One of the newest eateries in the N. Raleigh area, the Yard House hails from S. California and dishes out great beer and upscale pub food. Located at the base of Capstrat Bank next to the new Cowfish Sushi and Burger restaurant, the Yard House has carved out its own niche as hip, upscale experience. With rock music raining down from above, an industrial feel replete with blacked out overhead piping, metal counter tops and staff decked out in black gives the Yard House a much more urban feel than most other options in the area. The bar has a long string of taps and the beer list is L-O-N-G! Similar to what you might find at the Flying Saucer and definitely some serious competition for the World of Beer next door. But yes it’s still a chain so we’ll see what Yard House dishes out for food…
Thankfully there’s no wait here on a Saturday night, the three of us get seated in a long wooden booth that could probably handle eight people. The voluminous beer menu is placed in front of each of us and in addition to the long beer list, Yard House has a very long food menu. Lots of American classics with a mix of more than American: Mexican, Asian and more. Nothing too odd or crazy, I go with a standard BBQ-bacon and cheddar burger with a coconut shrimp starter. The place is bustling with plenty of staff and a large open kitchen. The appetizer shows up: three large, butterflied shrimp with a nice brown coconut coating sitting against a pile of shredded carrots and possibly squash (?). I really like how this appetizer is plated with a bright orange-green sauce around it, makes for a great visual feast. The coconut shrimp are decent but a little pricey for over $12.
About 10 minutes later our mains arrive. We’ve got a plate of fish tacos, a good-looking ahi salad and my great looking burger. It comes with a paper cone of match-stick fries, a side of aioli along with some bourbon BBQ sauce. Love the glazed bun for my burger and how the sauce is served on the side. My burger is nicely charred and contrasts well against the cheese and zippy bourbon sauce. Unfortunately that good-looking bun was a bit dry, boo! And the fries?! Totally miss match-stick fries since Bogart’s shut down, these Yard House fries are a bit greasy but great for dipping into the aioli and ketchup. Yard House serves up a decent burger cooked to order, no complaints there. We pass on dessert but a smores pie that goes by smells temptingly good and caloric, maybe next time.
With a large patio, huge selection of beers and interesting list of meals, I’m pretty sure the Yard House will succeed in its upscale, suburban location. Perfect for families and couples looking for something a bit different in the hood. The food is solid and varied enough to keep most palates happy and I’ll need to try some more of that vast menu. But in the end, the Yard House is still a chain that follows the usual North Hills M.O.: decent eats priced a bit higher than normal. With pints at $6.50 and up and burgers at about $12, I’d say that most of the offerings here are a $1 or $2 more than they should be. And that’s fine if you’re in the area and want to eat here. But for me, that’s a reason why I typically avoid North Hills and chains. I prefer one-off spots that provide more unique ambiance and more value. That’s not to say the Yard House is bad, it’s decent. Just understand what you’re getting into and you’ll be fine…
4208 Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC 27609