The thing to note about the pizza at BJ’s is that it’s cheap. Cheap is a good thing right? Not always. The toppings appear to be good and have a decent quality, but the crust is really lacking at this place. There are so many great crusts in town. Whether it’s the thicker and chewier crusts at Mellow, or the crispy crusts at Deano’s, the options are high. There is no flavor in it at all. I don’t think that they use frozen crusts, but I could be wrong on this, and that’s a problem. I think it’s unfair to call a dough frozen without knowing for certain, it just doesn’t feel or taste fresh to me. The sauce is lacking in flavor as well. It was there and there was enough of it, just didn’t quite cut it for me. It wasn’t robust or explosive. It was just a simple marinara. I’ve eaten here many times over the years, and the pizza has always been just okay. They’ve been using the same recipes and whatnot since inception, so my assumption is that the owners might not be apt to experiment at all. While I do appreciate the fact that they have plenty of other things on their menu, I go to a pizza place for pizza. I’m not interested in getting a burger at a pizza joint. If I could give some advice, they need to think about updating their crust. Look at this graph. This is a 10 year stock graph for Dominos. Wanna guess what they did back in 2009? Updated their crust and flavor. Yep, that’s what happens when you do it right.
As much as I love 1980’s charm, I think it’s time to perhaps update the interior of a place in 2016. It just looks really outdated. I know that’s a good thing to some people, but it’s not to me. Everything is wooden. The chairs, the booths, the side paneling, etc. It’s really a testament to “if it ain’t broke” mentality. That’s not a selling point to me. The arcade machines are all in pretty rough shape. It might not seem like a big deal to some, but this is a pointer to how this place thinks about the dining experience at their restaurant. I’m not being picky either, I completely understand that BJ’s is a laid back, old school, straight up, pizza joint. But that doesn’t mean an experience should be lessened because of it. Think about Deano’s. That place has been there for many many years, but they’ve done different remodels of the years. The new bar in the front looks great. I think BJ’s made some updates a few years ago, but I don’t think it was anything substantial. They added some nicer flat screen TVs. I’ll boil it down to the place just being outdated, and leave it at that.
This is one of the redeeming factors of BJ’s. Whenever you go there, they move quick and tend to get your pizza to you in a reasonable time. The kitchen is small, but they can pump out some food. I’ve never waited more than 30 minutes for a pizza. I’ve even ordered a couple of pizzas before and it came out pretty quick. I’m not sure if it’s because the dough is pre-made or something, but nonetheless, the pizzas tend to come out pretty quickly. I can’t really knock on this part of the review too much. It’s good. We’ll leave it at that.
At BJ’s, you order from a big window that looks directly into the kitchen. You not only get to see the workers in the kitchen move about and work, but you get to hear everything that is said and done as well. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because it never really gets too loud in there, but I think that’s because I’ve never really seen the place get packed. I’m sure it does get packed, but I’ve never seen it personally. The most people I’ve seen in that place was during a lunch rush and there was only about 10-12 tables. Not a full-house. The employees that take the orders have been hit or miss with me. Sometimes they’ve been very friendly and answered all my questions, and other times they’ve been relatively stand-off-ish. I’m not going to say rude, because they weren’t rude, but just not very caring or friendly.
BJ’s Pizza is a class name with a reputation for being old school. The kitchen is quick, but the restaurant is old and outdated. The pizza is pretty bland and needs a revamp. I’ll occasionally go here because I happen to live relatively close, but in my opinion there are better options out there. If you’re looking for some sort of strange nostalgia, then give it a shot. But if you’re looking for really good pizza, find another place.