Yard House has opened in the shadow of what will be the future Orlando Eye. This was my first visit to a Yard House, and I was expecting emphasis more on beer than food, but the sampling we were invited to on a day before the restaurant opened surprised us.
Yard House has about 140 beers on tap, including local brews like Cigar City Alai. I spoke with the manager for a few minutes and he mentioned that in addition to all the beers, that there are about 180 combinations of food items available! Food here is made from scratch – again, another surprise.
There are 6 different pizzas on the menu, including Margherita and Ham & Pineapple. The pizza isn’t highly unique, but it is quite good.
We were each given 2 drink tickets. I asked our server what drink she would recommend, and I ended up using both of my tickets on the Hawaiian Sunset, which includes Skyy Infusions Cherry Vodka, Malibu pineapple rum, Dekuyper island punch & Razzmatazz. It is delicious!
Jeff had a Dreamsicle beer, with Pinnacle whipped vodka, Cointreau, citrus agave, orange bitters, white ale, garnished with whipped cream and fresh orange.
He also was given an accidental beer, which turned out to be a Florida lager. This turned out to be Jeff’s favorite of the drinks he tried.
This was my favorite item, and everyone raved about it. So simple, so juicy. Southern Fried Chicken served boneless and skinless over spinach-corn-mashed potatoes and bourbon gravy. Comfort food on a plate. Yes, please!
Seared Ahi Sashimi, seared rare, lightly blackened served with soy vinaigrette, wasabi and pickled ginger. Jeff raved over this dish.
There are two different items on this plate – the Hawaiian Poke Stack with marinated raw ahi with crispy wontons, carrots, daikon radish, avocado, wasabi soy sauce. I don’t eat seafood, but Jeff enjoyed this quite a lot. However, we both were a bit addicted to the boneless Firecracker Wings, tossed in a spicy sesame garlic plum glaze and garnished with green onions. Vegetarians can enjoy this with Gardein (there are 15 Gardein options, great for vegetarians!). I don’t like my foods too heavily spicy, this was perfect.
The bar is the focal point of Yard House, with all these pipes leading from the kegs to the taps.
Both the variety of food and beer is impressive.
Dessert was a Mini Creme Brulee with vanilla bean custard and chocolate topped with caramelized bananas. It is different than other creme brulee I’ve had, I highly recommend it.
Kegs can be seen behind glass.
The name of the Yard House comes from the 3-foot tall glass.
What I like best about being invited to try a new restaurant is discovering gems I might not have otherwise tried. I thought Yard House was mostly a beer establishment – and it does have almost anything a beer drinker could want. But for those like me who won’t drink beer, there are a lot of great food choices and signature drinks. If there is just one downside, the music was much louder than I prefer in a restaurant. I am not sure if that will be all day, but I definitely was ready to go by 9pm.
Yard House is located at the I-Drive 360 development that will also include Merlin’s Madame Tussauds and Sea Life Aquarium. Yard House is located at 8367 International Drive | Orlando, FL 32819, phone number 407-351-8220.