Friday, July 27, 2012

Pub @ The Yard (The Lumberyard)

2700 NE 82nd Ave
Happy Hour: 3 - 6 and 9 - close, daily

This place is AMAZING. Seriously. And it's like no other place I've ever set foot in. Yes, the restaurant is new and it's clear that they are still getting things in order...but The Lumberyard--as a whole, even knowing that they are still growing--is a concept that I feel will be more than successful. I am already convinced that there will be more popping up in the near future, all made to resemble just how complete The Lumberyard has already become. It's an indoor bike park...but it is so much more. They've got tracks for all levels, a shop, space for maintenance, a restaurant and bar, a community space, classes, summer camps, and an art gallery (opening tomorrow).

Before settling into the bar for happy hour, I was able to take a quick tour of The Lumberyard. I suppose it wasn't so quick. This place is huge, after all. (The building itself was once a bowling alley...that's how big it is.) I don't know much about mountain biking or trail riding, so the tour also including some of the basics. I saw the jump lines and pump tracks, watched some of the kids there for summer camp attempt the cross-country track, and learned about the many levels indicated by color (and that they are planning to add an even more advanced track in the future). There was so much to see...and so much to do (if you are willing to climb on a bike--which I suppose I should work up to so I can come back for more than just dollar tacos and house-made barbecue sauce).

The dollar tacos might be enough, though. That, and the never-ending entertainment provided by those on bikes. I'm sure that there was some strategy involved when they put the restaurant and bar at the same end as the more advanced tracks. There were kids (and I say kids because of the summer camp...this place is for all ages) jumping and twisting and riding vertically up a wall without any mishaps. It was SO exciting to watch. But I did turn my head away long enough to study the happy hour menu...and since that's what this food blog is all about, I'd better start talking about it.

The happy hour menu is pretty lengthy. And they've got plenty of vegetarian options (which is always something that I look for). And it's all fairly inexpensive. They've got a couple of things listed at a by-the-item price (one dollar per taco, $1.50 per slider) making it really easy to try a lot of different things without spending too much.

I selected one of the tacos (after learning that I could substitute black beans for the meat options) and a bowl of the skinny dip. Before they arrived, though, we sampled all of the house-made barbecue sauces. I've never even heard of a white barbecue sauce. There were a couple of hot sauces, too. Hott, with two Ts to really emphasize what you're getting into.

The skinny dip was a spinach artichoke dip made with a recipe very similar to one I've had before. This one, however, was topped with diced tomatoes and onions and served with tortilla chips. It was good and a great price.

The taco (also a great price at just one dollar) was served on a soft flour tortilla and topped with tomatoes and a bit of shredded lettuce. If I wasn't already planning to go out for dinner later, I could have easily ordered a couple more and called that a meal.

My tour guide (co-worker, and very good friend) ordered one of the sliders. I was excited about the house-made coleslaw and quickly convinced her to have it served on the side so that I could have a bite. I love coleslaw.

The happy hour drink of the day is discounted by a dollar and (for today's choice) hadn't been decided on until we placed our order. I wasn't attempting to make any suggestions...but my gin and tonic officially became the drink of the day from that point forward. And so I had to order another. (No worries, though, they have a system in place to make sure that those riding the tracks have not had too much to drink.)

In the end, my bill was the cheapest I've seen in a long, long time. And when it was time to close out, I was able to do so using an iPad (second time this week and after never seeing this sort of technology before). So convenient!

I'll definitely head back to this place in the near future. And even if I'm not ready to ride, I'll bring some people who are.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Exceeds (like no other place, ever)
Value: Exceeds


Pub @ The Yard

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