Tag Archives: Yard House

Yard House Santana Row and BJ’s in Cupertino

The Yard House in Santana Row opened a year ago in April 2011 and  continues to be a popular place with good food and over 130 beers on tap. Had lunch there back in late December with a couple of buddies, one visiting from Boston.

I like their beer samplers and how they change them up weekly. These particular samplers were all very tasty.

Also back in late December was a cousins’ gathering at BJ’s in Cupertino.

On this evening, I particularly liked the Pale Ale and Jeremiah’s Red – they paired with my ribs the best in my opinion.

Some of these photos are from my cell. phone, and some are from my cousin’s camera. I very much appreciate that he took some photos for me as I forgot my point-and-shoot at home. That evening reminded me how it’s always fun hanging out with my cousins, which is something we did so often in our younger days.

Always Grateful,


Beers at Santana Row

Earlier this summer, my brother treated the toddler and I to a meal at the Village California Bistro and Wine Bar in Santana Row. I took the opportunity to do a beer tasting along with my meal.


I went for the Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA, New Belgium Somersault, and Napa Smith Lost Dog Red Ale beer flight.

I hadn’t quite yet acquired the full appreciation for IPAs (let alone Double IPAs) when I tried this beer flight, so the Double Jack was my least favorite due to the bitter taste when compared to the other beers.

These days, I greatly enjoy the Double Jack, which reflects how much my taste in beer has evolved since the beginning of this year.

The meal itself was quite good.


Roasted 38 North chicken breast – rock shrimp & andouille sauce creole, white corn polenta, Coke Farms braised greens.

Pan roasted California sea bass with fava beans, chanterelle mushrooms and Borba Farms baby squash.

Earlier in the fall, I had the chance to check the Yard House, with their wide selection of beers. I wrote a separate post about our thoroughly enjoyable outing.

Early last month, I tried the beer and burger pairing special at The Counter in Santana Row.


The draft selections, few and mostly straightforward, paired nicely with their respective mini-burgers. A nice addition to their selection is the Full Boar Scotch Ale from Belmont’s Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company.

Lastly, earlier this month, we visited Pizza Antica, where I helped myself to a Trumer Pils, a German pilsener beer brewed in Berkeley’s Trumer Brauerei. This beer was crisp and refreshing. And the food was excellent.


Warm Brussels sprouts salad with bacon, hard cooked egg, caramelized onion, and croutons.

Heirloom potatoes, caramelized onion, and white truffle oil.

Kid’s cheese pizza.

We enjoy hanging out at Santana Row, and it’s nice to know that there’s some good beer to be had there.

Cheers! Prost! Gun bae!


Taking Inventory of the San Jose and South Bay Craft Beer Establishments

Campbell Brewing Company
Campbell Brewing Company

The following establishments are the prevailing sources for craft beer in the San Jose and South Bay areas. By visiting them, you get to experience quality beers and help support local businesses.

For hand-crafted beer, check out the websites of the following San Jose area breweries and brewpubs (as well as a meadery) for overviews on their respective craft beer offerings:

  • Tied House Brewery & Cafe/Hermitage Brewing Company. 954 Villa Street, Mountain View. 650-965-2739; www.tiedhouse.com.
  • FireHouse Brewery. Sunnyvale location: 111 S. Murphy Ave., Downtown Sunnyvale. 408-773-9500; www.firehousegrill.comNote: There is also a location in East Palo Alto.
  • Campbell Brewing Company. 200 East Campbell Ave., Campbell. 408-866-2699; www.facebook.com/CampbellBrewingCompany, Campbell. Note: Located inside the Sonoma Chicken restaurant, their beer offerings on tap (not listed on their website) include: Kolsch, Hefeweizen, Pale, ESB (Extra Special Bitter), Scottish Ale, and a seasonal Barleywine (10% ABV).
  • Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant. 33 East San Fernando Street, San Jose. 408-294-6785; www.gordonbiersch.comNote: There is also a location in Palo Alto.
  • Los Gatos Brewing Company. 163 W. Santa Clara Street, Downtown San Jose. 408-292-9928; www.lgbrewingco.com. Los Gatos location: 130 N. Santa Cruz Avenue. 408-395-9929.

