Best in Wichita Metro Burger Challenge 2022: How does BJ's Brewhouse rate?
By Mike Thayer
I'm traveling around the Wichita Metro, sampling the burger offerings from any joint that has burgers on the menu, local, regional, national chain, it doesn't matter. In order to determine a true champion of burgers in the metro, I'll have to sample them all in the name of "burger science" (cough). For the burger criteria, click here.
For today's Burger Challenge dinner, I went to BJ's Brewhouse at Towne East Square. Headquartered in California, BJ's is known for its craft beer and a menu featuring pizza, appetizers and hand crafted burgers.
Walking in at about 4:30pm, I took a seat at the bar. The bartender, Michaela, greeted me with a smiling "Hi" and asked me what I would like to start off with. Going for their Jeremiah Red, an Irish style ale, she set me up with a couple coasters, both a drink and food menu then poured my beer. She also asked if I'd like some water and after getting a yes poured me one. I love it when a restaurant does this proactively. It used to be a given back in the day, but anymore half the sit down restaurants out there will make you request water.
Placing my order for the BJ's Brewhouse Bacon Cheeseburger, I settled in, sipping on the beer and texting some friends. Also providing some entertainment to pass the time while my burger was being prepared was the bartender Michaela herself. This lady had a motor, she was non stop working, putting in some serious steps! Not because the place was slamm'n busy (the restaurant was perhaps 1/3 occupied, no dinner crowd yet), but she was just doing her bartender thing and making sure customers were happy. Getting ice, cleaning, retrieving, delivering, pouring, she was doing the work of two people and I mentally noted how some other employees were standing around... Michaela was impressive.
Here's the description of the BJ's Brewhouse "Handcrafted" Bacon Cheeseburger from the restaurant website: Fire-grilled beef patty | applewood smoked bacon | cheddar cheese | tomatoes | lettuce | dill pickles | premium parker house bun | BJ’s signature burger sauce
After about 15 minutes and a variety of texting, sports on the big screen and bartending entertainment, my burger arrived and along with the fries had a nice initial, visual appeal. In taking that first bite I was immediately hit with how juicy this burger was but it was also a tad under seasoned. There was a nice char on the patty, delivering a hint of smoke along with the bacon. The cheddar was melted nicely, the veggies were fresh and evenly distributed. The bun had a light toast but only along the edges (no press applied to ensure surface contact) and the "BJ's signature burger sauce" pretty much amounted to the typical Thousand Island variant. Overall, a really nice burger that would satisfy most anyone's burger craving.
Side Note: The fries were excellent! When Michaela asked me how my burger was and I responded, "Good but the fries are..." She practically finished my sentence... "Oh I love our fries, they've got that light crispy outside and the fluffy potato inside..."
Costing me $15.85 with tax for the burger and fries, BJ's Brewhouse Bacon Cheeseburger scored 55 points out of a possible 63, earning it 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. A little more seasoning and a more evenly toasted bun would have put this burger into 5 star range. The quality ingredients were there, chalk it up to execution. It's worthy of a repeat buy, but I have to admit, I wouldn't mind checking out other items on the menu, most notably one of those appetizers.
Located at 7960 E Kellogg Dr N, Wichita, KS 67207, BJ's Brewhouse serves up a satisfying burger, the craft beer hits the spot and the service was top notch! They're worth a visit, especially if Michaela is working the bar.
$pend Wisely My Friends...
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