Lunch at Yardbird, 10/1/2015

Attending conferences all morning and into the afternoon is hard work, and requires a better-than-average lunch! With that in mind, four of us went to Yardbird in the Venetian and started with cocktails while waiting for our table . . .

The “Albert’s Collins” is “Absolut, Avion Reposado and Spring 44 Old Tom Gin provide the punch for this surprisingly smooth take on the Collins. Served in a highball & paired with a long block ice,” and was tasty and refreshing. The “Yardbird Old Fashioned” is their southern spin on this timeless classic features bacon-infused Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon, Angostura bitters, orange bitters, maple syrup. Served in a lowball & paired with a 2" sphere ice,” and was dangerously delicious and smooth.

The “Fried Green Tomato BLT” is not a sandwich, but rather slices of perfectly done tomato paired with house smoked pork belly, smoky tomato jam, frisée, and pimento cheese. We could have eaten a dozen slices!

The Macaroni & Cheese featured torchio pasta in a blend of five different artisanal cheeses, and a crispy herbed crust. If Kraft had tasted like this, I would have looked forward to having my sitter make mac ‘n cheese!

Yardbird’s take on the classic Iceberg Wedge salad featured baby iceberg lettuce, charred corn, tomatoes, house-smoked bacon, avocado, house-made buttermilk ranch dressing (rather than blue cheese) and perfectly crisp and tangy.

The Virginia Ham biscuits featured house-made biscuits, sliced in half, savory Virginia ham topped with melted Vermont sharp cheddar, were light and oh-so-tasty.

Their version of Shrimp ‘n Grits showcased perfectly seared shrimps with Nora Mill grits (toothsome and on the larger side of most grits), roasted tomatoes, Virginia ham, and “pbr chicken jus.” The shrimp, as I said, were perfect, and I liked the size of the grits, but overall – while tasty – this was perhaps the weakest dish.

Their “signature” dish is the Chicken ‘n’ Watermelon ‘n’ Waffles. (I’m not sure why these “n’s” deserve two apostrophes while the one in “Shrimp ‘n Grits” only gets one, but that’s the former magazine editor in me.) features a cheddar cheese waffle, topped with chilled, spiced watermelon and deliciously crisp and flavorful fried chicken, with a honey hot sauce and a bourbon accented maple syrup. I’m honestly not sure the watermelon adds anything, and I wish the honey hot sauce had a bit more heat, but this was damned good!

We’ll definitely be back here!

Haven’t tried the Vegas branch but the original Miami one is superb. Crispy costing always moist inside.

I skip the waffles version and just get the half fried chicken for myself. Not sure what kind of mutant chickens they use but the breast portion is huge.

You hit all the classics. The Bloody Mary is also excellent as is the okra and the fried frog legs:

Anyone been back recently? Planning a few days in LV next week. We’ll be staying near the Venetian. It sounds yummy!

The food is decent and the menu sounds great, but I have been underwhelmed every time. The fried chicken is fine, the ribs are dreadful with an overpowering cumin flavor, the donuts were cloyingly sweet and the biscuits were a bit dry. The steak and eggs were decent for brunch, but the best thing on the plate was the potato cake on the bottom. Mac n cheese too mild for me.

I do enjoy the drinks there, but for food I am not impressed.

Had dinner at Yardbird last month. Shrimp N Grits were good, but nothing “wow”. We liked the biscuits, but the deviled eggs were way too salty, to the point where people didn’t eat the whole thing. We pointed it out to the server, who just said “oh”. (didn’t take them off the bill either) Couple people in our party had the Chicken N Waffles and enjoyed it, and the fried chicken was also deemed tasty as well. The collard greens were delicious – a couple people got them, and we all took a couple bites. We skipped dessert as we were all pretty full and it was closing time.

I don’t understand the lure of this place. A place like Flossie’s (:disappointed:RIP) utterly destroys this place and is a 1/3 of the price. The best item I have had there was a fried chicken biscuit with country gravy, which was a special that they don’t serve on the regular menu.

I have tried this place more than a couple times and each time good to average to meh.

Perhaps my tastes are simply different than their regular clientele.

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Overall it sounds like we didn’t miss too much. Thanks for the feedback!