The Yard House – A review

Look! I don’t write anything for 2 weeks then I give you 2 posts in one day. Que exciting, non? (I know you like my FreSpanglish)

This past Saturday afternoon, Lovey and I took a journey over to Merrick Park, which is basically the mall where I can’t afford to shop. No matter, though, for Merrick Park houses what could very well be my new favorite restaurant, The Yard House.

Lovey and I had tried once before to come to this place, but it was on a Saturday night and it was jam packed. Neither of us is big on crowds and we really just wanted a drink and maybe a snack, so we took our business elsewhere. I am not, of course, faulting them for being busy. We knew that we needed to give it another shot and let me tell you, they really came through.

Being a sports/beer bar, the two things you might notice first upon arrival are, well, the tons of televisions and the huge bar. The hostess even asked if there was a specific game on that we wanted to watch so she could put us next to that television. Quality.

Service was above average. Our waitress was knowledgeable (which is no small task considering their beer menu alone!) and friendly. We only had to look for her once and that was more because we were dilly-dallying and not her.

Let’s talk food!

I’m not a foodie. Basically, if it tastes good, I like it. You know how things taste FANTASTIC when you’re hungry? Well, I was hungry but I’m fairly certain that the food was also just really good.

We started with their Spinach Cheese Dip. By their definition it is baked with feta, jack cheese, parmesan and cream cheese served with crispy flat bread. It’s hard to mess up a dip. The Yard House needn’t worry. They do this well. Truthfully, the dip isn’t that spectacular, but the flat bread really makes the dish. When they say crispy, they really mean it. It very well may have been fried but it had no greasy texture at all. Sorry, no picture of this one.

Because TYH has a gazillion beers on tap, they have a six-pack sampler that allows you to (ever so slowly) work your way through their selection. They’re even nice enough to change it every Tuesday. Those are the six that we had over on the left and they included: Erdinger Hefetrub Weisse, Shock Top, Brooklyn Lager, Murphy’s Irish Stout, Highland Gaelic Ale, and Dogfish 90 Minute IPA.

As far as beer goes, I’m no connoisseur, hell, I can barely spell that. I do, however, know what I like and do not like. Two beers fell into the “Oh hell no I’d never drink that again” category , two were “Hmmm, I’d try it again I suppose” and two were “Damn, that’s pretty good”.

The good:
Erdinger and Murphy’s Irish Stout
Honestly, I was surprised at the Stout. I went in fully expecting to not like it. I was wrong. It doesn’t have that fizz of beer but it still has a nice kick. Seems perfect for dropping a shot of Bailey’s/Jameson into. The Erdinger, well, if you have a chance to, I suggest you try it. It’s brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law. It’s smooth and tasty and a 5.3 kick compared to the Stout’s 4.0. (Stout is the upper right corner mostly hidden and Erdinger is center hidden.)

The not-quite-bad:
Shock Top and Brooklyn Lager
There are some things that I just don’t care for and citrus flavored beer happens to be one of those things. I don’t want a lime in my Corona (when there’s absolutely nothing else available), nor do I care for Micheladas. That said, a beer with orange flavoring isn’t likely to win my favor. Granted, the Shock Top didn’t totally disgust me and I’d think briefly about trying it again if I were in that fram of mind. Oh, and it’s cloudy. I don’t like that. Brooklyn Lager I’ve actually had before, but I didn’t remember until I tasted it. Some things I recognize by their bottle. It’s a little strong and bitter for me, but I’d still drink it again to try to give myself some culture. They weigh in at 5.2 each. (Shock is in the back row, left, and Brooklyn is front and center.)

The ugly (for me):
Highland Gaelic Ale and Dogfish 90 Minute IPA
Oh my. These two are not two that I will be revisiting. I’m sure there are people out there that like, maybe even love these beers….it’s just not me. These two are bitter, bitter, bitter. I guess that’s “hoppy”. Dogfish has been called the best IPA in America by Esquire magazine, but maybe my palate just isn’t ready. To keep with the flow of things, though, they come in at 5.8 and 9.0(!). We were buzzed before the food came. (Highland is front left and Dogfish is front right.)

