BJ’s Brewhouse – Cupertino

So yesterday night, after being told about it almost a year ago, I finally went to BJ’ in Cupertino. I was told they have the most amazing pizza and beer, and the guy who told me finally deigned to take me there. We arrived there around 7.45 PM on a saturday evening, and were able to find parking immediately. Apparently, this was not the norm according to whom I went with. After doing so, we walked in, and the first thing that impressed me about the place was its size. Its a pretty darn big brewhouse, and apparently family friendly to boot, from the number of kids I saw in the place.

So we walk in, and were immediately told that it would be a 35 minute waiting. Its saturday, and I have time to boot, but I still glanced worriedly at my companion, who calmly said, no problems, took the buzzer and walked out. I follow accordingly, and start chatting. Again, 35 minutes seems to be not that bad a wait for this place, so I bite my tongue at the immediate protests that try to come out, and chit chat. After about 35 minutes, its starting to freeze outside, and we walk in. The place still has people waiting, and inside, I see people calmly sitting and taking their time with their food. Its clearly a comfortable, family friendly environment, with games playing on their huge tvs, with a bar as well for people who prefer to sit there instead of a cube or table.

Inside, there is some more waiting, as we are told it would take 10 minutes more. I am about ready to give up and go, but then, divine interference. Apparently, they realize their waiting time is a killer, and bring out pizza slices to offer to all the waiting patrons. Immediately, they make it into my good books, and all sins are forgiven. As I happily munch on my small slice of free pizza, and start contemplating if I can grab onto another one without seeming like a hog, our buzzer rings. Hallelujah !

We are escorted to our tables, given our menus, and told that there is a special father’s day offer to get free beer glasses. I smile and wonder if I could get one inwardly, but then forget about that as I glance at the menus. I have been to a few pubs around here in the peninsula, but this one puts the others to shame with a great selection of beers. Right off the bat, I ordered a stout, named Tatonka Stout and relished at getting my hands on a good stout. They are pretty rare here, since i haven’t seen too many of those around since i moved from Dallas. But then again, I might not be visiting the right places. Since BJ’s is known for chicago style deep dish pizza, we order a large deep dish, custom made as well.

Tatonka Stout

Tatonka Stout

The beer comes first, a nice, dark stout with a good layer of foam at the top. I take a sip, and close my eyes in bliss at the bitter stout washes down my throat. A few more sips, and I realize its a pretty darn, strong beer. And I love it.

My friend ordered some beer which started with Jeremiah, but I wasn’t paying attention as I was focussed on getting my stout. But he apparently enjoyed it as well, so the beers all seem good here. The beers came within a few minutes of ordering, so we are optimistic that its a trend and we would get our pizzas soon as well.

For the pizza, we order a custom made deep dish. For vegetarians, there are two specialty options, one a usual vegetarian with mushrooms, onions, peppers and olives, and the other, a spinach artichoke hearts one with basil and some other specialty items. The spinach artichoke one sounds tempting, but in the end, we decide we would like more control over what makes it into our pizza. So after a lot of haggling over the toppings, we end up honing in on onions, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, jalapenoes and black olives.

As we sip on our beer, and share stories, we slowly start to realize that at the pace we were going, we would be done with our beers far before the pizza even makes it to us. 10 minutes pass, then 20 and finally 30 minutes pass before our patience runs out and we ask our waiter. As we can’t find our own waiter, we ask someone else to go look, and after a bit of running around, they finally find our pizza and bring it to our table.

Deep dish custom pizza

Deep dish custom pizza

Being the hungry beings that we were, we immediately dig into our pizza with relish. Interestingly though, unlike the deep dish pizzas that I had been having at Patxi’s pizza (Which will be a separate post, great Chicago style pizza), these were more thick crust pizza than deep dish. A beautiful, chewy crust, slightly crispy on the edges, lots of cheese and great toppings. The pizza was definitely worth the wait, and in our hunger, we easily kill most of the pizza within a few minutes. Definitely worth the year’s wait, no doubt. But not the Chicago style pizza that I expected, after looking at their board outside.

Overall, definitely a great atmosphere, I can totally imagine how it must be during Superbowl times. Awesome beer, pretty darn good pizza to boot. Family friendly place if all you want to do is spend some time with the kids and still drink some good, non bottled beer. But the wait times are a killer. I am unsure if you can call and reserve, but if you can’t, expect to spend some good quality time with whoever you are there with and getting to know them. Even after you get in, due to the amount of rush they have, expect a good waiting time in getting your hands on that delicious food. If it was just the food and beer, would get a 4 thumbs up easily out of 5, but the wait times knock out half a thumb. My rating : 3.5 thumbs up out of 5.

You can find out more information about BJ’s at www.bjsbrewhouse.com. The one I visited is at 10690 N De Anza Blvd in Cupertino, CA.

Hobee’s, Mountain View

Hobee’s in Mountain View is a quaint little breakfast place, tucked away in a corner away from prying eyes. It is a local chain, and the Mountain View one was the first one I believe. The one I went to is the one located at the intersection of Central Expw and Rengstroff.

I usually head there when I am in the mood for some quiet time, and some good breakfast food. Always bustling with activity regardless of the day and time, the friendly waiters usher you in and seat you. You can see the localness (if thats a word) dripping from their decor and the photos they have around the establishment. They have a great selection of items, but their breakfast items (Mostly their omelettes) are top notch.

On this fine day, I started off with an orange juice. If you don’t order anything else, order their orange juice. Freshly squeezed, it has to be, hands down, one of the best orange juices I have ever drunk. Their coffee is not bad either, but their orange juice, served with a slice of some or the other melon is simply out of this world. It was then that I decided it was time I started remembering and highlighting the places I love to frequent in a blog.

Their menus are vegetarian friendly, and if you don’t like eggs, you can always get some tofu scramble or the like. For the health conscious, there’s always the egg substitute. And you non vegetarians won’t go lacking either. And they are famous for their blueberry coffeecakes. And you should see the size of their servings, it is humongous.

One of my favorites is the BDBIT. It stands for the Best Darn Breakfast In Town. And it very well could be. Two eggs, served any way you like it. Homestyle hashbrowns, made from fresh potatoes, which you can tell from a glance. And your choice of coffeecake or toast. All for a value packed price of just $5.95. And definitely doesn’t leave you any space for anything else. Just the perfect slice of heaven.¬†For you omelette / scrambled egg aficianados out there, their florentine and santa cruz scrambles are delicious. And as is the norm, they come with hashbrowns, coffeecake or toast.

All in all, a home away from home for your breakfast wants and desires. Priced attractively, with friendly staff, why would you not want to eat here ?

Check out www.hobees.com to find a hobees near you.

Hobee’s gets a 4 thumbs up in my book.

If anyone else has been there, and have experiences they would like to share, gimme a shout out. I would love to hear from you.

Aim for the stomach!!

So I have been playing around with this idea of starting my blog highlighting and reviewing most of the restaurants I hit up. Considering I am a vegetarian, and I am currently in the bay area, you can assume that most of the restaurants will also be from around there. Nor wind nor rain nor cuisine shall stop me from visiting a restaurant and trying out their delectable (hopefully!!) dishes. I will try to include pictures of what I ate and link you up to their website / address so you can go give it a try, along with my personal rating as well as how likely I am to go back there regularly. I will start off with a few of my favorites, before trying to find new ones.

So if anyone has any suggestions as well as personal favorites, do let me know so I can try them out as well.