Yard House

Everything about this place is large. There are big-screen TV sets, mammoth booths, cartoonish paintings on gigantic canvases, a colossal beer selection (110 varieties on tap), and Cheesecake Factory-size portions. Among our favorites was the spicy tuna roll appetizer ($10.95, and more like a jumbo tuna roll cake), comprising quality seared ahi, avocado, edamame, and cucumber drizzled in wasabi soy sauce. It's worth the price. So is the fancy take on a traditional grilled cheese, which comes with oven-roasted Roma tomatoes and a blend of cheddar, Gorgonzola, Swiss, and fontina cheeses. Then there's the creative array of half-pound Angus beef burgers, including a pepper-crusted Gorgonzola variety and a Hawaiian version with pineapple. All are served on potato buns and cost less than $13. But there are high-priced dishes too: $22.95 for a decent halibut plate seems a little excessive. Don't let that stop you, though. Smiles from servers and bartenders are always ample. And once you pass Yard House's strict ID scan from bouncers outside, it's hard not to have an enjoyable experience at this welcome addition to the Village of Merrick Park.

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