On with more food!

Lovey had the Mac and Cheese which I did not get a picture of because he was busy tearing it up. I had a bite. It was pretty good for mac and cheese. It also had chicken, mushrooms and bacon and it’s just so hard to go wrong with bacon.

I had the Chicken Enchilada stack shown at the left. I guess it looks kinda gross, but it tasted fantastic! When I ordered it, the waitress asked if I was okay with spicy food so I was expecting a little mouth burn. That was probably my only disappointment in the entire trip. It wasn’t spicy at all. Or maybe it is to some people, just not those who worked in a Tex-Mex restaurant for four years or lived in Mexico for a couple. It’s got chicken and pasilla peppers (which I had never had before but wow are they good) along with a garlic cream sauce and the mandatory tortillas. Also, it doesn’t look huge, but I barely got through half of it and the other half was even better the next day!

Part of the reason I only ate half of my entree is because I LOVE DESSERT! It is, by far, my favorite part of any meal and I will skimp on appetizers and my entree to leave room for it. Priorities? Whatever.

The dessert menu isn’t huge, but the portioning is perfect. It’s enough to quiet your sweet tooth, but not so much that you feel like a total hog for eating the whole thing. That little baby over there is a creme brulee. Only my favorite dessert EVER. On the side and the top there are carmelized bananas. Under the bananas was the delicious goodness that I was waiting for plus a surprise I wasn’t expecting. You see, well, no you don’t, but anywho, on the bottom was a layer of chocolate which was a nice touch.

Overall, I’ve nothing to complain about from TYH. It was a mildly expensive lunch but hey, we’re stimulating the economy. If there’s one in your area and you haven’t been, get on your horse and ride!!

Reflections on my first 5K

Well folks, after all that counting down, it’s finally over and done with. In the beginning, I had a lot of lofty goals but as we drew closer, I came to a more realistic goal of just finishing. I’m happy I brought it down to that because that’s a goal that I accomplished.

The organizers kept saying that there was record attendance for the Turkey Trot this year. I believe it. There were tons and tons of people there. 4000 was the number that they were quoting. Out of those approximate 4000 people, I fell into about the 770 range. And you know what, for my first time out, that’s not too bad. I was 32 out of 99 in my age/sex group. Overall, a pretty decent showing.

It rained, hard, for pretty much the entire day before the race. Know what that means? Puddles. Everywhere. One that was basically a lake. That lake puddle? We saw it when we walked in and purposely avoided it. Didn’t matter as it was part of the course and everyone was forced to splash through it. Ouch blisters from running in wet shoes. 🙁

I found out (the hard way) that the course I had been running to train is actually a half mile shorter than the full 5K distance. Recalibration of the Nike+ has already occurred so I know what I’m actually up to from here on out. In an odd turn, I jogged the 5K this morning at a pace only slightly slower than I ran it Thursday. Stupid me, getting off my pace in the race.

Wait, I guess that I don’t have a pace, per se. When I run in the mornings, I just go. I know then what feels comfortable and I do it. This was my first time running with other people. You see, I have a little bit of an issue with being competitive. That’s partially why I love group fitness classes. I will push myself until I bust a blood vessel just to not be the one that quits. Well, I let my competitive nature get the best of me and rather than run at what was comfortable, I stepped it up a notch to keep up with those around me. Bad idea. At around 2 miles, I had to come to a complete walking pace because I was just beat. I’d say I maybe walked for a quarter mile before I got back to running. I now know that I need to train with a group so that I can be more used to what I need to do on race day.

Now that I have that all behind me, I’m ready to train harder, better, faster, longer. There’s another 5K in 2 weeks but I don’t think I’m going to play in that one. If I don’t, though, there isn’t another official race until January 17. That’s a tough call and very little training after returning from vacation (only 25 days left!!) and some seriously heavy tailgating on 1/3/10 but we’ll see.

