Dining Out Paleo: BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse

Welcome to my Thursday series: Dining Out Paleo

Every Thursday I post a recent dining out experience and how I chose the best possible options to stay true to my Paleo lifestyle and avoid grains, sugars, dairy, and soy to the best of my ability.  Unless informed otherwise, I always assume that the restaurant uses vegetable/canola oils for cooking.

I've mentioned before that most of my lunching entails a long drive out of town to destinations far and away... so when I'm given an opportunity to eat closer to home, I get super excited.  It is an even bigger jolt of joy when the lunch involves meeting my husband mid-day to share a meal, chat, catch up, and just enjoy each other's company.

Matt's and my most recent lunch date was at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse in Palmdale, CA.    The menu bears a likeness to War and Peace in page count alone, so I went in with a partial plan to focus only on salads.  If you don't want a boring ol' salad, there are close to 2.5 zillion different menu options, many including meat and vegetables.  Finding something that does not include grains, sugar, dairy, and soy is not too much of a challenge at BJ's.

With an abundance of vegetabley proteiny options from which to select, I finally narrowed my decision down to the Enlightened Thai Chicken Mango Salad.  Grilled, marinated chicken breast.  Chili spiced jicama and mango strips.  Red bell peppers and red onions on a bed of mixed baby greens, bibb lettuce, and arugula.  Topped with fresh sliced avocado, mint, green onions, and sesame wonton crisps.  Sweet citrus-chili dressing on the side.  Sweet means sugar, but I opted for the "fork dip" method meaning there was very little dressing consumed on the whole.  Just enough for additional flavor... which, honestly, the salad really didn't require.  

I was too enthralled by the arrival of my plate, that I initially didn't notice the glaring lack of protein with my vegetables!  Everything else just looked so bright and fresh that the absence of grilled chicken slipped right by.  Our waitress was quick to ameliorate the problem, but I was too hungry to worry about snapping another picture of salad complete with chicken.

This salad was fantastic.  I loved the chili seasoning in combination with the mango and the jicama.  The crunch of the vegetables with the creaminess of the avocado made for a delicious texture combination.  And the dressing was completely not necessary.

I was honestly a little surprised by something this uniquely flavorful and fresh coming out of a chain restaurant kitchen, but happy to report that fresh and flavorful was certainly the case.  BJ's has impressed me twice recently and I will gladly keep it as a go-to for local lunch recommendations and future date afternoons with the hubby.  Especially if the Rangers or the Dodgers have a day game being televised on the big screens.

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