Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hot Dog Review: Culinary Dropout: The Yard

It's that time again. Time for me to tell you about another great dining experience to check out whether you're a local here in Phoenix, or just visiting for the weekend. Culinary Dropout started as a Fox Concept restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale, where it found quick fame with its live music, innovative drinks, and yummy pretzels with provolone dip. They recently expanded and opened a second location in Phoenix on 7th St. and Montebello, which they refer to as The Yard.

What once was a motorcycle garage, is now a 53,000 square foot play place for kids and adults alike. Inside the building is the kitchen and indoor seating as well as access to the bar and a small stage for live music. But as you wander outside you are quickly consumed by the oversized "backyard" if you will. Equipped with ping pong tables, cornhole games, and picnic tables, this is a great place to come for an outdoor brunch, or a little competition between friends on a Friday night.

As for the food, Mr. Fox does not disappoint. The chef here is a James Beard nominee, and the gastropub fare is quite unique. I actually held my birthday brunch here earlier this year, and everyone seemed to have a blast. There is an array of starters to choose from, with mixed cheese plates, grilled artichokes, and my personal favorite, the soft pretzels and provolone fondue.

Their salad and sandwich selection ranges from turkey pastrami on a pretzel roll, to a double cheese burger, or go lighter with a crispy shrimp caeser salad, or a spring vegetable salad complete with asparagus, avocado, beets, corn, kale, and pistachios (so so yummy)!

As if you couldn't tell already, The Yard offers very rich food. It's your classic home cooking, but updated to modern times and local farmer selection. Entrees include 36-hour pork ribs, classic meatloaf, fried chicken, and even sweet corn canneloni.

I will admit that my favorite dining experience has to be brunch. Their covered patio makes it perfect to eat there all year round. Plus, who can say no to Cap'n Crunch Crusted French Toast. They've also got strawberry yogurt with granola, an egg white frittata, and a very filling breakfast burrito.

Now on to my favorite part; drinks. If you are a Bloody Mary person like me, then be sure you get the Bacon Bloody Mary, complete with a thick slice of bacon right there in your cocktail. They offer a great strawberry basil martini, and a great selection of beers, both bottled and draft. They even have a "paperbag special" for $1.95 they surprise you with a beer in a brown bag.

If you are planning on visiting the Yard, be aware that it is 21 and over only from 4:00pm-close, but children are welcome to come play around the grounds from open until 4:00pm everyday. All in all, great food, thirst-quenching cocktails, and amazing atmosphere. Plan you next outing to The Yard for something out of the ordinary!

And in other news, be sure to follow me on instagram at @hotdogfoodblog for photos, recipes, and fun new things happening in my kitchen!

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