Location: Downtown at the Gardens. 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens; Palm Beach Gardens, Fl 33410. Phone: (561) 691-6901. http://www.yardhouse.com.
We recently had the pleasure of dining out with a good friend of ours visiting from up North. Ross and I decided to take him out to one of our trusted standby’s, The Yard House, and it dawned on us that we have yet to review this wonderful establishment. Truthfully, we haven’t been dining out very much lately. Ross has become quite fond of my cooking and I thoroughly enjoy making meals at home. This latest outing in Hallandale Beach was a much needed exception and proved to be one of our fondest trips to the popular eatery. All three of us were on board for ordering a bunch of appetizers and sharing, which is one of my favorite ways to get a taste of as much as possible. We started with one of Ross’ favorites, the California Roll, which is an untraditional take on the sushi roll of the same name. This dish is served as one giant roll, with layers of Snow crab (FYI Most California Rolls are made with imitation crab), sticky white rice, cucumber and avocado. This giant single roll is surrounded by wasabi soy sauce and dots of spicy Sriracha. We paired this dish with a serving of Grilled Sweet Korean BBQ Beef, which is a long winded name for short ribs, Kung Pao Calamari and the Béarnaise Sliders. The Kung Pao Calamari was our visitor’s selection and a pleasant surprise on my part. It’s something I would never think to order, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
We have been eating at home a lot lately as Maria mentioned, and trust me, her cooking would get 5 wine glasses every time! This review was long overdue however. Yard House is part of our lunchtime rotation, which includes Cheesecake Factory, Brio and Tabica Grill among others. Yard House is a chain that is currently in 15 states and growing. They could easily be classified as sports bars as there are TV’s everywhere, but the food is consistently better than the pub fare you get at most places of that genre. And I’m not the most daring of beer drinkers, but if you happen to be, their selection of hundreds of taps should allow you to find something you like. Shock Top Raspberry is my top choice. Most of our dining and drinking experiences are at the above listed Palm Beach Gardens location, but we did try the Hallandale restaurant (next to Gulfstream Park) the other day. Maria mentioned the great apps we had that day, but two other favorites of note are the Spicy Tuna Roll and Carnitas Street Tacos. The latter a Maria staple with roast pork, grilled onions, pico de gallo, guacamole and pineapple is a slice of soft taco heaven. The STR, my choice, is another variation on the roll theme. One hockey puck-sized stacker with seared rare ahi, avocado, edamame, cucumber and soy sauce. Highly recommended.
Believe me, he’s very loose with the culinary compliments, but thank you regardless. THE CARNITAS…yum! I cannot believe I forgot to add my favorite and we most definitely rounded out the Hallandale meal with these tasty treats. I recall our guest had stated very astutely, “The pineapple is a wonderful surprise.” Ross likes referring to our guest as the ‘Michael Jordan of the Daily Racing Form’, but I digress. The pineapple he said and our mouths all agreed. They offer eight different styles of ‘street’ taco and as you can probably imagine it ranges from some poultry manifestations, to fish, beef and an interesting collection of vegetables. This vegetarian taco (which is denoted on the menu conveniently) consists of shiitake mushrooms, roasted pasilla peppers and grilled onions with lemon sriracha aïoli, jack, feta, avocado and red chili. That’s a mouthful. I’m now determined to remember and try it. And I have experimented with quite a number of the bountiful drafts. However, I owe my expertise of beer to the one and only Mews Tavern – ‘The home of 69 brews’ in Wakefield, Rhode Island. Over the years I ventured into some blondes (get your mind out of the gutter), some porters and some Belgian whites. Yard House is one of the only places I’ve ever seen feature some of the many drafts offered there. Major tip of my hat for that detail and another for raising the standards of bar food. And yet one more facet of praise, keep playing the awesome classic rock tunes. We love singing along.
Yes of course, classic rock, it’s noted on the sign out front and it plays all day. Lots of 70’s hits, you’ll be singing to songs you haven’t heard in years. Great food, a vast variety of brews, sports on TV AND Eric Clapton, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin et al. If you’re looking for a romantic evening out with your girl/guy, Yard House probably isn’t the right destination. For all other occasions? Go to the place, “Where great beers come together!”
Maria’s Rating: 4.5 Wine Glasses out of 5.
Ross’ Rating: 4 Wine Glasses.