The Yard House at Legacy Place in Dedham

YardhouseLast Friday night, we felt like grabbing a bite out with the 5-yo. I wanted to sit outside, so this limited our choices significantly. We opted to head over to Legacy Place in Dedam, because there are five different outdoor dining options there.

We wanted something the 5-yo would eat and didn’t want to wait for a table long, so we decided to try the Yard House, a chain restaurant known for having a very large number of beers on draft. I figured this place would have plenty of tables available. We immediately realized it would be too hot to eat outside anyway, as their patio faces the setting sun, so we figured we’d just sit inside.

We walked in at about 6:30 and the place was JAMMED. I was kinda surprise by this, as there are several other really nice, good restaurnts there and it was still early… but I guess there is a certain appeal to chain restaurant food for many folks. Not me. I was immediately turned off by how crowded and how huge the place was.

Let me preface this by saying I HATE CHAIN RESTAURANTS. I really do. So, my opinion is going to be very biased. I tried to keep an open mind though… and knew it was the safest bet for the 5-yo, so we decided to wait the estimated 20 minutes for an indoor table (OVER an hour for an outdoor table, even though we noticed two empty tables out there when we arrived). We went to the bar to grab a drink while we waited. The 5-yo held the drink coaster that would vibrate when our table was ready (YES, it’s one of those restaurants).

My first incliniation that we’d made a mistake was when I took a look at the drink menu. It seemed like EVERY SINGLE COCKTAIL had some type of DeKuyper liqueur, a flavored vodka or drink mix in it. If I want to have Grape or Watermelon Pucker, I’ll go to TGIF’s. Or better yet, if I ever DO want this… KILL ME immediately — I don’t deserve to live. Even their mojito was made with “mojito mix”. I groaned. I looked at the wine list… it was hot out, so a glass of white would be good. There were 7 whites offered by the class… and they were all crap. Let’s put it this way… they offer Beringer White Zin by the glass. Now I know I will get some scathing comments that I’m being an elitist foodie jerk with this… but hey, I have the right to my opinion.

Our table was ready within the 20 minutes and we were seated in a booth toward the back of the restaurant, near the kitchen door. The host that seated us was great… very polite, friendly and good with the 5-yo. There are TV’s everywhere… with sports playing. So D was able to see whatever World Cup game was on at the time.

I had just started Weight Watcher’s on Tuesday and didn’t want to mess up my diet, so I was looking foward to finding something somewhat healthy on the menu that I could work around. This did not happen. I stared and stared… but could find NOTHING I wanted. There are lots of items on the menu that SOUND good, don’t get me wrong! But they are all LOADED with calories and fat. There were definitely a few seafood dishes that were broiled and sounded yummy… but we didn’t feel like spending an arm and a leg, and the few that caught my eye were in the $25 range.

Even the salads sounded like they were 1000+ cals each. If I wasn’t on a diet, I would have been happy. I could have found some nice, heavy, fattening, chainfood meal that I would have devoured. Instead, I was frustrated and undecided. Finally, I picked the turkey burger, because I figured I could get it without any cheese or sauce on it and skip the bun. I would make this work.

The server came to take our order, I made D order first… just to make one last scan of the menu to make sure I hadn’t missed any other options (nope) and then it was my turn. I ordered and the server replied: “Oh, that turkey burger is delicious, but unfortunately we are all out tonight.” {blood pressure starts to rise… feeling flustered}

I stammered. I was was already in a bad mood from the heat, the drink menu made me more frustrated and then this kind of pushed me over the edge (in all fairness to the Yard House, it was a bad day for me). I didn’t know what to do, so I scanned the salads again and picked the Ceasar Salad with Grilled Shrimp ($15.85). I was not in the mood for a salad.

We got the 5-yo the kids Mac & Cheese ($6.95), which came with a drink, one side and a frozen dessert… so definitely a great deal for kids. I honestly don’t remember what D got…I think it was one of the burgers. One notable thing is that they do not provide the table with any bread or breadsticks beforehand. Not a big deal, but sometimes this is a necessity for crabby kids while you wait for your food.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my phone OR my camera with me, so I didn’t get any photos, but when the food arrived, it looked good. The salad looked fresh and had 4 large grilled shrimp on it. The verdict? It was good… I did enjoy it. It wasn’t what I wanted — so that was disappointing, but in the end I liked it.

Overall, if you enjoy a loud, crowded sports bar kind of atmosphere with TONS of beer on tap and typical high-end chain food menu, you will like this place. If you hate a place with a crappy cocktail and wine list and want some real, healthy — or at least interesting/gourmet food, then this place is NOT for you. Will I go back? Maybe… if I was with a group of friends grabbing a drink or apps — and the majority wanted to go there (though I would try to change their minds). Would I go back for dinner? No way.

The Yard House (at Legacy Place) on Urbanspoon

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 2.33 out of 5)