Yard House location #38 opened Sunday in Mizner Park, and the big question now is how many nearby restaurants will be going out of business as a result. A 20-something girl sitting next to me summed it up "This is my new favorite bar", she said. No kidding, babe. This is going to be everyone's favorite bar.
The 10,000 square foot restaurant is everything you expect from Yard House, who also has a location in Gulfstream Park Village. With 130 taps, a huge menu and big HD TVs everywhere, the place is everything that anyone between 21 and 65 could want. Cranking out classic rock; Van Morrison, Jackson Brown, Journey and U2 one after another; the place offers just the right environment for a casual date, sports watching or a big night out with friends.jump-->
With all of the bad restaurants in Boca, this place is a guaranteed hit. Their late afternoon happy hour during the week (3pm-6pm M-F) offers half price appetizers and reduced price drinks; early birds throughout Boca Raton are on notice; there's a new kid in town.
I've had a few appetizers here and my conclusion is that the food is interesting and decent; not great and not bad. Think Cheesecake Factory with a lot of beers and TVs and really good music. Today I had the calamari, which is served with both marinara and tartar sauce, my two favorites with calamari.
The squid was overbreaded and the sauces were OK at best. I wouldn't go out of my way for this dish, but it's just fine for sports watching grub.
I've had the jerk wings twice; the normal sauce is a jerk sauce that doesn't really do what I want; I ordered them with blue cheese the second time and the pairing was much better. But my favorite wing choice here would be the buffalo wings with blue cheese.
All of the appetizers here are smallish; a good deal at half price and not such a good deal at full price. I'd had the jerk wings at the Gulfstream Park location, and the wings were good but the sauce they served it with was nasty; ranch would have been better. Another time I had the buffalo wings which are served with a good blue cheese; I think next time I'll order the Jerk wings with the blue cheese. Tuna was pretty good but also a small portion.
They just opened so I'm not going to kill them too much on service, but hopefully it will get better. They asked everyone for IDs, even those with gray hair, and everyone has to provide a CC; it's very robotic. They also don't seem to consider what's on the TVs as an important part of the restaurant; with Tiger chasing a victory and the Marlins playing, all of the sets within view of where I sat down were either on College baseball, softball or rugby. It's like they just put on all of the sports channels without any consideration of what people might actually want to watch. Most of the sets were on Golf when I left; they were good about changing the channels.
The paper napkin ring around the linen napkins was the only thing I saw that was unexpected.
All of a sudden, Truluck's happy hour has become less interesting. Who is going to hang out at the tired and outdated scene at Max's when they can come here? And who is going to watch the games at any of the bad sports bars in Boca when they can come here instead?