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BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Oklahoma City OK

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse does not disappoint with a great sports bar area, a huge menu, a great atmosphere, and locations across the country.

BJ's Brewhouse, OKC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

My parents come to visit me in Oklahoma every August. It’s the most busy time of year for me, as I’m getting ready for football season. But I have to admit, it’s nice to have someone there when I come home from a super long day. Even better, my dad takes care of my yard and plants, and my mom cleans up my house. There’s nothing wrong with that! I joke about it, but I truly appreciate them doing it for me.

They flew in on a Saturday, and the next morning we headed back to OKC to run errands. After a couple of hours, it was time for lunch. I have a list of blog posts that need improvement, primarily with pictures. So I always start with that list when deciding where to eat. For some reason I was struggling to make a decision. My first 2 choices aren’t even open on Sundays. And I didn’t want pizza because we ate at Upper Crust Wood-Fired Pizza the night before. I finally decided on BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse.

BJ’s began in 1978 in California as a pizza restaurant, and the first few restaurants were on the Southern California coastline. In 1996, the restaurant expanded to include craft beers, and also to expand across the US. I will say, BJ’s makes it very hard to track down a list of all of their locations. When you go to their website, or even on Facebook, they only show you the location closest to where you are. Many restaurant websites allow you to click on a “show all” or “show by state”. Maybe it was hiding from me, but I couldn’t find that anywhere on the BJ’s site. Sadly, there are no locations in Stillwater or even Tulsa. I believe a BJ’s would do really well in either city.

We visited the OKC location, located outside of Quail Springs Mall, in north OKC.  The restaurant is quite spacious. The bar section is on the left as you enter the building, with a combination of booths and tables. Behind the bar are 4 large TV’s, and on weekends they will show all sorts of games. There are also TV’s throughout the restaurant, so you can watch games from any seat. You walk down a couple of steps to the main dining room, again a combination of tables and booths.

I’ve eaten at BJ’s many times and, with one exception, always visit this location. I normally sit in the bar area when I’m dining alone, as it is open seating. The restaurant is packed during lunch, so the bar section is usually the fastest option during that time. On this visit we arrived well after lunch, so there were only a few other occupied tables and we sat in the main dining room.

The BJ’s menu is huge, and the size reminds me of the Cheesecake Factory. The menu includes appetizers, salads, entrees, burgers, pasta, sandwiches, enlightened favorites, sides and, of course, pizza.

I rarely get appetizers at restaurants, because I’m often dining alone. However, we were starving, so I jumped to the appetizer section. One thing I really like about BJ’s is they offer a variety of types of appetizers, including shareable, small bites, starter salads, and flatbreads. We began with spinach stuffed mushrooms, from the small bites menu

BJ's Restaurant, OKC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Filled with BJ’s own Spinach and Artichoke Dip, feta cheese, red onions, herb bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, then topped with a drizzle of lemon pesto sauce

The mushrooms are fabulous. You could smell the glorious scent of garlic and lemon as soon as the plate arrived. The mushrooms were scorching hot and perfectly cooked. We each had 2 mushrooms, but I could have eaten them all myself.

My mom got the Italiano vegetable penne

BJ's Restaurant, OKC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Penne pasta with sautéed bell peppers, onions, garlic and seasoned tomatoes tossed with our marinara and finished with Parmesan chees and fresh basil

Wow, this dish is fabulous. The marinara sauce is very flavorful, but it’s also light, and it works so well with the shrimp and vegetables. They are very generous with the shrimp, which is never a bad thing. My mom only ate half, and took the rest for leftovers.

My dad got the roasted salmon quinoa bowl

BJ's Restaurant, OKC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Roasted Atlantic salmon with sautéed red onions, mushrooms, fresh asparagus and fire-roasted red bell peppers served over quinoa and drizzled with soy ginger sauce

Again, wow. The salmon was delicious. Quinoa absorbs every flavor, so it was perfect with the soy ginger sauce. The vegetables are a perfect tender-crisp. My dad got the smaller portion size, so he had none for leftovers.

I originally considered the roasted salmon as well, but since my dad ordered it I needed to get something different. I thought about getting a couple of the small bite options, but then finally decided to do the California chicken club. The sandwiches are available in half-sizes, which I did not know until my server asked if I wanted a full or half. Sandwiches also come with soup or salad. The list of soup/salad options is overwhelming, so I went simple with the wedge salad

BJ's Restaurant, OKC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Iceberg lettuce, topped with crumbled bacon, diced tomatoes, red onions, and bleu cheese dressing

The salad was good, and served ice cold, but they were a little heavy-handed with the dressing. They could have done twice the bacon and half the dressing, and that would have been perfect. I usually ask for dressing on the side, but that ruins the presentation of a wedge salad. But I will say, the bleu cheese dressing was rich and delicious.

BJ's Restaurant, OKC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

BJ's Restaurant, OKC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Layered with Applewood smoked bacon, avocado, melted swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and roasted garlic aioli on grilled sourdough bread served with fries.

The sandwich was really good. I hesitate to ever order or even cook chicken breast because it dries out so easily. However, this chicken was very moist and tender. I absolutely love the combination of bacon and avocado in any dish, which was one of the reasons I chose this sandwich. The grilled bread is a wonderful touch, and adds even more flavor to the sandwich. At BJ’s you can choose from shoestring or wedge fries, and I usually get the wedge fries. These fries did not disappoint, as they are always scorching hot and have a great spice.

BJ’s Restaurant will continue to be a favorite restaurant. Now I just need them to build a location in Stillwater, and I would be really happy.

BJ's Restaurant, OKC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

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