"Back a yard" is Jamaican slang for the way things are done "back home." Now, I have never been to Jamaica (some day, I hope!), but I imagine that the food cannot be much better than what you can find at Menlo Park's Back A Yard.
Primarily a take-out joint, there are only four tables in the restaurant. Last night, Jon and I popped in, ordered our dinner and in less than ten minutes, we were back on the freeway headed home. (If your commute takes you by the Willow Road exit, this place is super-convenient.)
Back A Yard's menu offers a variety of jerk, barbecue, fried seafood, daily specials and side items. I ordered the Jerk Chicken meal. The portion was huge. For only $8.50, I got a pile of moist and flavorful chicken (spicy, but not too hot); perfectly fried sweet, ripe plantains; red beans and rice that had a hint of coconut; and a small serving of salad. I didn't touch the salad because I was too full after shoving forkful after forkful of the other delicious Caribbean food into my mouth.
Jon ordered the Caribbean Cobb Salad ($7.25), which has all the usual Cobb components plus some of that wonderful jerk chicken. He also ordered a beef patty. Since I was picturing a slab of grilled meat (like a hamburger), I was perplexed by this selection. But -- OMG -- it was so good. It's basically a flat meat pie, about the size of my hand, filled with spicy minced ground beef. I could really become addicted to those tasty, flaky pastries. Especially since they're just $1.85 each.
For dessert, I picked up a slice of the sweet potato pudding. It's a dense dessert, glazed on top and with raisins sprinkled throughout. I ate about three-quarters of it before collapsing on the couch in a food coma...
Note: Back A Yard also offers catering services -- something I need to keep in mind in case we have a graduation party for Jon next year!
Back A Yard
1189 Willow Road
Menlo Park, CA