Most students here in Rexburg live in apartments, part of larger housing complexes with no yards to speak of. If you’re like me, you long for the backyard of your childhood. Right across from Porter Park, you’ll find that backyard, with a selection of fare more familiar at a family get together than a restaurant. The Backyard is a new restaurant in town, which specializes in two things – hot dogs and frozen custard. By focusing on those two specialties, they’ve taken normally lackluster foods to a new level of quality. It’s as if all of your idealized memories of childhood came true. With nine or ten delicious varieties of hot dog and an equally impressive spread of frozen custard desserts, The Backyard will give you what you want.
With a convenient location, and good hours (11am to 11pm, Monday through Saturday), this is the place to go if you’re looking for a laid-back, casual lunch or dinner. When you walk inside, you’re greeted not with the average restaurant interior. You’ll see neither the primary colors of fast food nor the clichÃ?Â© kitsch of a casual dining chain. Instead, you walk into a well designed and cleverly executed Ã¢Â?Â¦ backyard. My fiancÃ?Â©e Jessica loved it. To use her description, “It’s cute, I like it. The bathroom is an outhouse, there’s a tree house in the corner, we’re sitting at a picnic table – it’s like you’re in the backyard.” The seating is fairly open, a surprise considering the compact size of the building.
Prior to taking your seat, however, you’ll need to order. Before we even had a chance to worry about our food, the friendly staff had offered us samples of their frozen custard. It was a cool, tasty way to let us forget the heat and treat us to a preview of dessert. We ordered two basic meal combos, a New York style Hot Dog with a Polish Sausage, and my fiancÃ?Â©e got a Supreme Nacho Dog, covered in nacho cheese, ground beef, olives and onions. Now, Jessica isn’t a big fan of onions and asked for them to be removed. At other restaurants, this sort of simple request has caused problems, whether they forgot to remove them or something else. That wasn’t the case here. There was no problem, and her Nacho Dog arrived onion free.
I should make a note about the portions. The meal combo gives you a hotdog, fries and a drink. Your average fast food place would give you a wimpy little Ball Park with a cardboard container of fries. Not the case here; your hotdog (already larger than the average dog) comes in a roll-style bun, and is then heaped high with toppings, everything from sauerkraut to nacho cheese depending on the order. Along with this serious dog comes a pile of hot, fresh fries.
In addition to our meals we ordered frozen custard for dessert. The Backyard offers several desserts, each based on one of three flavors; vanilla, chocolate and butter pecan. Now you may be asking yourself – what is custard? You’re probably familiar with ice cream or frozen yogurt. Custard is similar to ice cream; it’s made with cream but thickened using either eggs or corn starch. Once frozen, it becomes a delicious treat, much like ice cream, but with a richer flavor and texture. The Backyard makes desserts centered around custard, such as Raspberry Crunch, vanilla custard covered in raspberry sauce, graham cracker crumbs and covered in whipped cream. The portion size of the dessert was just as generous as the meals. In Jessica’s words, “This is huge!” All in all, it was a great end to a very good meal.
At $3-4 per meal and desserts from $2, this all comes at a reasonable price. With a full meal coming in under $10, it’s perfect for a date when you want a relaxed atmosphere, with an atmosphere and price range between budget fast food and more expensive casual dining. When all is said and done, The Backyard combines a casual setting, great service and a delicious meal, for a decent price. I give it a five out of five.
BACKYARD CUSTARD & GOURMET HOTDOGS
Fast Food & Frozen Custard
S. 2nd West
Rexburg, ID 83440