The Best & Worst Menu Items at Yard House
When you're looking for a fun mix of global foods, casual vibes, and a large selection of beers, Yard House is definitely the place to go. On the menu, you'll find different types of American comfort food, from cheese curds and spinach dip to hot chicken and jambalaya, and there are even some international favorites such as Mexican enchiladas, Filipino lumpia, and Korean BBQ. Because the menu is so diverse, we consulted Laura Burak MS, RD, CDN, to help us pick out the plates that are best for you, as well as the ones to steer clear of.
Here's our breakdown of the best and worst Yard House menu items.
Snacks and Apps
Best: Chilled Edamame
The edamame, which clocks in at only 100 calories, and the ahi sashimi (below), which hits at 410 calories, are two of the best choices to start. "Both apps are full of protein, which will take the hunger edge off so that you won't end up overeating your entrée," Burak explains.
Best: Ahi Sashimi
Thanks to 28 grams of filling protein, this is a satiating appetizer to start your meal.
Worst: Chicken Nachos
The chicken nachos contain a whopping 2,470 calories. There are 155 grams of carbs—which equates to over 10 servings—55 grams of saturated fat, and more than 4,000 milligrams of sodium. "Since this falls in the appetizer section of the menu, I would hope that a bunch of people share this one," says Burak.
Worst: Wisconsin Fried Cheese Curds
The Wisconsin fried cheese curds are just as unhealthy as they sound, with 1,980 calories and 56 grams of saturated fat. Plus, they contain an outrageously high amount of sodium, which is almost four times what an adult's daily sodium intake should be.
Soups and Salads
Best: Mixed Field Green Salad
According to Burak, "The best choice of a starter at a restaurant is always going to be the mixed greens salad." The calorie count of 240 already includes the dressing, and veggies alone barely have any calories and provide the most volume and nutrition.
Worst: Chicken Tortilla Soup (Bowl)
A bowl of chicken tortilla soup alone has more than 1,000 calories, which is over half of the recommended daily caloric intake for an adult. Plus, it contains 300 milligrams of cholesterol, which already maxes out your recommended daily cholesterol.
Best: Full Ahi Crunchy Salad
Though the full ahi crunchy salad has 1,450 milligrams of sodium, Burak thinks that it's still the best choice out of the entree salads with only 710 calories.
Worst: Full BBQ Chicken Salad
You'd think that a salad would be a safe option, but the full BBQ chicken salad has 1,660 calories and 2,710 milligrams of sodium. That's as much sodium as you would get eating three Burger King Whoppers.
Best: Small Spicy Jambalaya Pasta
Of these less-than-ideal choices, Burak's pick is the small spicy jambalaya pasta because it is a smaller portion, so it, therefore, contains fewer calories and carbs than the other house favorites, and you're less likely to overeat.
Worst: Southern Fried Chicken Breast
The House Favorites section of the menu contains the biggest offenders. The southern fried chicken breast has 2,020 calories, which exceeds the 2,000 calories a day recommendation on our American food labels, and 44 grams of saturated fat, which is the equivalent of five and a half McDonald's Big Macs.
Best: Pepper Crusted Filet
The pepper-crusted filet contains the least calories, sodium, and cholesterol out of the steak choices on the menu, but keep in mind that it also has the highest amount of sugar as well. With 20 grams, it contains only a little bit less than the amount of sugar you'll find in a Snickers bar.
Worst: Large Sirloin & Potato Stack
The Large Sirloin & Potato Stack has 2,510 milligrams of sodium, which is way too much to be having in one meal. That's as much of the salty stuff as eating more than 139 8-ounce bags of potato chips.
Best: Small Vodka Shrimp Pasta
"Believe it or not, the small vodka shrimp pasta falls way below the other seafood entrees in calories and sodium due to its smaller portion size," says Burak. "When in doubt, always pick the smaller dishes to slash calories in half."
Worst: Crab Cake
The crab cake (literally) takes the cake when it comes to the seafood choices. It contains 117 grams of fat, which is way more than the amount of fat you'll find in two pints of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream.
Best: Margherita Pizza
"The margherita pizza has 840 calories and 1,570 milligrams of sodium, so if you and a friend split a pizza and add a side salad, this meal can be one of the healthier choices on this menu," Burak recommends.
Worst: Carnivore Pizza
The carnivore pizza has 1,400 calories and 3,040 milligrams of sodium, which is almost double that of the classic Margherita, due to the meat toppings.
Best: The Beyond Burger With a Salad
"The Beyond Burger has 850 calories and comes with a salad, so I am picking this one over the lamb burger due to the additional veggies—not because it's a meatless burger," says Burak. This burger choice has the least saturated fat, and it is the only one with no trans fat, so it comes out on top as one of the healthier picks in this category.
Worst: BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger
Even though this burger doesn't have the highest calorie count on the menu, the extra bacon and cheddar toppings on this burger contribute to the 28 grams of saturated fat, which is almost three times a typical serving of corned beef hash.
Best: Roasted Turkey Club
The roasted turkey club has 800 calories, which is the least in the sandwich category. Plus, it has 51 grams of satiating protein.
Worst: Filet & White Cheddar Melt
The filet and white cheddar melt has 1,300 calories and nearly 1,700 milligrams of sodium, and that's without factoring in the addition of fries. The sodium count is equivalent to more than five servings of ranch salad dressing, which lands this meal at the top of the list for the unhealthiest sandwich option on this menu.
Best: Ice Cream, Vanilla
"A small scoop of vanilla ice cream is only 210 calories and will always be one of my top picks on a dessert menu—after fresh fruit, of course," says Burak.
Worst: S'mores Brownie
According to Burak, this dessert is best consumed if it's shared with the table. It has 213 grams of carbs, which mostly comes from the 143 grams of sugar. Eating this by yourself is like eating more than 10 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.