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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Hop Yard: A P-town staple for our score-card!

Lunch date #45 August 10, 2013

Looking for a place for lunch with two of our favorite guests: Emily and Jordan. Since they'll be off to college soon, we're happy to spend all the time with them that we can! We thought to head to the shopping center at Hopyard and Valley-and then remembered The Hop Yard (3015 Hopyard Rd, www.hopyard.com), a place I had gone after ball games, but never for lunch on a Saturday. I thought Mom would like their burgers and figured there would be plenty on the menu to please the kids.

Location 3.5 points: Average shopping center with fair amount of parking.

Ambiance 3 points: Sports bar inside, complete with dart boards, but is a bit "tired". Outside tables under an umbrella or trellis are nice, but with no-frills metal tables and plastic chairs. Unfortunately there were a lot of flies buzzing around—perhaps fueled by the busing station in the middle of the patio area that was stacked with soiled dishes.

 Menu selection 3.5 points: They have a reasonable amount of variety, considering it is a sports bar/grill. I thought Mom would be excited to see the "burger bar" offerings, but she went with a cheese-steak sandwich. Jordan and I both ordered the chicken wrap and Emily chose the chicken caprese sandwich. We missed an impressive list of lunch specials, on a separate menu, that somehow got buried under our regular menu stack and we didn't see it until after placing our order. 

Service 2.5 points: Started off very slow-we waited quite a while for an initial acknowledgment, but then were told by another waiter he would get drinks since our's was busy with a large table. He ended up taking our order, which confused our original server. The food was delivered pretty quickly, but we never saw a server after that. I finally had to flag someone down and handed over my credit card to pay without seeing the bill, as I was then pressed for time.

Food 3.5 points: Jordan and I liked our spicy chicken wraps and the seasoned fries were a hit. Mom's cheese-steak was served on a rather hard bread roll and they used banana peppers rather than the traditional freshly grilled bell peppers—sort of strange. Mom didn't mind as she had not tried these little peppers before and thought she might look for the jar next time at Safeway! Emily's sandwich was served on a whole-grain ciabatta that she said was good. Portion sizes were good for all and Mom and I both took home left-overs.

 Value 3 points: Our total bill with tax included came to about $14 per person. Pretty average for fairly standard food, although not a great deal by any means.

Overall score for The Hop Yard Bar and Grill: 3.2 points. Definitely a Pleasanton landmark and great for a snack after a ball game at the sports park. We had a fun lunch while enjoying each other's company on a lovely summer afternoon. 

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