|Spicy Thai chicken pizza (above) and truffle fries with shredded parmesan and herbs.|
At Legacy Place spot, 120 beers, and good food, too
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200 Legacy Place, Dedham
Open daily at 11 a.m.; last call for food: Sunday to Thursday, midnight; Friday and Saturday, 12:30 a.m.
Major credit cards accepted
Accessible to the handicapped
I had ventured to The Yard House mainly to try the beer.
That’s what the restaurant is most known for. The door handles are yard-long beer glasses. The menu is bookended by lists of beer and cocktail types. Not to mention the 120 beers on tap, lined in a perfect row behind the wooden bar top, the tap lines sneaking to some hidden keg room that keeps the drinks perfectly chilled.
The beer selection, and of course the half-yard-tall beer glasses from which the restaurant derives its name, are the obvious reason the restaurant is unique.
But to my surprise, the food, too, proved to be worth the trip.
When we visited, the Legacy Place restaurant was busy for a Sunday evening. Patrons were seated at dozens of tall tables and chairs at the front of the restaurant, with even more gathered around the center, wraparound bar.
The lights were turned low, the classic rock thumping a tempered beat, as we took our seats near the door.
Although it took some time to decide what to order — the menu is five pages long — my group eventually decided on one snack and two appetizers to start, snacks being meant for one or two people to share, with appetizers intended for two to four.
The favorite was perhaps the snack of truffle fries ($4). Crispy, flavorful, and airy, the fries were unique, but would complement any food wonderfully.
Both appetizers were equally tasty. The boneless jerk wings ($10.65) were tangy with fluffy chicken, paired with a simple sauce that had a small kick and a lot of flavor.
Everyone also liked the grilled sweet Korean BBQ beef ($12.85), an appetizer big enough to be a meal. The beef was tender and sweet, several flavors of the marinade intermingling on the boneless short ribs. Although the sides of Korean vegetable salads were forgettable, the flavor of the beef served with jasmine or brown rice more than made up for their underperformance.
Though we skipped the salads, and sidestepped the soups, our pizza selection — the spicy Thai chicken pizza ($13) — was delicious. A nontraditional take on pizza, the spices brought a quiet heat, and other toppings provided several textures and flavors: mozzarella dancing with macadamia nuts and carrots, next to the familiar and distinctive taste of cilantro and green onion.
Even my picky eater liked the unique pie.
The tacos on the menu were also unexpected and tasty. By far, my favorite was the carnitas taco: roast pork with grilled onions, pico de gallo, guacamole, and pineapple. Fruity and flavorful, the dish was colorful and delectable, spicy, juicy, and zesty all at once.
The asada taco – made with steak, roasted pasilla peppers, pico de gallo, and guacamole — was also good, but had an overwhelming spice. According to our server, depending on the time of year, the pepper used in the recipe varies in heat. As much as I loved the flavor, I would avoid eating this scorcher after the dry, hot summer months.
Then again, my picky eater loves spice, and devoured the taco entirely.
The grilled Korean beef short rib taco, made with spicy green papaya salad, lemon sriracha aioli, and red chili threads, didn’t taste as exotic as it sounded. The beef was well cooked, but it overwhelmed the other flavors.
Also slightly disappointing was the béarnaise grilled burger. Ordered in slider form ($10.65), the mini-burgers came out greasy. While I liked the flavor of the patty and the fried onions, the béarnaise sauce took a back seat.
Not to be forgotten, however, was the beer. Of the five house craft beers available, we ordered three.
The House Belgian Amber Tripel was smooth and hoppy, reminiscent of Blue Moon but with a woodier taste.
The House Honey Blonde was light and sweet, refreshing and perfectly drinkable. Even the House Pale Ale, with a bit of a bite, would be a nice complement to any meal.
Yet my biggest advice is to save room for dessert. This is where our server, John Belanger, came in with the clutch play.
He surprised us with two dishes I wouldn’t have chosen myself: a salted caramel butterscotch pudding ($5.45) topped with house-made whipped cream, chocolate cookie crumble, and Maldon sea salt; and a mini peach apple cobbler ($4), served warm with caramel ice cream.
Both were decadent yet perfectly sized. The pudding was delectable, and cobbler the perfect fall dessert.