Restaurant reviews

Burgers and Birds at The Yard in Ilkley

Ilkley is one of those places that you visit and wonder why you don’t go there more often. It’s a place we’ve been to during the day fairly often, especially since we pass through it regularly when on our way to the Dales and the Lake District, but in terms of evening appeal, we hadn’t previously sampled too much of what the town has to offer.

This all changed last weekend when we headed to The Yard, which is tucked away in a courtyard in the middle of Ilkley. The Yard is an independent bar and food venue which is proving to be something of a hit on TripAdvisor. The Yard has just introduced a new menu focusing on Burgers and Birds.

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The Burgers side of the menu boasts such delights as ‘Pig Daddy Sweet’, which offers diners two beef patties, sticky barn ripped pork, cheese and bacon salsa, and the veggie offering, the ‘Fun-Guy Burger’, boasting grilled goats cheese, flat mushroom and red onion marmalade.

When we headed down there, we were feeling jaded by burgers after a less then ideal Burger King lunch in Palma Airport the day before in Majorca before our flight home, and so opted for the Birds element of the menu. We shared a whole chicken, with sides of onion rings, coleslaw, and fiery sweet potato fries.

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Let’s start with the sides first. We are so often let down by onion rings; they always seem to offer so much more than they deliver. These, though, were spot on. They were crispy, with more batter than onion, and perfectly deep fried. There was not a touch of grease to them in fact. The sweet potato fries were also amongst the best we have ever had. They were seriously spicy; there’s no messing around here when you order your fries hot. Dipped in The Yard’s own burger sauce, though, they became a thing of beauty.

As for the chicken itself, the legs and thighs were very good, with the skin a serious treat, and the breast of the chicken hadn’t dried out too much, which is often a threat when you order a whole chicken from bar restaurants. The skin was probably the highlight of the occasion, as should be the case with any good roast chicken.

The platter we shared was very filling, which was a shame as we had eyes for the Oreo Sundae, but next time The Yard, next time!

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