These following locations make up the San Jose restaurants and bars that serve compelling beer:

  • Wine Affairs. 1435 The Alameda, San Jose. 408-977-0111; www.thewineaffairs.comNotes: Craft beer fans of this place know not to be fooled by their name. There are special beer tastings that occur on Monday nights.
  • Harry’s Hofbrau. 390 Saratoga Ave., San Jose. 408-243-0434; www.facebook.com/pages/Harrys-Hofbrau-San-Jose/143417649033860Note: Their “Thursday Pint Nights” featuring a particular craft beer/brewery have become increasingly popular, as this San Jose location has ramped up its craft beer offerings this past year.
  • Yard House. 300 Santana Row, San Jose. 408-241-9273; www.yardhouse.com/CA/san_joseNote: With this location opening earlier this year in April in Santana Row, this place continues to be very popular, thanks in part to the over 130 beers on tap.
  • Teske’s Germania Restaurant and Beer Garden. 255 N. First Street (at Devine), San Jose. 408-292-0291; www.teskes-germania.comNote: German dining featuring German draft and bottled beers.
  • The Naglee Park Garage. 505 East San Carlos Street (at 11th Street), San Jose. 408-286-1313; www.nagleeparkgarage.comNote: A small, respectable craft beer selection on tap.
  • Tee Nee Thai Cuisine. 1423 The Alameda, San Jose. 408-947-7927. Note: Their Yelp page offers the best online source of information for this place, which offers a quality section of Belgian beers in bottles.

Lastly, there is a cluster of San Jose area bottle shops and stores that carry an array of top-notch craft beer selections:

  • Bobby’s Liquors. 2327 El Camino Real, Santa Clara. 408-984-1120; www.bobbysliquors.comNote: For what it’s worth, they have a growing number of highly rated Yelp and BeerAdvocate customer reviews.
  • Artisan Wine Deposit. 400 A Villa St., Mountain View. 877-WINE-730 (Toll Free); 650-969-3511 (Local); www.artisanwinedepot.com.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Enjoying Better Beer while Watching Monday Night Football in and near San Jose

Harry's Hofbrau in San Jose
Harry’s Hofbrau in San Jose

This upcoming Monday night, the San Francisco 49ers have a great opportunity to show the country just how good they really are, as they take on the perenially tough Pittsburgh Steelers at Candlestick Park. And as the 49ers battle to protect their slight edge in securing playoff advantages, this nationally broadcast game takes on even greater significance.

Yet, this special Monday Night Foothill game provides another wonderful opportunity – an opportunity to enjoy a fine beverage or two, as you watch the game along with fellow 49er fans.

The following is a quick look at San Jose and South Bay locations where you can catch the game, order good eats, and enjoy quality, craft beer.

  • Faultline Brewing Company in Sunnyvale – You can bet more than one of their 17 LCD flat screens will be televising this game.
  • Campbell Brewing Company in Campbell, located inside the Sonoma Chicken Coop restaurant – Catch the game with beer specials and $5 pizzas at the bar.
  • Yard House in Santana Row – A lot of good beers. Good food, too.
  • The Counter in Santana Row (like many of the other locations) has a Monday Night Football special, where for $15, you can have unlimited mini burgers, fries, and soda as well as one draft beer. It’s mostly all about the burgers here, but you can try the Full Boar Scotch Ale on tap from Belmont’s Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

First Visit to Yard House

A Yard House had opened close to us earlier this year in April.

… upscale-casual American fusion restaurant already has 29 locations open throughout the country and seven more locations opening within the next year. One of those seven locations will be… right here in Santana Row! This new addition to the Santana Row family will be opening on April 17, 2011 and will occupy nearly 10,000 square feet of the ground floor in the newest building here… Yard House will have over 130 beers on tap, over 100 items on their menu…

We’d been unable to check out the Yard House due to our schedules and the restaurant’s popularity.

And then we lucked out on a particular Sunday a little over a month ago, when we decided to stop by right after a morning trip to the gym. There was no 3-hour wait for a table. In fact, we got a table right away.

Go Niners!

That day, they did not have bratwurst. But they did have beers. I went for the traditional six pack sampler.

#1. Fire rock pale ale from Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Company (American pale ale/APA, 5.8% ABV).

#2. Longboard island lager from Kona (American pale lager, 4.6% ABV).

#3. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier from Germany (Hefeweizen, 5.4% ABV).

#4. Peroni pale lager, AKA Peroni Nastro Azzurro (Euro pale lager, 5.1% ABV).

#5. Boont Amber Ale from Boonville, CA’s Anderson Valley Brewing Company (American amber/red ale, 5.8% ABV).

#6. Back in Black IPA from San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery (American black ale, 6.8% ABV).

We enjoyed all the beers, but a couple stood out in particular that day, the Hefeweissbier and the Back in Black IPA.

My order of cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. Delicious.

Seared ahi tuna salad for wifey. Lunch-sized portion, which we also liked a lot.

Switching gears a bit, on the drive home after lunch we drove by a Verizon store to see if we could catch a glimpse of any of the ISA folks, as they were doing a meet-and-greet there while in town for a concert. Unfortunately, we did not, but we did see the long line that had formed.

Thanks to YouTube, these clips give a feel for both the meet-and-greet and the ISA concert:

Pretty amazing to be able to make a living out of making YouTube videos. I’m sure it’s much more difficult than it initially seems.

Anyway, back to the main point of this post: Yard House equals awesome!

Always Grateful,