The new BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse location in Fredericksburg opened a few weeks ago and we finally made a visit this weekend. We planned for an early dinner on Saturday, but so did a lot of other people it seems. We waited about 50 minutes after arriving to get a table. While we waited outside, where the weather was fortunately pleasant, the BJ's staff frequently distributed free samples of their deep dish pizza to the waiting diners. Once we were seated, service was fast and very attentive
The beer menu lists over 50 options. There a wide variety of craft beers, including about 18 BJ's house beers. The beers are not brewed on site, rather they are brought in from one of their six breweries at other locations. I opted to start out with BJ's Hopstorm IPA and Colleen selected BJ's Harvest Hefeweizen.
Initial beer selections made, we dove into the food extensive food menu. Not having been to a BJ's prior to this, I was surprised by the variety of food offered. Burgers, steaks, sandwiches, pasta, soups, salads, the list goes on. The first couple of times our waitress checked on us, we had to wave her off because we were taking a long time to decide. Finally we had our selections made; Shrimp and Asparagus Pasta for Colleen, Baked Ziti for our son, while I went for a lighter fare of a Seared Ahi Salad.
I found the IPA to be enjoyable. While it was nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary, it was quite flavorable. Colleen's Hefeweizen was very well done I thought. We ordered a second round of BJ's beers to enjoy with our meals; Jeremiah Red Irish Are for me and Midsummer's Ale Saison for Colleen. My Red Ale was rich and malty. It's also one of their more popular selections according to our waitress.
The food was delivered in a timely manner and we were all pleased with our selections. My salad entree was fresh and tasty. After signing up for BJ's rewards program I received an email with a coupon for a free small "pizookie" which we opted to redeem. The salted caramel pizookie was a great cap to a fun meal.
The waitstaff at BJ's carry iPad-like devices to send your orders directly to the kitchen or bar. Other servers often bring out the ordered items, which leaves the waitstaff free to tend tables. I found it quite efficient and we never lost sight of our waitress who concentrated on tending to her customers rather than running to the kitchen.
We enjoyed our meal, and found the food and beer worthy of a return visit. Interestingly, as we were leaving, we noted there was now no wait to get in. Perhaps going for a later dinner rather than earlier would be wiser. We'll be back in the near future to try out more of the menu offerings. And the beer.