Only in Atlanta can they spend hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on stadiums and not require anyone to vote on whether this is a good idea or not. The politicians in these parts have recently done this, not once, but twice with stadiums for the Braves and the Falcons. At Date Night, we are two of the Cobb County taxpayers who are on the hook for the new Braves stadium complex.
One of the things the Braves got in the deal was the ability to build The Battery, a Vegas-style collection of shops and restaurants without the gambling. This is a playground for baseball fans, designed to wring lots more money out of your wallet after you pay for game tickets and parking. We can’t imagine what the crowds are like in The Battery restaurants during game day, or how bad the service must be, so checking the Braves’ schedule, we decide to visit on a non-game day with our pals Claudia and Randy.
We would normally insert a picture of Yard House here, but it’s a dark and stormy night in Smyrna and we don’t want to take out the camera. Date Night does not love eating in chains, but at least this one has really good beer. We have eaten at Yard Houses in Atlantic Station and Fort Lauderdale, so when they say they have “the world’s largest selection of draft beer”, we know that it’s our kind of place. This location claims 130 taps. It reminds us of a Taco Mac, (oh sorry, TMac) with better food. Here’s what we get out of the Yard House taps:
Notice the Belgian beer tulip glasses, which means lots of high-alcohol beer at our table.
Eve and Randy get the same beer, the “house” Belgian amber tripel (9%), which is brewed by Unita Brewery in Utah. The dark beer is Claudia’s, which is the potent 11% Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad. Good thing she isn’t driving. This beer tastes like you are drinking coffee-infused milk chocolate. Amazing. My beer (on the left) is a favorite that I never see on draft. The Gulden Draak 9000 quad (10.7%) is light in color for a quad with a taste you will always remember.
We had better put some food in our stomachs to counteract these potent beers.
The poke nachos are the best thing I taste tonight. They put ahi tuna on a bed of crispy wantons and cover it with a nice Asian sauce. Throw in some avocado and sesame seeds and you have a really nice starter.
Two of us get salads, and two of us get stuff they actually have to cook in the kitchen.
Randy gets the Nashville hot chicken sandwich.
His verdict is that it was not hot at all. He enjoys the dish, but wishes there was a bit more spice in it.
I get a couple of street tacos.
The beans and rice sides are nice and hot, but the tacos are ice cold. They would have been a lot better if they were served ten minutes before I get them. I would have sent them back, but nobody ever comes to check on us once the food is served.
Here’s a couple of dishes that are supposed to be served cold, like Eve’s quinoa salad bowl.
This is one good looking salad, and it’s huge. It’s so full of good things (beets, quinoa, raisins, pumpkin seeds and feta) that it almost makes you want to be a vegetarian. Not really. Lucky me–I get to help her finish it.
Unfortunately, we are about to be assaulted and we never see it coming. Halfway through our meal, someone decides to turn up the volume on the NBA finals that is playing on most of the monitors in the restaurant. They don’t turn it up just a little–they turn it up so eardrum-busting loud that ordinary conversation can no longer be heard at Yard House. We have to yell at each other. The staff is yelling at the customers, who can’t hear them. We finally track down that elusive waiter and ask him to get the volume turned down. He returns a moment later and says the manager wants it that loud and they can’t turn it down. I tell him to bring the manager over. The manager tells us that they will turn it down, but it’s still so loud that we can’t hear each other. This on a night when the place is not crowded. It’s almost as if they want us to leave.
Since we are (still) celebrating Eve’s birthday, we don’t leave and we order dessert. How’s that for sticking it out under adverse conditions. Actually, we are enjoying each other’s company, even if none of us can hear a word we are saying! The desserts are worth sticking around for, like the fresh baked brownie.
They top this one with mint chocolate chip ice cream. Good stuff. So is the mini chocolate souffle cake.
Although we are almost deaf by the time it’s finished, we enjoy the chocolate goodness in this dish as well.
The bottom line on Yard House at The Battery: Great beer selection or not, you wonder who hires a manager who cares so little about his customers that he turns the volume up to ear-splitting levels and then refuses to turn it down. The food isn’t bad, but from our experience, you might want to stick to the salads. Or pop in here for a beer and then go eat somewhere else. Fortunately for all of us, there are a lot more places to eat at The Battery. We’ll probably be checking more of them out in the months ahead.