Reporting Lisa Petrillo
MIAMI (CBS4) – For about last two and a half years the Yardbird Southern Table and Bar has been serving up classic Southern cooking and hospitality seven days a week at their ultra-cool space on Lenox Avenue on South Beach.
Owner John Kunkel had some doubters when he first came up with concept.
“Southern food in Miami who would have thunk it, but we continue to get embraced by locals and tourists,” said Kunkel whose company, 50 Eggs Hospitality, has two other successful restaurants in Miami.
“It’s always changing and we are looking for what is fresh and local, but the staples of our menus remain,” said Kunkel.
Staples like grilled “Corn 3 Ways” topped with cornbread crumbles and fried corn on top.
Yarbird was recently honored as the number one restaurant in Miami by the national food and wine website TheDailyMeal.com.
“We love that,” said Kunkel. “We’re super competitive so we love being number one. It’s really a true acknowledgement to the entire team. Restaurants are like a great symphony, everyone has to play their part of the instrument well. It’s a great acknowledgement to the whole team.”
Kunkel showed CBS4′s Lisa Petrillo a few popular side dishes like giant butter beans and deviled eggs as you’ve never seen them before. They are topped with smoked trout roe.
“We call it our redneck caviar,” joked Kunkel.
“That’s really good. It’s smoky but not too fishy,” said Petrillo.
Kale salad with cheddar cheese and cornbread croutons is a healthy alternative.
“A misconception about Yardbird is that it’s a house of sin. That we are all fried chicken and fried bacon. We also have tons of salads. However, we find fried chicken going to a lot of tables.”
Yardbird’s top seller is Old School Fried Chicken served with a cheddar cheese waffle, spiced watermelon and honey hot sauces. The dish was patterned after Kunkel’s grandmother’s recipe.
“It’s so moist,” exclaimed Petrillo after biting into a gargantuan sized leg.
And the pièce de résistance? The lemon cream pie topped with a berry crumble.
“Pure heaven,” said Petrillo.
For the complete list of Miami’s Top 14 restaurants go to www.thedailymeal.com.