BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is a small chain with 5 locations around Houston. They are known for brewing their own craft beers. My family and I went to the Sugar Land location recently for a casual dinner. I have been to the restaurant several times before my paleo days, and I always enjoyed their supper hoppy IPA. In my book, the hoppier the better, but beer is off the menu for me now. Not to worry though, there is still plenty on the menu at BJs. They even have a Gluten-Free menu.
Paleo Friendly Appetizers.
We started out with some appetizers to share. The chicken lettuce wraps and the spinach artichoke dip were a great choices. I know, the cheese in the spinach artichoke dip isn’t really paleo, but as I mentioned in some of my other blogs, I went paleo to lower my blood sugar, not necessarily to loose weight. Since cheese is low in sugar and carbs, I eat it fairly regularly. The spinach artichoke dip was heavy on the garlic just like I like it. Since I can’t partake in the chips, I usually just scoop a bit out and eat it with my fork. Good Stuff. I’ve always liked lettuce wraps, but since going paleo, I have to say I appreciate them even more. You don’t realize how practical tortillas and bread are as handles for picking up your protein until you give up grains. Tacos are no longer finger food, but lettuce is a great substitute for bread and tortillas. BJ’s lettuce wraps pretty darn good too. They make theirs with sautéed mushrooms, water chestnuts, celery, green onions and garlic and some hot Chinese mustard on the side so you can control the dosage, and I like lots of it.
Usually I try to write about things that are not obviously paleo in my blog, but I knew what I wanted before I entered the parking lot: steak! I ordered the classic rib-eye. Yeah, I know, a no-brainer choice for hunter and gatherers. I’ll try harder next time. BJ’s has some great veggie side options. I get a bit tired of steamed broccoli since I eat it about 5 days a week, so when I go out for a treat, I like to order something different. I chose the roasted brussels sprouts and the fresh mozzarella and tomato salad.
Usually, I’m suspicious restaurants that have asian food, pizza, pasta, steak, and seafood on the menu, but I wasn’t disappointed. The steak was aged for 28 days, and had a nice rub — adding up to 14 ounces of deliciousness. It was well cooked and the meat was melt in your mouth tender. In a city know for having some great steak houses, BJ’s didn’t disappoint. The sides were great as well. You don’t see brussels sprouts on the menu of Houston restaurants often, so when I do, I rarely pass them up. The brussels sprouts were roasted to perfection. So good that I was a bit sad when I ran out of them. The mozzarella and tomato salad was good also, the plate was drizzled in balsamic vinegar so I sopped all of that up on the fresh mozzarella. The dish was loaded with fresh herbs and was full of flavor.
It wasn’t the best lettuce wrap I’ve ever had, or the best streak I’ve ever had, but I have to say my meal was very good. I’ll be back for the brussels sprouts alone. Even though I didn’t get my fill of beer, I left BJ’s very satisfied.