October 24, 2008
and drink designed
If you appreciate good deals, great beer and football, check out Yard House, at 1863 Village West Parkway, in Kansas City, KS, on Monday evenings through Dec. 22. From kick-off to the final play, customers enjoy half-price appetizers and an enormous fleet of plasma televisions.
Yard House promotes its “great food, classic rock and world’s largest selection of draft beer” — more than 160 varieties to be exact. All-day drink specials include domestic pints for $3.25, craft and import pints for $3.50, and goblets for $4. Select appetizers are also half-price, daily, from 3 to 6 p.m.
Silver pipes snake across the ceiling from the keg room to a glistening array of bar taps. Booths, freestanding tables and the island bar provide multiple seating options and low television volumes don’t compete with the music. This place has long waits on weekends, says general manager Chad Devorak, but with call-ahead seating available. They also take reservations for parties of eight or more on weekdays.
During one visit, we sampled Chicken Nachos Grande ($9.45) with yellow and blue corn chips kidney beans, tomato and chicken chunks, green onion and cilantro bits, and fresh, flavorful guacamole. Our Onion Ring Tower ($7.95) featured two dozen, crisp-tender rings that encircled a tall metal rod with a long sprig of rosemary garnish, and chipotle and ranch dipping sauces.
But don’t stop at appetizers. Yard House offers half-pound grilled Angus burgers, from Avocado & Swiss to BBQ Bacon & Cheese, Turkey and Portabella Burgers, as well as Bearnaise Sliders. LeeAnn topped her Classic Cheese burger ($9.95), with cheddar — one of almost a dozen choices. The moist, juicy patty arrived in an ultra-soft bun with a mountain of thin-cut fries, a pickle spear and red onion and tomato slices. Ultra-soft also described the toasted bread on Larry’s Roasted Turkey Melt ($10.25), with thinly sliced white turkey meat, melted Swiss, garlic mayo and jalapenos that provided just a touch of heat.
Our waiter accurately assured me the Spicy Thai Chicken Pizza ($11.95) wasn’t too spicy, although sips of Heineken created a great chaser for the sauce whose intensity grew with each bite. Other ingredients included macadamia nut chunks and strips of moist chicken, plus long-carrot gratings, green onion and melted mozzarella on a thin, crisp-soft crust. Additional pizzas include Four Cheese, Margherita and Ham & Pineapple.
Southern Fried Chicken Breast ($15.25) arrived atop a massive mound of “Southwestern mashed potatoes” with spinach and corn mixed in — an agreeable combo that often appears on the menu — and a large pool of white cream gravy. Green onion shavings garnished the moist breast meat with a crunchy crust. I don’t often use table salt but this was an exception.
The Yard House menu offers something for every palate. A dozen house favorites include roasted turkey potpie and chicken enchilada stack, seafood entrees such as Orzo Scallops ($21.95) or Crab Crusted Swordfish ($24.95) or Steaks Ribs & Chops — with New Zealand Lamb Chops ($23.95), BBQ Pork Tenderloin ($19.95) or Grilled Rib Eye ($24.95) for starters. There are eight entrée salads, 12 sandwiches, and half a dozen more burger choices. Add beer, 30 house martinis, 16 wines by the glass, many more by the bottle, and specialty drinks.
We boxed up leftovers and shared a pint-sized Dessert Trio ($8.75). The pretty plate featured individual dessert ramequins and a dusting of powdered sugar. Lemon Soufflé Cake had a very soft cake texture, intense lemon flavor and large helping of fresh whipped cream. Chocolate Soufflé Cake presented a more pudding-like consistency with a rich, dark chocolate flavor, beneath generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Peach Apple Cobbler arrived piping hot, full of tender fruit and crunchy-soft topping with caramel ice cream.
Adventurous diners might try a Draft Beer Float ($6.95), which comes in two versions — Young’s Chocolate Stout or Lindeman’s Framboise served with vanilla ice cream. Other dessert options include Lemon Souffle Cake, Fresh Baked Brownie (w/ice cream), crème brulee, and ice cream.
During a second visit, I sampled house favorite, (MAC + CHEESE)² ($15.85). Campanelle pasta paired with applewood smoked bacon, meaty mushroom slices, tender chicken chunks, a crisp crumb topping and a mélange of cheddar cheese, Parmesan and white truffle oil. The dish was simultaneously creamy, crunchy, cozy and subtle, with plenty left over for another meal.
Service during our first visit was pleasant but a little slow. During my second visit, Kyle was attentive and congenial. And, when he brought extra lemons for my water, he arranged them on a small plate with a maraschino cherry in the center. Now that’s service.
Lisa Waterman Gray can be contacted at email@example.com.
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