As I wrap up my time in Baltimore (for now) I made one final foodie stop before heading out of town at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Towson. I have heard for awhile that BJ’s has lots of gluten-free options so I decided it was finally time to check them out.
This BJ’s is part of the new Towson Square development, which features restaurants, a huge movie theater, and tons of shopping nearby at Towson Town Center. Their menu is lengthy, an there’s a lot of options for those with food allergies and dietary restrictions. I arrived for late lunch, and was eager to see how my experience compared to my expectations.
BJ’s main menu runs several pages, and they mark gluten-free options for easy identification. Upon request, the wait staff can also provide a dedicated gluten-free menu brochure that lists gluten-free options on one side and an allergen menu on the other, which makes finding safe meals for multiple allergies easy.
Gluten-free options are available in most menu sections- they even have pizza crusts and hamburger buns on hand! When you order, the kitchen is notified of your allergy so they can prepare your meal safely. For kids (and kids at heart) they even have a gluten-free version of their famous chocolate chip Pizookie, which is a giant skillet cookie topped with vanilla ice cream. While not dairy-free, it’s a rarity to have a gluten-free dessert that’s not fruit or sorbet/ice cream.
|Click here to see gluten-free menu online.|
I ordered the Peruvian quinoa bowl with shrimp, which is naturally gluten and dairy-free. Visually, it was quite striking, with vibrant colors and picture-perfect shrimp. The base of the bowl is a brown rice-quinoa blend, which was cooked perfectly- not to dry as restaurant rice tends to be. Atop it was a vegetable blend of sautéed red onions, spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Taking center stage was the seasoned shrimp, which were flavorful and spicy, and served in a generous portion (unlike some places where you get only a small amount of shrimp. The bowl balanced its flavors beautifully, and I relished every spoonful.
I really liked BJ’s, and was surprised by how good my food was. I was bracing for a bland, flavorless meal of grilled chicken and steamed vegetables, but instead I got a flavorful, satisfying meal. I like the variety and quantity of gluten-free choices on the menu, and willkebpp BJ’s in mind when I need a restaurant that can cater to the many preferences of my family an friends when we go out to eat. Plus, as a chain restaurant, I can add it to my roster of restaurants I can trust when far from home.