Thanks, as always, for stopping my and seeing what I have to say. I hope your holiday weekend (if it was a holiday weekend for you) was fantastic and that your upcoming week is even better. 😀

Hep!

We can rebuild her, we have the technology

Well hello there! Haven’t seen you in a few days. How have you been? Good, bad, indifferent? I can only quote Mr. Tupac Shakur here and say “Keep ya’ head up.”

QUESTION?

Me? I’ve been keeping fairly busy doing nothing. Not that I don’t have anything to do, but I seem to have misplaced all of my “hey I wanna get up and do stuff”. I kinda feel like Bitch Shyner (see Family Guy) and the normal me went on vacation or something. The only thing that stays on schedule right now is my thrice weekly run. There are, after all, less than ten days left until I push out this 5K then rush back home to go to bed.

I’ve been told that I try to do too much. This may be true. While I like to have a lot to do, I tend to try to take on too much and then get overwhelmed by it. Yeah, I’ll just keep doing it though.

INTERJECTION!

I am not a bandwagon fan. I love my black and gold always, through good times and bad, and this past Sunday was definitely bad. This week, I’ll still be yelling at my TV, wishing the boys all the luck in the world and watching them take it to the Chiefs in their house.

The remainder of this post may jump around a lot, so if you’re not up for the Blair Witch of blogging, you might want to just quit reading here.

Begin brain dump…

I have four more practice runs before the race. As long as I don’t falter during the second mile and save a little oomph for the end, I should be able to break 27 minutes. Woo! I’m fast! Yes, I know, not so much.

Fairly certain that all clothing items that were needed for the upcoming snowboarding trip have been purchased. All that remain are lift tickets and lessons. Do you have any idea how wonderful Colorado is? Wonderful.

Only another class and 3/5 to get through until I’m done with this degree, thank you Jeebus. I will officially be one of the many to have gotten that paper. I’ll also likely be one of the many to not do much of anything with said piece of paper.

Certification information arrived so I need to make time to start reading it. 12 week program to ready myself for the test.

Deposit made. Dress selected. Save the dates ordered. Favors pretty much figured out. Am I done with the planning for this yet?

*Lyricist says: There’s some stuff you’re gonna see that’s gonna make it hard to smile in the future. But whatever you see, through all the rain and the pain, you gotta keep your sense of humor. You gotta be able to smile through all this bullshit. Remember that. *

Other things still to do: paint pretty much the entire house, Saturday lawn, clean the corner shelf (OMG, you should see THAT mess), figure out what to do with this whole social networking concept that isn’t for me.

…End dump

You do realize that I give you all of these things to think about so I can stop thinking about them and actually get some stuff done, right? I know, I’m terrible, but once again, I think Tupac said it best when he said “Only God can judge me. All you other motherfuckers get out my business.” No, not really. Well, not the second sentence at least. If I didn’t want you in my business, I wouldn’t tell it to you.

I wanted to give you a fun video here, but it doesn’t seem to be working. You might be able to see it over on my other home.

Later!

ROCO Friday – Very Superstitious


Yeah, go ahead and click that and start jammin’.

GO AHEAD! (The sermon can’t start without the music.)

Good day to the congregation. Today, the Reverend MiamiShyner is in somewhat of a p-funky mood. You know, that’s better than just regular funky.

It’s Friday the 13th! No ladders, no mirrors, no cats. Or no seeds, no stems, no sticks depending on how you run your game. Not legal but I ain’t hatin on ya. Seen the green do too much good.

Speaking of doing good, know that the Reverend MS practices what she preaches. There was a guy on the street this morning asking for help to get some food. Honestly, he didn’t look homeless but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t hungry. I got him a sandwich cuz I’m nice like that. It’s payday, I can blow a couple bucks putting out some good karma. ROCO!

