Went to lunch at B.J.’s Brewpub with a neighbor recently, and since it’s new, and you may not have tried it out yet, I thought I’d give you a report. It’s that new restaurant that was built in the Portofino Shopping Center’s parking lot, just a little way down from Home Depot, Stein Mart, etc.
The restaurant must hold a lot of people. When we got there around 12:45, their parking lot was almost completely full, but we were seated right away. The wait staff was friendly, of course, but maybe not that experienced. I ordered a glass of tea and got a glass of water instead, but it was okay. I can always drink a glass of water. No problem. I didn’t even mention it.
The funny thing about the whole experience was the sheer number of people who came to our table. One seated us, as usual. Another brought the menus. Another took our drink order. A different one took our food order. Someone else delivered the food. Then one of those guys brought our check. I’m hoping they didn’t all have to split the tip!
Their menus are big, a book almost, though you have to get through the pages and pages of “brews” before you finally make it to the food. Even then, it’s pretty extensive. At first, I was just going to order a sandwich, but I changed my mind when I saw that a hot lunch, (it was a cold day), cost the same as a sandwich. The least expensive sandwich I saw was $9.50, but as I said, the menu was extensive, and I didn’t examine it all that closely.
The chicken parmigiana I had was delicious but really spicy. One of the waiters did warn me that it would be spicy. He wasn’t joking. The garlic bread that came with the dish was really, really good. It tasted fresh and light and was aromatic; toasted to perfection. I do love good bread. My neighbor ordered a steak dish, and she said it was really good. It was so generous that she ended up taking half of it home with her.
Jim thought it odd that we selected a brewpub for a ladies’ lunch, but oddly enough, the place was full of women… Women having lunch. Young women with babies in strollers. Older women with friends. Middle-aged women in business attire, and so on. Women like good food too! That being said, I can well imagine that the clientele changes in the evening. It seems like one of those hip places to hang out with friends.
Oh, and don’t let the loud music you hear in the parking lot deter you from going inside. It’s toned down, way down, inside the restaurant. It becomes just part of the background.
All in all, I’d recommend it. You may have to cut the wait staff a little slack until they get the hang of things, but it’s not that bothersome. Oh, and did I mention that all the waiters are really good-looking? Hmmm… that may explain why so many ladies were there. I myself may have to go back again and again, all in the quest for good reporting, of course. See you there, girls!