Saturday, July 10, 2010

Backayard--Menlo Park, CA

I would never have guessed that such a little restaurant in an unassuming, mixed commercial and residential neighborhood in Menlo Park could serve dishes packing such a powerful punch. With my wife's parents watching the young 'uns my wife and I bolted for some Jamaican jerk chicken and oxtail at Backayard. Both meats were devastatingly tender, with the oxtail meat falling off the bone at the slightest touch. The dark-meat chicken came coated with a jerk sauce with zip.

The rice was delicious, too. It was soft, flavorful and even included pinto beans in the mix. The plantains were terrific--it wasn't overly sweet and the outer crust was carmelized to a chewy perfection.

If there was any drawback, it was that the meal left both of us thirsty for hours. Because of the punchy jerk sauce, I didn't really detect an abundance of salt, but we both drank water constantly throughout the afternoon and early evening. I'm still going back, though. My wife tells me the Backayard in Palo Alto offers a great experience, too!

1189 Willow Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 323-4244