Brunch Buddies: The Yard

Last weekend was a bit crazy. In addition to our narrated experience at Mario’s in the previous edition of The Tartan, I also imbibed some whiskey on Thursday and wine on Saturday. In an effort to tone down a developing habit, my friends and I decided to treat ourselves to a weekend brunch instead. It’s the perfect setting for a good time where drinking is not the only social activity available, but it is at the same time wholly welcomed. And the perfect place for both booze and brunch? The Yard.

The location: Its location is prime for the Shadyside/Squirrel Hill dweller like myself. Located on Bellefonte Street, right off of Walnut Street, The Yard sits next to a parking garage and across from a parking lot, giving drivers plenty of options. It’s also easily accessible by foot from campus or by the 71 bus. It is situated among shops, boutiques, and bakeries, giving the perfect opportunity for late morning leisurely strolls and window shopping.

The drinks: I was a little tired out from drinking, so I can’t speak on the cocktails they offered. However, we did notice they were a little on the expensive side. If you know you can drink your fill, though, they do offer bottomless mimosas for $15. That’s a decent deal if you deal your cards right. For slightly cheaper, you can help yourself to a Bloody Mary bar! The variety of drinks the Yard has is admirable. In addition to the brunch menu, anything from the lunch menu is available as well, making it possible for you to order one of their dozens of draft beers. They offer appropriate coffee-flavored concoctions as well, from a vanilla bean coffee cocktail to rum-spiked cold brew.

The vibe: The Yard is definitely not the classic brunch atmosphere — it lacks the white walls, all glass, avocado toast aesthetic. It’s casual and laid-back, with the music playlist they would use during lunch or dinner time still playing. We didn’t mind at all. Young adults around were enjoying themselves, and the room was playful but not too loud. We sat at a corner table that awarded us some privacy and comfort, but we still were able to enjoy the vibe.

Lit or nah: The Yard is known for having some lit moments — it’s iconic for its trivia nights. But with brunch, I think people are sleeping on that. Their brunch menu is extremely good with a balance of savory and sweet classics. My chicken and waffles dish was the bomb, and their beignet pancakes were poppin’. The crowd, however, was minimal. You can always play it safe and call in for a reservation. That could be a good thing if you’re trying to get a table, but there were plenty of seats open. I don’t think people know about the lit-tential of their brunch experiences without going to The Yard. Definitely give this place a try next time the line for Pamela’s is a bit too long.