By Lauren Zawatski | The Duquesne Duke
If you think that you’ve left behind the simple deliciousness of grilled cheese sandwiches in your adolescent days, The Yard is here to prove you wrong.
The newly opened Market Square location of the Shadyside original, which owners David Ondik (a Duquesne graduate), Mike Allen and Nirev Patel debuted a little over one year ago, is just as wonderfully enticing.
Their extensive menu boasts not just one but 23 varieties of the classic grilled cheese. With sandwiches like the “Young Cheezy,” “Crabby Patty” and “Yinz Guys Hungry?” you’ll not only satisfy your appetite, but also find yourself chuckling away at the creative names.
Some of the crowd favorites include the “Smack Yo Mama,” ($11) made with beer cheese, sweet and tangy BBQ pulled chicken and onion straws, and the “Mac Attack” ($12), crafted with a homemade cheddar sauce, spiral pasta and bacon lardons.
Yes, you read correctly, The Yard does indeed serve a grilled cheese with mac n’ cheese on it. What more could you want?
Additionally, all of the 23 grilled cheese sandwiches are served with homemade potato chips and tomato soup, perfect for dipping.
Also, if for some reason you are not in the mood for a delectable grilled cheese, the menu includes various other sandwich options to sample. Choices such as the “Yard Burger,” ($12) with a signature burger blend, cheddar cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and homemade garlic aioli, and the grilled “Yard Walker,” containing boneless chargrilled chicken, thick cut Applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and homemade mayo are great alternatives.
If you still have room afterwards, The Yard even has an entire dessert menu to choose from, including s’mores fondue ($7) and crème brulee ($7).
Though for college students the menu pricing may not be ideal, fortunately there is a silver lining. Monday nights at The Yard feature an impressive half-off grilled cheese special, making it much more affordable to try that appealing “Mac Attack,” and still have some money left for dessert!
During my recent visit to the Yard, I chose a lesser known but equally delicious grilled cheese deemed the “Lafferty, Daniel,” after the “Happy Gilmore” character. Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, crispy battered chicken, marinara and basil united to form this tasty sandwich with a likeness of chicken parmesan.
Immediately after I took my first bite of the sandwich, I realized how savory it truly was. The cheese, though quite messy at times, was perfectly melted and the thick Texas toast had an ideal crispness. The hint of basil gave a distinct finishing touch, and made for a unique flavor. The tomato soup also went perfectly with the sandwich.
For dessert, the seasonal and fresh peanut butter and jelly cheesecake caught my eye, and I settled upon it. Though it’s no chocolate cake, as a PB&J sandwich fanatic I thoroughly enjoyed its rich taste.
Overall, the restaurant’s atmosphere is upbeat and modern, which provides a perfect setting for adventurous college students looking to explore Pittsburgh. Yet, the moment you walk in, those serving make you feel just as pleasant and comfortable as you would in your own backyard! Some of the décor proves strangely reminiscent of a quaint dinner party in the countryside, with mason jars to drink from and a frying pan on each table that contains condiments.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a restaurant featuring unique tastes and a welcoming environment, be sure to check out The Yard!