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“Three Strikes. I'm Out!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Backyard Bar and Grille

Backyard Bar and Grille
Ranked #26 of 107 Restaurants in Enfield
Cuisines: American, Bar, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Dining on a budget, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff
Northampton, MA
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Three Strikes. I'm Out!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2012

This restaurant has a great location and a tastefully decorated interior and a somewhat sparse, but tastefully chosen menu. My first visit there was on or just after their opening night. I was greeted by a lovely hostess who sat my family and the experience went downhill from there. Once we were seated, it was about twenty minutes before the waitress approached us an asked us for drinks. That seemed odd, because although the ratio of servers to tables was almost one to one (my guess is that they were training a lot of staff that first week). She took our beverage orders, read off a few specials and left. It was another ten to fifteen minutes before she returned with out drinks (forgetting my beer). I was expecting the food to be wonderful, because as we sat, I saw a variety of nicely presented burgers and dinners being served to the tables around us. The waitress was going to leave to get my beer without taking our dinner order, but my wife asked her to please take our order before she left the table (again). My wife was already upset that we were in the restaurant over a half hour and had not ordered. We decided to try a few appetizers, a couple burgers, a wrap and an entree. The appetizer we ordered was marinated, grilled chicken and swordfish on skewers and a ceasar salad. It took another 30 minutes for that to arrive and when it did, it only had swordfish on it (my kids are not big fish eaters). The waitress explained that they ran out of chicken. We were not given the option to switch. They just made the substitution for us an assumed an all fish appetizer would be fine. The ceasar salad never came. When the burgers came, a similar swap from the sweet potato fries to shoe-string french fries was made because they ran out of those too. The entree (a steak) was average at best-- not at all of the quality that I would have expected from a "grill" place. I also noticed a dark-haired man, dressed in a suit with slicked back hair monitoring the place. I figured he was one of the owners and was half-hoping he would stop by the table, introduce himself and ask us how things were going. No such luck, however.

At this point in time, my kids were restless and my wife had also run out of patience. It took another tedious 15 minutes to get the check (and another 15 minutes to correct it, since I was charged for a ceasar salad that never came). It was an almost 2-hour trip for a mediocre meal with lousy service, unrequested food substitutions and over-charging.

We tried a second time after 4 weeks. After all, it was opening night (or near-opening night) and I had hoped they had worked the kinks out. No such luck. Service again was awful and slow. Fries were undercooked, as was my son's burger (since when does "medium" mean cool and bloody center?). Beverages took forever to be served (and water or refills just did not happen). Food selections on the menu were again not available. It was an almost perfect repeat of visit #1 (except with less servers and no attractive, friendly hostess to greet us at the door).

Strike three came this week when, after work, my coworker wanted to try the place for lunch. He told me he had heard "good things." I kept quiet (again, half-expecting that they worked their issues out). We got to the restaurant and the bar area was half-full. the restaurant area was less than half full. The server asked "how many?" "Two for lunch." We were told it was going to be "ten or twenty minutes." I was astonished. A wait for lunch in a restaurant not even half-filled?!? I pointed to all the empty tables and asked what the issue was. "Our cook is behind on his orders" was the answer. I asked if we could sit at one of the tables while we waited. She responded "no" coldly. My colleague asked if I wanted to wait at the bar. I told him no and that I was no longer going to give this place any more chances. We had a marvelous lunch at Figaros.

Backyard Bar and Grill has a nice, convenient location and is tastefully decorated. If you walk in there the first time, you will likely be thinking this will be a lovely restaurant. After you have had your fill of waiting, rudeness, poor food preparation, unrequested item swaps, bad service and over-charging, I'd be surprised if you come back a second or (in my case) a third time.

Three strikes-- this place is out of my dining choices for now.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank skimd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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91 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Selkirk, New York
Level Contributor
65 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Good mac and cheese jambalaya – Burger was nice too.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2012

somewhat of a skimpy beer selection, but the food was down home good and, hey , it's not a chain! A converted Friendly's, had the remnants of a happy hour crowd there when we came in @ 8ish. Staff was young and pleasant.
The Mac and cheese Jambalaya was something I wish I'd thought of. Anjuli (sp>) Sausage, nice size chunks of moist chicken, and plump shrimp done just right. All mixed with Mac with (I think) Monterey Jack and pepper cheese. My colleague had a burger which came on a very nice bun and not a blink at the request for medium rare.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Ken B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Stay at hotel”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2012 via mobile

Wow food not bad. Service worst I ever had and I live in N.Y (L.o.L). App and dinner brought at same time
That I have had happen no big deal but watriess wanted to take plates (Really), no I'm gonna eat that then
Not five min later she brought the bill when we were all still eating (Gina ) really don't listen to the older girls
From n.y your tip bad would have been at least $20 thats how we roll tell big blond she cost you $15 dollars
Do what u think is right. we were do wrong. Would drive bye. Bye bye

Helpful?
1 Thank Shannon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Longmeadow, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Worst Experience”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2012

My family and I were really looking forward to trying the Backyard Bar & Grill, because we are from the neighborhood. However, they should have spent more time finding good help and service, then on the decor. We had the worst experience at the restaurant. Not only was the entire place filled with an overwhelming grease/burnt smell, but it took over an hour to get our food one plate at a time. We would have been a little bite more understanding about this new restaurant, if the wait staff or even the owner acted like they cared about the customers. Our beverages went unfilled, the food was disgusting, and the cherry on top of the sundae, the check gets thrown at us. Looks can be very deceiving, I would never recommend this restaurant.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Kat G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
enfield, ct
Level Contributor
45 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“1st Visit...Completely Impressed...Can't wait to go back”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2012

We live only a few miles away and this one really snuck up on us, but one day, lo and behold, the Backyard Bar and Grille had opened. I happened to mention it to some co-workers and was pleasently suprised to hear rave reviews of the place. Now my wife and I are not drinkers, and the thought of a noisy bar is not our thing. I was assured that we would love the place. Just got back from our 1st visit and we are just sorry we didnt go sooner. Pleased that the bar isnt imposing on the rest of the place, we hardly knew it was there. We were greeted with a smile and some pleasent conversation as we were quickly seated. We had gotten there a tad early , so no wait, but soon the place filled up behind us. Our waitress Tasha was quick to introduce herself and answer some questions we had about this wonderful new place. The menu became a major problem for me as there were too many choices that hit home and some that had been recomended by friends. I finally chose the Rattlesnake Mac and Cheese and my wife the Flatiron Steak cooked medium. Tasha kept our drink glasses full and kept us posted on our dinners progress. When they arrived, the Mac and Cheese was a work of art (just order it and you will see what I mean). My wife's steak cooked to perfection with some awesome sweet potatoe fries. The food tasted as good as it looked and the portions spot on. One more bite would have been painful. When we told Tasha how pleased and impressed we were, she sent the owner Lou over to say hi. We thanked him for a wonderful dinner and complimented him on creating a place that was different than any other around. I wish Lou the best. I really think he has a winner here, and to anyone else who might have hit it wrong in the opening days, I really think you owe it to yourself to go back. You really dont know what you are missing.

Dan & Deb Climan

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank dan c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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