Today for lunch, D and I finally made it out to the new BJ's Restaurant and Brewery (2514 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL). Imagine going to the Cheesecake Factory and finding loads of beer instead of cheesecake... welcome to BJ's!
Famous for their in-house brews, lunch would have been incomplete without a sampling! As I am not the biggest of beer drinkers, it was up to D to select and enjoy. He quickly decided on the the Nutty Brewnette ($5.95). The tantalizing description appealed to his salivating taste buds. A blend of four different malts (2-row pale, English Crystal, Briess Victory and Special Roast, Chocolate) produces a flavor that is sweet with a touch of nuttiness. It was nice and hopp-y just the way D likes it!
The inside of BJ's was VERY open... as in I could probably see ever other person dining from our little booth. The layout definitely wasn't designed with the customer's privacy in mind, one of many similarities to the cheesecake factory. Other than that, the decor has a warm feel to it with dark wood everywhere.
Also a lot like the Cheesecake Factory, their huge menu is more like a book to study as opposed to a couple of pages to glance at.It takes some time to go through the entire thing including the lunch options all the way in the back. After perusing the menu a little, D spotted the Avocado Egg Rolls ($9.75) appetizer and we decided, given D's love for avocados, that we had to try them. The crispy wonton wraps covered a blend of avocados, cream cheese, sun dried tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, pine nuts and chipotle peppers! The six pieces are served with a sweet tamarind sauce.
The avocado egg rolls were tasty and unlike anything me or D had ever tried. Avocado was the primary flavor, I hardly even tasted the cream cheese. The rolls were nicely complimented by the sweet tamarind sauce. Not going to lie, I have no idea what tamarind is, but it reminded me of honey and everything is better with a little bit of honey! Next on the table, came one of BJ's specialty pizzas, the Great White ($19.25). We decided to split one since we already had an appetizer. The waiter suggested a medium or a large. Knowing the large would definitely be too much, we went with the medium. (side note: Our waiter looked exactly like Jason from the Hills.) The chicago style Great White was loaded down with creamy alfredo sauce, mushrooms, Roma tomatoes, parmesan cheeses and grilled chicken breast.
The pizza was by far the best deep dish I've had in a long time. It was simply delectable. I ate way more than I needed because I just couldn't stop. Breaking it down, I thought the chicken was bland and a waste of calories (D disagrees) and I couldn't even taste the alfredo sauce. But don't get me wrong, the pizza was still amazing. In fact, the tomatoes were spectacular. Cooked to perfection, I savored each one. The crust was appropriately soft while crispy and melted in your mouth. I think we would have been better off ordering the small considering we split a rather large appetizer. It was just a little too much in my opinion.
As the meal came to an end, I was sad to decline the waiters suggestion of a pizookie (freshly baked cookie topped with ice cream) for dessert. They had so many different flavors and combinations! Not to mention that they combine my two favorite desserts: cookies and ice cream! But I just couldn't do it. A: we were too stuffed. B: I had already blown most of my calories for the day. But like I told D, we will be coming back to try one. I don't care if it's the only dish we order, I am determined to try a BJ's pizookie. Check out their website for more information and a chance to glance those mouthwatering pizookies!