriptions and even suggested pairings of food items.

And when they had a little daily pairing special - Monday being Fish & Chips and BJ's Brewhouse Blonde (
A light and refreshing pale beer in the style of a German Kolsch. Slightly malty with delicate hopping to balance. Bottom-fermented and well-conditioned for exceptional smoothness.), that was all my wife and I needed to know. The gist of it is, you get the entree and a beer for $14.95. That might seem a bit above your standard Chili's price, but really, it isn't.

I will tell you right up front; I tainted my wife's view of the entire place by asking her if she preferred these fish & chips over the fish & chips at Islamoroda. Had I not said a word, she would have raved about how great BJ's fish & chips were.
I believe that you are required by law to douse your fish & chips in malt vinegar and eat them hot enough to burn the roof of your mouth. With that as the standard, I thought these fish & chips were good and would have no qualms at all about ordering them again. My wife on the other hand thought the fish was bland - she does not go the malt vinegar route. She felt like the breading needed something. I suggested malt vinegar (did I mention that already?). One thing we agreed on was that the fresh tarter sauce was very good.

Our waiter was a good sport. The guy was very friendly and even listened with interest when my wife told him the fish was bland. At one point, she suggested he go eat at the the Bass Pro Shop. He suggested she try the chicken fried steak next time.

I think BJ's adds well to the mix of restaurants in the Alamo Ranch area. Honestly, we need at least four or five more full service restaurants like this to make the place suitable for weekend dining. I suspect the folks who live closer to Bandera Pointe are suddenly feeling some of the relief that the Alamo Ranch area has given them in their efforts to dine without waiting for an hour.

Are you a fan of BJ's? Have you tried the Fish & Chips or one of their burgers? Why not share with the group using the comments button below.


elcommandante said...

I've eaten at BJ's in Mission several times. The deep dish pizza is very good. Can't really speak for anything else as I haven't gotten past that yet! At one point we were supposed to get one here in New Braunfels. Don't know the status of that anymore.


i have a dirty mind.

Dave said...

Yes, yes you do. ;)

DedalusTX said...

Went there two weeks ago on a packed Saturday night. Service was great and they even came by with free pizza for everyone who was waiting to be seated. Food was excellent, I had the Cuban burger, which was great. And since they have the best beer selection in Alamo Ranch, I will definitely be going back.

Samahiel said...

If a wide selection of good beer is what you want; You should stop by the Flying Saucer over off Huebner Oaks sometime. Foods not bad either, but it's pretty crowded in the evenings.

DedalusTX said...

You're right, can't beat the Saucer. Hills and Dales has a pretty good selection too(and lets not leave out Freetail and the Yardhouse). But the great thing about BJ's for me is that it is a whole lot closer, and they have Paulaner on tap.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Dave, I gotta disagree with you on this one! We got take-out from BJs a few weekends ago and not only was it expensive, the food was nothing to rave about. It wasn't bad, but considering the price we paid I was not impressed.

I posted my review on CD-SA, not all of us have a blog y'know!


Cheers! M2

Dave said...

I'm not sure I'm raving per se. Like I said, I think it adds to the mix of restaurants in the AR area and certainly for the folks willing to drop $5 for a beer with dinner there is a wide selection.

$53 for three people for take out (and I trust they did not load you up with some to-go beers) is simply outrageous.

I was cool with the fish & chips as they were served hot and I covered them in malt vinegar. To-go would have been a different story, especially at that price.

Bottom line: I'd go again and would be happy to try some of the other items on the menu, but you'll note the little Tasty Treat symbol was not a part of this particular visit.

Always appreciate your comments and enjoyed your review on CD.

frankvw said...

Went there today. Was a bit overpriced but you did get large portions and it was good. I agree with Dave in that it does add to the mix of restaurants in the Alamo Ranch area. Now all we need are an Indian Restaurant, Thai Restaurant, Fried Chicken Joint and a Hooters or Bikinis.

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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