Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Miami, FL

“My heart is broken,” my boyfriend announced. “Seriously, I am crushed.”

This is drama, I thought. What am I to do?!

We were sitting across the table from one another at brunch at Yardbird in Miami Beach. I had flown in for the weekend to spend some quality time with the love of my life—and his infinity pool that overlooks South Beach.

He was really upset. He looked up at our server and exclaimed, “No beignets?! That’s the whole reason I came here!”

Yardbird Southern Table

Truth. He had been raving about those damn beignets for a week. We woke up early for brunch. And then we had trekked half an hour under the blazing Florida sun to get to this place. He was inconsolable.

The server’s jaw nearly hit the table, and he stumbled to offer alternatives. The cinnamon apple hand pies? That one is just as delicious, he said, and it comes with vanilla bean ice cream. My lover was not impressed. He wanted grits, and biscuits, and beignets.

Yardbird Southern Table

It’s a strange thing to find a truly Southern restaurant smack in the middle of South Beach. A typical jaunt down Collins Avenue will lead to loud Cuban joints or swanky sushi places. So I was quite surprised to hear that this place was known for its Southern soul—and that it has been named one of the best new restaurants of this year by the James Beard Foundation.

Yardbird Southern Table

Inside, the restaurant is lovely. High ceilings with exposed wooden beams. Wooden tables with sprigs of fresh flowers in jars. Walls of bourbon and wine. Chalk boards with lovely typographical illustrations, including my favorite of the bunch: “God gave the angels wings and he gave us bacon”

Yardbird Southern Table

We ordered some chilled watermelon to share, as we were still hot from our walk. The big cubes of fresh, super pink watermelon was spiced with pepper and tossed with lemon and herbs. It was tart and spicy and the flavors mixed well with the fruit’s sweetness. A perfect way to start.

The restaurant raves that its brunch is foot-stompin’ and soul-healin’. It was just that for me. In fact, all I had to do was take a bite of a buttermilk biscuit and my soul was forever healed. I will never have a biscuit like this again. Not unless it comes from someone’s grandmother from a recipe that was passed down through generations. Wait: that’s exactly what this is.

Yardbird Southern Table

The brunch menu is meant for sharing with friends, but I didn’t want to share anything. I ordered the dish that most closely resembled the benedict, the BLT benedict. It was presented in a cast-iron skillet, like a casserole of buttermilk biscuit crumble, thick chunks of house-cured bacon, and a soft poached egg that mixed in with the delicious hollandaise sauce. A benedict that I wanted to slurp up with a spoon.

Every time I saw the Mama’s Chicken Biscuits dish pass by on its way to another table, though, I kicked myself for not ordering that. The fried chicken was set inside two biscuits, with pepper jelly on the side. It looks amazing, and there were so many of those things flying from the kitchen that it must be one of the best things on the brunch menu. Next time we meet, Yardbird. Next time.

Yardbird Southern Table

Boyfriend, still pouting, ordered the pecan crusted French toast, which might be the most delicious French toast I’ve ever had. The pecans were sweet and toasted, and the toast, cooked with apple butter, was perfect. It was served with Bourbon Maple syrup, fatty blueberries, and big chunks of bacon around it. The combination of those three things—pecans, French toast, and bacon—was absolute heaven.

Yardbird Southern Table

There was so much more I wanted to try on the brunch menu, but I was stuffed and soul-healed enough. Then the cinnamon apple hand pies arrived, and we begrudgingly ate them, wishing they were beignets. “They’re OK, I guess,” my boyfriend said, and I knew what he meant was they were excellent, truly excellent.

Just like everything else we had there.

Yardbird Southern Table

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
1600 Lenox Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 538-5220

Yardbird serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays.

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar on Urbanspoon

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