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You Need To Eat This: The Yard

I love a good pun, as much as I love good food. Fortunately I got both at The Yard in Shadyside.

This place opened in the spring and, as the owner told the Pittsburgh Business Times back in April, The Yard offers elevated "pub food."

There's a mix of items on the menu, including seafood mac and cheese, burgers, sandwiches and flatbreads.
But the main attraction is their huge array of punny grilled cheese sandwiches with names like "Wang Chung Tonight" (an Asian fried chicken sandwich), "The Jerk" (jerk pork with spicy cheese and sweet toppings) and "Young Cheezy" (spicy chorizo, potato hash and caramelized onions).

And I love that they're all made with Texas toast from Allegro Hearth Bakery in Squirrel Hill and use cheese from Wild Purveyors. On top of that, each towering sandwich comes with a pail of fries and cup of tomato soup.

I was feeling like seafood when I went, so I got the "Crabby Patty" which had Dragon's Breath cheese (I'm told it's like pepper jack), mozzarella, crab meat, Siracha mayonnaise jalapenos and onion straws.

The sandwich was tasty, the bread had a nice crunch to it and the crab meat tasted sweet and fresh. I also enjoy that there was no shortage of cheese on this puppy. You know when you bite down on one of those corner pieces of a sandwich and you realize all the fixings are in the center and all you ate was bread – not the case here.

That being said, although there was no shortage of toppings and cheese, I think the sandwich could have been improved by slightly less-thick slices of bread (that seemed to be a shared sentiment all around the table).

The fries were definitely a hit. They're unique in that they're almost halfway between a standard cut fry and a potato wedge – perfect for dipping and you get a choice of regular, Cajun, garlic Parmesan or sweet potato. I had the garlic Parmesan, which were coated with a heavy dusting of cheese to my delight. The sweet potato fries were crispy and tasty, but more importantly came with a cinnamon sugar butter for dipping. I want to dip all things in cinnamon sugar butter, always.

The tomato soup is a nice addition, but it wasn't anything to write home about. I did find myself dipping my fries in the soup though, which was pretty good. I might do it again.

My non-grilled cheese-eating friends gave pretty enthusiastic thumbs up for the hamburgers.

The prosciutto-wrapped shrimp was a winner too. I liked that the Prosciutto was more like a garnish to the shrimp, not overpowering it, just adding a mild, salty pork flavor. It also came with a light and creamy "hibachi shrimp sauce" for dipping.

And as for the bar, the "Adult Cream Soda" is worth going for. It's made with vanilla vodka, rum, buttershots and ginger and it tastes like you're drinking a Werther's hard candy. I mean, exactly like a Werther's, I spent my time at the bar joking that it was drafty and shaking my fist at young people these days. I loved it.

I do hope to go back and try the desserts. I was too full to eat any more bread, but I'm eager to try something called "Cause We Got High." It's basically everything I love battered and fried: peanut butter, Nutella, bananas on more Texas toast, all battered and fried and served with melted marshmallow on top.

Overall, it's definitely worth a try, especially if you love cheese. I will go back and eat my deep-fried dessert sandwich one day.

If you love food too, be sure to follow Sarah on Twittericon1 You Need To Eat This: Restaurant Week Summer 2014: @SarahtheKovash

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