BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse - McAllen

Taps: 12+ | Bottles: 10+
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  • AMBIANCE 3/5
  • SERVICE 7/10
  • SELECTION 8/15
  • FOOD 8/10
  • OVERALL 15/20
diamondc  (1) McAllen, Texas | June 17, 2008
This place gets packed quickly after hours. Lately there’s a struggle to find a booth or a chair next to the bar. The atmosphere & decor screams ’chain restaurant’, but some of the waitresses / bartenders are nice and know a bit about the beers they serve. Now to the important part of this review, the beer. Some of their beers are just boring (the blonde, the bock), but their other beers are quite tasty. The Piranha Pale Ale is one of the best pale ales I’ve had, its very very hoppy and citrus-y, and could be an IPA in disguise. The hefeweizen is true to Bavarian-style, lots of banana & clove flavors coming thru. I’ve had their porter & brown ale which are overly sweet for their style, so it’s better to think of them as desserts all to themselves. The seasonal beers are definitely worth mentioning. I’ve been enjoying the maibock & now the witbier (a nearly identical Hoegaarden clone). As much as I enjoy the house beers, I wish they had more microbrew selection on tap (Stella & Guinness do not count). I’ve had their bruschetta and pizza before. They were both very good, but a bit pricey for what you get. The nice thing is you can get a free appetizer if you fill out a survey on the website printed on the receipt. Good deal that’s worth taking advantage. Overall, there is nowhere close of a restaurant that cares about beer than BJ’s Brewhouse in the RGV. Definitely worth checking out.
  • AMBIANCE 2/5
  • SERVICE 2/10
  • SELECTION 7/15
  • FOOD 5/10
  • OVERALL 10/20
auerbrau  (307) Ithaca, New York | May 21, 2008
Let me start by saying that I loathe chains, especially when they do a bad job with something I like. Too much sports, high ceilings and faux antiques for me. The service was terrible! It took us almost two hours at lunch to get in and out with at least two different waitresses. The food I had was mediocre and the beers were about the same. Bland craft brew, an overly polished menu and cultural homogenization. Just as the Lower Rio Grande Valley doesn’t need Maquiladoras and a bunch of gated housing developments to shelter white transplants out of Atlanta from the grim realities of the cross-border drug trade, it doesn’t need overly safe, poorly brewed substitutes for real beer.
  • AMBIANCE 5/5
  • SERVICE 9/10
  • SELECTION 7/15
  • FOOD 9/10
  • OVERALL 16/20
gfolivares  (4) McAllen, Texas | May 15, 2008| Updated May 16, 2008
Visitors are greeted by enormous, red Chicago-style brick walls and a massive wooden bar with an equally massive jumbotron in the middle broadcasting the latest sporting event. Beautiful shinny copper stills peak through windows in the back of the building to let visitors know the beer here is made from scratch. The dim lighting, art deco lanterns and fixtures, velvet booths, and nostalgic posters give this establishment a unique, cozy atmosphere that contributes positively to the drinking and dining experience, and to the enjoyment of the unique beers. Although their overall selection of beer is not great, this place does offer a handful of delicious craft brews such as Brewhouse Blond, Harvest Hefeweizen, Pyrana Pale Ale, Jeremia Red, PM Porter, Tatonka Stout, Nuty Brunette, Pook’s Pilsner, The Bock, and other specialty/seasonal beers. Hand crafted brews are hard to come accross in this part of Texas, so if you’re a beer lover this far south and need to quench you thirst, this is the oasis in the middle of a dusty Texas desert you were wishing for. They usually offer about ten of their brews on tap, with seasonal variations and local specialties available from time to time. They also offer the typical macrobrews and imports on tap and bottle. The food is above average (although a bit pricy), and the service is excellent. Inside the food menu, you will find an eclectic fusion of Americana, Asian, and Tex-Mex. This establishment is very popular throughout the week, so be sure to call and reserve a table for the night, or expect to wait one or two hours in line to get in.

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