Let us not forget our countdowns. 13 days, under 2 weeks left until I chug out this 5K. I have no idea why I’m even worried about it as I run it three times a week. Could be the same reason that I would get nervous before shows even though we had done them 20 times before. 🙂 I’m still a slow 27 minutes and change but I’m just concentrating on finishing. 43 (Troy!), 86 (Hines!), 212 (20 Sepulvedas + 2 Batches) till vacation, graduation, destination. Steelers on the brain much?

HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!!

Very exciting, for me at least, is that my information arrived this morning for my group fitness certification. I really enjoy torturing myself by having too much on my plate at all times. I also believe that I’ll be a kick-ass fitness instructor. I’ll work my way up to personal trainer after that. My plan is to have experience in a couple things before we move so I can be ready for anything.

Yesterday, I tried an apple cider vinegar rinse on my hair. It does remove a lot of buildup and residue but good gravy it stinks. After rinsing with hot water forever and then another shampoo, I think my hair still smells a tiny bit like vinegar. I’ll have to try another shampoo this evening but it was totally worth it. Likely not noticable to anyone but me but it looks cleaner and healthier now than it did before.

My congregation, go out into the world and spread the good ROCO word. People need to know about this! Just imagine if everyone was this happy every ROCO Friday. It might lead to ROCO Thursdays and who knows after that! We could all be happy! Let’s get on it. 🙂

Have a great day, a great weekend, and most of all, have a ROCO Friday!

Sometimes, the days just sneak away…

Wow, its been a few days, huh?

I suppose that’s just fine and dandy as I never promised I would write daily, at least I didn’t promise it to you guys. I only promised myself that I would try to write more often if for nothing else than to try to keep my sanity. So here I am. Hi! *waving*

At times, these things are likely boring to you, but I need to keep track of them and I like to look back at my blog down the road to see what was going on back in the day. 🙂

With their fifth consecutive win, the Pittsburgh Steelers take the Denver Broncos….and stuff them mile high. Great game. Thank you, gentlemen.

The countdown continues. It’s a mere 16 days until my first 5K. I already did my registration and everything. I just have to pick up my packet in a couple of weeks. I am hoping against all hope that Ida will be long gone tomorrow morning. She caused a little havoc yesterday morning as I TRIED to run. But, when the wind is blowing at about 15mph with gusts up to 30, it’s a little tough.

Next on the agenda is vacation! I can’t believe there are only 45 more days! We have most of the big stuff handled like flights, house, and equipment so now we only have lessons, food choices and the ever-important spa day for scheduling. I picked up some sweet Under Armour that I really hope does a good job. I hate being all bulky on the mountain!

Holy smokes, shortly after vacation finishes, 36 days to be exact, is graduation! It took me a while, but I’m proud to say I’m finally getting that paper. The question becomes what will I do with this elusive piece of paper and will it mean anything to anyone of importance? These answers and many more on the next episode of Soap.

Do you think that’s enough to worry about? You’re right, it probably is, but I’m not being me if I’m not overloading my plate with things to do. As such, the short list of the rest of it is below. The first bullet deserves its own paragraph or entire post, but that’s for a later date.

  • Hi, wedding. I guess you’re not gonna plan yourself although I have thankfully little to do to plan you. But every time I think about it, I remember something else. Aargh.
  • Group fitness instructor training – Yes, I ordered all your stuff today. I hope to be certified by the end of January. That’s certified, not certifiable, which I already am.
  • Social networking – It’s more than just talking to you guys! 😀 And I told my chiro that I’d see what I could do for him. Is it weird that I would only be able to do the whole social networking thing for someone I know/something I believe in?
  • Business plan – So I’ve got this idea. I just need to gather materials, put in some labor, create a website, register a domain name. OMG I have a lot of crap to do! As I’m getting closer with this idea, I’ll share. I promise.

I suppose that’s enough brain dumping for now. Thanks for listening/reading. I may get back to normal blogging without countdowns soon!