Price Range is the average cost per entree. The range does not include drinks, tax or tip.
We are going for averages here, folks.$ = Under $10: My money is funny and my credit won't get it!
$$ = $11 - $20: Just got paid....Friday night!!!
$$$ = $21 - $39: Don't cheat yourself....treat yourself!
$$$$ = Above $40: Splurge baby. Splurge!
CCC: "Triple C" rating. Establishments with this rating have that wow factor -- whether it be exceptional food or world class service. An 'eat-peat' is definitely in order. Consider placing these restaurants on your 'must do' list. Visit at your own risk - these establishments can cause late night cravings.
CC: "Double C" rating. Solid restaurant. Can be either average or above average. They excel in a few categories but may miss the mark in some others. Members will agree that these establishments warrant future visits and will recommend you pay them a visit. You'll find most restaurants with this rating.
C: "Single C" rating. Missing that "it" factor especially as it relates to good cuisine. Triple C members do not recommend this establishment. Not particularly worth the money, gas, time or effort, unless you get a rise out of let-downs. Hold on to your dough and spend it at restaurants with Double or Triple C ratings.
Opening in 2009, City Centre Houston is quickly becoming the hip hot spot for socialites, families and foodies alike. In addition to swanky lofts and popular retail shops, City Centre Houston also offers some of the finest upscale restaurants and bars. There are so many options. You’ve got RA Sushi, Eddie V’s, Cyclone Anaya’s and Ruggles to name a few. We’ve all personally dined at all of these restaurants at some point in our lives and can say with confidence that either one of these options would have been a winner. But, we decided Yard House would offer that casual dining experience we were seeking.
Yard House opened its first restaurant in California in 1996. It boasts one of the largest selections of draft beers and a menu with over 130 culinary treats. Fast forward just 15 years, and Yard House has opened 30 restaurants around the US, with the Yard House at City Centre being the sole location in Houston.
I attempted to make reservations considering the fact that we planned our tour during prime entertainment hours. To my surprise reservations are not accepted. Hmmm…is this becoming a trend? Under normal circumstances I would have strongly criticized this concept, but they do allow you to call 15 minutes ahead to place your name on the waiting list. On the up side, their location in the Centre makes it a people watching haven. Children playing on the lawn, couples in love strolling and an occasional questionable pack of people walking by. The people watching experience, combined with good conversation with the group made the time waiting seem minor.
Our little buzzer buzzed and we excitingly went in to get seated. First thing’s first….what kind of drinks are we working with? I’ve never been into beer, but recently discovered this heavenly beverage called cider beer. It’s sort of a sweet, fruity flavored beer. I opted for the Ace Perry Cider. The taste was very crisp and not overly sweet. I enjoyed it a lot. With over 100 types of ales, lagers, ciders, blends and even beer floats this is a beer connoisseur’s jungle gym. The foodie in you will be equally pleased. The menu is packed full of delightful eats. There’s a lot going on here, but trust me, even the finickiest diner should be able to find something they like on the menu. To help with the decision making I recommend giving the menu a peek before your visit. If you’re the indecisive type, consider the following lineup.
Ever start your meal off with a snack? Well you can at Yard House!! Sometimes you just need that snack before your appetizer; no, not really. But since they offer it I greedily indulged. I love sweet potatoes and enjoy a little swine every now and then, so I went for the sweet potato fries with a maple bacon dip. I think we all had in mind hand cut sweet potatoes with a light dusting of cinnamon-sugar. I think we were served frozen, pre-cut sweet potatoes. Not a huge deal breaker, but a disappointment still. The best part was that maple bacon dip. Perfect balance of sweet vs savory. Although this is a good starter, the potatoes are a little on the heavy side. Be careful – you can fill up on these things fairly quickly.
Next up? A hearty bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup. The texture is silky, the flavor is bold and the taste is not that same predictable chicken tortilla soup we’ve grown accustomed to. Crispy tortilla strips, avocado and fresh cilantro float atop the rich blend and creates an incredible textural contrast in your mouth. A must have indeed.
Then follow it up with a Chicken Enchilada Stack. Think Mexican lasagna. Layers of chicken, corn tortillas, roasted peppers and cheese welded together by a jack cheese and garlic cream sauce. The stack is perched upon a yin and yang of sauces, both offering two distinct flavors. Separate, the sauces are flawless. Together, it’s a marriage made in heaven. On one side, you’ve got a tomatillo sauce. The taste is mild and tangy with a subtle kick at the end. On the other side, the red chili sauce makes a gallant showing. The sauce presents an intense flavor and in your face (but not in a bad way) instant punch. The portion size is exact so the average person should be able to finish with no problem. Besides, it’s so good and flavorful you will not want to leave anything behind.
If you decide to follow our lineup, you’re likely be dealt the same fate — too darn full for desserts. Souffles, Brulees and brownees (OK, the spelling is off, but it rhymes) can serve as a flawless culinary nightcap if you play your cards right. Apparently we didn’t. Lucky for us, we believe in second chances.
Until next time…Cheers!!
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