Brunch @ Yardbird Southern Table and Bar
I know its been mentioned a few times recently in threads but i just wanted to give a quick review of my trip to Yardbird today for Brunch! In short: I LOVED THIS PLACE. I grew up in South Carolina and Tennessee and as such am always looking for some good southern cooking... and this was about the best ive had down in SoFl.
I went with 4 other friends and I'll give the rundown of what we ordered:
Heirloom Tomato Salad: Nice juicy, generous chunks of heirloom tomatoes with a good acidic kick and a generous hand of basil (one of my favorite flavor combos: tomato+basil!). Big enough to share for a few people as an app or for a vegetarian entree on its own.
Momma's Chicken Biscuits (my personal order). Nailed the fried chicken, biscuit was DELICIOUS and moist, and pepper jam was the perfect sweet balance to the chicken. the pickled veg it came with was a nice touch (and they do pickled okra well here! yess!)
Ham and Cheese Biscuit: didnt get to try this one personally, but it looked like A LOT of cheese (which some might be OK with... but not my personal preference). did get a bite of the ham though and it was very good.
Smoked Chicken Sandwich: Loved the combo of flavors on this sandwich. Fruit, nuts, smoky chicken, nicely toasted bread... and a big portion. very good
Short Rib Sandwich: Again, nice portion, and plenty of meat on this one! the Tomato jam it is served with is very good as well. love a good homemade tomato jam.
Banana Bread: Comes to the table warm, soft (with a slight crunch on the top crust), dusted with powdered sugar, and with Pecan Maple butter. Was banana bread just like momma makes, if she paired it with a good chunky pecan butter.
Pumpkin Beignets: Crispy outside, light, fluffy inside. Come to the table nice and hot The star of this dish was the strawberry preserves hiding at the bottom of the dish though... make sure you get some of these with each bite!
The atmosphere here was also very fun, homey, and vintage, which won all of us (Dixieland Ex-pats all!) over immediately and made us all homesick. If i had any complaints they were:
1) our server was not at the table quite as much as id like. but they were very busy while we were there (lunchtime) and he did still take good care of us. so not a huge deal
2) the fresh fruit that came with the sandwiches was very cantelope heavy, which is not my favorite. wish they woulda thrown a few more pineapple chunks or strawberries in there! cantelope just feels like a throwaway fruit in fruit salads to me.
anyways. i enjoyed this meal and will definitely be going back to try the dinner menu (shrimp and grits is ALWAYS on my radar).
would love to get other opinions on this place and hear about their other dishes for when i return!
We went for dinner - a whole group of us including two small children (7). The food was fabulous- especially the salads but then so was the mac and cheese and fish - but what was amazing is the attitude of the people who work there. We were very late for our reservations as we were stuck in horrible traffic. We had called but ended up even later than we anticipated. As the place was packed, they could easily have turned us away or had an attitude but instead they were welcoming and offered wonderful service - something that we have found to be in short supply all too often in South Florida restaurants.
Great to see Yardbird get love on this board. It just so happened that I took a group of seven for a dinner reservation the same day that the OP apparently enjoyed brunch there. Our table loved all the dishes we ordered to share--the chicken biscuits being a favorite of ours, too. As wine drinkers, we were also thrilled to find a cabernet franc on the wine list that paired well with all the Southern flavors. The room was hopping the night we were there, but despite the crush of diners, the staff was sweet and accommodating as could be. I'd return soon if I lived in Miami.
This place is definitely worth the trip and the calories -- all the way from NYC for me and my lunch date! I planned out a tasting menu after obsessively studying their menu and Yelp reviews, and though my companion thought it would be too much, our waiter seemed unfazed when we ordered the Short Rib Sandwich, Mama's Chicken Biscuits, Waffle Fries (with tasty bacon salt!) and the Mac and Cheese. Everything was AMAZING, perfectly portioned, and timed very well so once we were finished with a plate another one magically appeared!
First off, the waffle fries. The bacon salt. The buttermilk dipping sauce -- with pieces of bacon and chive, no less. It's hard to describe how amazing these were. Can't remember if they're on the brunch menu so definitely go for lunch or dinner when they have them.
Next up, the Chicken Biscuits -- the biscuit was wonderfully moist and flaky, the pepper jelly was spicy, and the chicken was perfectly fried. I knew it would be an amazing sandwich when I picked a piece of fried chicken skin off the plate before I ate anything else and was already in love with it!
Mac and Cheese came out next, and this may be the best I've ever had! Nice crust on top, perfect amount of cheese and cream and pasta. Flavorful without being too exotic -- comfort food at its finest.
Last thing out was the Short Rib Sandwich -- by this point my companion and I were getting pretty close to full. But the meat and the bread looked so delicious I couldn't ask for it all to go, so instead we split one-half of the sandwich, and I'm so glad we did! The meat was incredibly tender and flavorful, and the bread too was so much more than your average sandwich bread - it was almost like garlic Texas toast! Taking home the other half was a blessing...the next day, as I was going through Yardbird withdrawal, I was able to savor the last bit of their fine Southern cooking.
I might never be invited back down to the South for saying this, but what you can get here, in Miami of all places, is better than any other Southern food I've ever had. It's definitely worth it, and for all we ate, it was only about $25/person.
Having been too engrossed in conversation to pay full attention to the meal, I will add to this thread only to echo the previous comments and add a couple of details.
Four of us enjoyed a late brunch here yesterday, a Friday in December. We all agreed that Yardbird offers mostly terrific food at a price/value ratio that I imagine is much more favorable than many SouthBeach eateries.
We began the meal with a trio of salads:
Watermelon salad (side dish, $5) was comprised of fresh chunks of scarlet-red, seeded and well-salted watermelon tossed in a light viniagrette and topped with liberal doses of black pepper and fresh mint. Simple and well executed.
My personal bar for the now ubiquitous Kale Salad ($11) has been set very high now that I have sampled the extraordinary version of this dish served at Brooklyn's Battersby. Having said that, this version was quite good..leafy (Siberian?) kale leaves tossed with slices of Granny Smith apples, slivers of cheese (Cheddar?), golden raisins made appealingly soft by a soak in apple cider vinegar, and cornbread croutons.
Farmer's Salad (side dish, $6) was good enough, if the least interesting of our three salads--Romaine, Sungold tomatoes, hard-boiled egg and a few ingredients I neglected to note.
Short-Rib Sandwich ($15)on buttered and grilled bread deserves all the accolades...absolutely worth a considerable detour! The portion was large enough for two not-so-hungry diners to share, with perhaps a couple of side dishes.
Pulled Pork Sandwich ($11) was also excellent.
One fellow diner ordered the Llewelyn Fried Chicken on a Biscuit ($12) and pronounced it very good, although I did not taste and cannot comment.
The fourth sandwich at the table was the Shrimp Po Boy ($13); I thought the barbecue sauce overpowered the shrimp and that the sandwich did not come close to the heights reached by the two meat sandwiches sampled.
With beers, soft drinks and a delicious off-dry pear cider, the bill totalled $101. before tip. Service provided by Delon was amiable, knowledgeable, and welcoming.
I'll be spending time in South Florida this winter and can only hope to savor other meals as good as this one. Recommended!
Miami's not my beat and I've not been to Yardbird yet.
But I have been to The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder in Winter Park, just outside of Orlando. Fabulous.
And now their James Beard "Best Chef, South" nominated leader, James Petrakis, will be in town for the next of Yardbird's Midnight Chef's Table.
I will be very tempted to attend on July 19.
Deets on Yardbird's FB