Checking Out BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Lancaster

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Late last week, I took a few days off work to recharge and use up some vacation time. Since my youngest sister, Zoe, is home from college for a just a few weeks more, I wanted to spend some time with her and take her out to lunch.

We hemmed and hawed over where to go before I suggested a new restaurant that had just recently opened: BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Lancaster, right by the Park City Mall (so we could do some post-dining shopping).

On Thursday, we met up at the restaurant for a late lunch. I’d checked the menu beforehand, and man, was it huge. They’re known for their beer and pizza, but they have everything from insane sandwiches and burgers to specialty salads to more formal dinner entrees. They also have a great lunch menu, which was apparent because at 2 p.m., the place was still packed.

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The restaurant itself is really cool. It has a beautiful (and massive) bar, along with an open kitchen. We got a huge booth right by the kitchen, despite nearly every table in the place filled with families and businesspeople.

We sat down, and since it was mid-afternoon and I was the driver, I skipped the massive drink menu and settled on their homemade vanilla cream soda. Zoe got a homemade root beer.

This soda. Oh. My. Gosh.

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It’s thick, ice cold with just enough sweetness. Though I would have loved to try a beer or a special cocktail, I was just as happy with the cream soda (and its free refills). And I’m not even a huge soda fan!

We started with an order of the sriracha queso and chips, which came topped with their homemade chili. For just over $5, we got a massive bowl of queso with enough chips to feed a small family. The size wasn’t the only thing that was impressive. The queso was super flavorful and spicy, without being overwhelming.

For our main meal, I stuck to one of their lunch specials: Half of their California flatbread and a small wedge salad. The flatbread was awesome. It was covered with juicy, grilled chicken, avocado, roasted peppers and garlic aioli. Even though the deal just came with half a flatbread, there was more than enough there for a full meal. The wedge salad was also great (although, let’s be real, all wedge salads are good).

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Zoe tried the blue cheese and bacon burger and said after the first bite: “This is one of the best burgers I’ve ever had in my entire life.” So, I’d say it was pretty good.

The service was fantastic, with every hostess, food runner and waitress friendly and helpful. When I said how I loved the soda, the waitress offered to let me get a “refill” of another type or for a few bucks more, get it made into a float. I (seriously, seriously) debated it, but was too stuffed thanks to their generous portions to take them up on the offer.

Zoe and I have already said we want to go back, and I can’t wait. If you’re looking for a great spot for dinner or to casually meet up with friends, then this should be your next stop.

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