If you’re looking for a consistently delicious hole-in-the-wall on the Peninsula, Back A Yard is it.
Sure, it’s in East Palo Alto, next to a ragtag laundromat, but we do double-duty and get $20 in quarters while we’re there. (Curse you, $1.75 dryers) Bonus: the Mexican grocery store across the street is a winner for your corn tortilla needs.
But back to the restaurant - the staff is incredibly nice, and the kitchen is unbelievably consistent. In short, Back A Yard is one of our top cheap eats hangs in the Bay Area. We like to kick it on the patio at lunch time and revel in the melodious roar of car traffic.
Ordering is easy. Get the jerk chicken and pork platter. If you really like chicken, just get chicken. If it’s the jerk (not fried) catfish special day, get that too. Multiply your party size by two for the appropriate quantity of corn festivals. That's how you do it here.
At the end of the day, Back A Yard is one of the few places worth spending your money south of the Mission district. Hit it early and often.
This is the signature. We suggest getting some pork in there, unless it’s jerk catfish day or your proclivities lean toward salmon. The plantains and coconut rice are a welcome bonus. The salad (pour the extra jerk sauce on there) is mediocre, but who cares? This plate is near perfect. You definitely didn't come here to eat a salad.
If lightly-fried cornbread sounds like a “festival” to you, you’ve come to the right place. Definitely want to add these on and garnish heavily with the Jamaican hot sauce.
Consider the daily special. The oxtail is fatty but pretty tasty. The curries are worth testing out, while the ackee codfish is not. The rest isn’t worth it. We tried it all so you wouldn’t have to. Just get the jerk chicken.