Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Eat It - Yardbird Southern Table and Bar, 1600 Lenox Avenue Miami Beach, FL (305) 538-5220

by Chef BoyarAndy

I’m Southern. I grew up in the backwoods of North Carolina. To get to my house you had to find nowhere on a map, go to the middle, make a right and go a little farther. I was raised on my grandmother’s fried chicken, my dad’s macaroni and cheese, my mother’s banana pudding and my grandfather’s homemade peach ice cream. You can’t fool me when it comes to Southern cooking.

After my first visit to Yardbird a few months ago I was so pleasantly surprised that I decided to wait on writing a review. It can’t be that good all the time can it? My second visit with my college roommate and his lovely wife was just as fantastic but included enough bourbon to make Julian Van Winkle (http://oldripvanwinkle.com/) blush so I decided to go back a third time before offering my thoughts.

As you know, hyperbole is something we frown upon (http://www.nohyperboleallowed.com/) . By definition it is an exaggeration…a non-literal statement that isn’t genuine. Everything about Yardbird is genuine…mason jars, moonshine, grits, fried okra and bourbon. 

These may read like hyperbole but I mean them rather sincerely:

The fried chicken is as good as you will ever have. The short rib meatloaf and fried green tomato BLT are worthy of a Michelin star on their own. The macaroni and cheese is better than your grandmother used to make. Charleston SC used to be known for having the best shrimp and grits…nevermore.

The magic that Chef Jeff McInnis is making at Yardbird really shouldn’t surprise anyone that knows his background. North Florida, a farm in Alabama, Charleston SC…you won’t find better places for inspiration for Southern cooking. But come on, this is Miami…the land of fake, a place where style wins over substance and not a place where a restaurant that is based on Southern values would tend to fit in. Visit Yardbird any night of the week and you’ll see that they are way past fitting in…they are thriving.

From their website: “Growing up Southern is a privilege. It runs a helluva lot deeper than just where you’re born. It’s a set of ideals passed down through generations. Sure, it’s about sweet tea and swimmin’ holes, front porches and fried chicken, magnolias and Moon Pies. But more importantly, it’s about being devoted to your roots; having a sense of place, of tradition, of family, hard work and each other. And those, my friends, should be universal ideals.”

I can say without hesitation, Yardbird is my favorite restaurant in Miami.


Simon Williams said...

Truer words were never spoken! Or written on a food blog.

Q said...

I love the deviled eggs.

Scott said...

Wow. I'm totally sold now. If someone from the Carolinas will make the claim that their shrimp and grits are better than what you'll find in Charleston, SC... I HAVE to try this place now.