Sunday, May 23, 2010

BJ's Un-brewpub and A Heart Stopping Meal

Last night was one of those nights where I wasn't really hungry and I didn't feel like cooking, but I still wanted a little something before I went to bed. We pushed the trip to Escondido to today, since Glenn didn't get out of work till late last night. But I had myself all amped up for a beer and (insert tasty pairing here). I remember looking at the American Craft Beer Week(ACBW) website and saw that BJ's was doing something...after weighing the options we decided that since BJ's is less than a 3 minute drive from our house it wouldn't hurt.

BJ's was pretty packed at 10:30PM I had though people had something better to do on a Saturday night but I was mistaken. Trying to take advantage of the last two days of ACBW, I asked the bar tender if we could get one order of tonight's pairing... he had no clue what it was so with my trusty iPhone in hand I showed him the website-- it was the Chicken Fried Steak and their PM Porter. We also ordered a Nutty Brewnett. I don't know about you, but I honestly don't think chicken fried steak is very popular with California or Californian's in general. I had never had it and judging by the looks and comments when our food came out neither have many other people. If you can believe it, they take a very thin steak, batter it with a very crunchy chicken batter and yes... fry it! It is actually a true gastronomical nightmare. Looking at the plate of beige food in front of us my husband says "I can't put those two things inside me, you're going to have to help!" I took a bite of the steak/batter/oil crisp and it was very peppery and while not very tasty alone it actually went very well with the PM Porter. If I could have mixed and matched to accommodate the PM Porter, which is a nice beer on it's own, I would have had a pepper crusted burger from the Yard House with Gorgonzola. I think that would have been an amazing pairing, however I was at BJ's and not the Yard House. My Nutty Brewnet had a strange skunky taste in it but I think it was just the batch because I have enjoyed the nutty brewnet previously.

I am very disappointed that BJ's is tearing out just under a million dollars worth of brewing equipment from each of their restaurants. The big brewing vats that you see in the back? Just a facade now! I think it's an outrage! There used to be a time when you would walk in and enjoy the smell of pizza and malt, sadly that day is through due to the call for uniformity (I know, right? WHAT CALL?! Who's calling for it and what's their address?). Im sure some large brewer is making a buck off brewing a uniform batch to distribute to all the BJ's restaurants... but then it's not a brewpub anymore now is it? *sigh* I've seen enough people go there and order piss-beer though to see that actually brewing beer on location is not enough to grab anyone's attention. I would find it 100% impossible to walk into a restaurant and even with my favorite beer on the menu not ask what they were brewing in house...or "what do those shiny silos do?" I mean question things people... that that fizz you call beer-- Question that!

Enough on ranting. I do like most of the food at BJ's I especially like their Great White Pizza, and their most popular beer is their Jeremiah Red, which is a damn good red! I'm sad to see that their Grand Cru is discontinued, happily I noted people order it in the past so I continue to ask for it.. maybe they'll get the picture? Oh well, not all is lost I suppose or maybe it is and I just don't see it... Chicken Fried Steak is indeed not for everyone (and the fat kid in me really wanted to dunk the giant steaks into a tub of Ranch Dressing O_o which would have been very bad), their PM Porter is a light smokey porter with a tasty nutty bite, I do recommend you try it with lots of pepper (I also recommend you go to the Yard House and try their Pepper Crust Burger!!! Nom nom nom...). Anyways, tonight is something to look forward to: ACBW at The Stone Brewing Co.! Tell me what you think of BJ's beer in the comment section below, and don't forget to follow/subscribe/RSS! <3
Bj's Chicago Style Pizza Grill and Brewery on Urbanspoon


everything tastes better with ranch

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