Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Maple-glazed Bacon Doughnuts – Maple Bacon Caramel
Mama’s Biscuits – Classic Buttermilk Biscuits, Honey Butter, Apple Butter
Avocado Toast – Toasted Wheat, Colonel Newsom’s Kentucky Prosciutto, Poached Farmer’s Egg, Roasted Tomatoes
Crab Cake Benedict – Fried Green Tomato, Stone Crab, Poached Egg, House-smoked Bacon. Hollandaise
Grilled Halibut – Head-on Shrimp, Dirty Rice with Crab, Duck, Andouille Sausage and Trinity
Chicken n’ Watermelon n’ Waffles – Honey Hot Sauce, Chilled Spiced Watermelon, Sharp Cheddar Cheese Waffle, Bourbon Maple Syrup
Swine Burger – Short Rib, Brisket and Chuck Blend, House-smoked Pork Belly, American Cheese, House Pickles, Special Sauce with Ketchup and French Fries
Eggnog Bread Pudding – Bourbon Spiked Anglaise, Chantilly Cream
Candied Pecan Carrot Cake – Moonshine Raisins, Cream Cheese Mousse, Marzipan Carrot
Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie – Oreo Crust, Crushed Peanut Butter Cups, Fudge
Cornmeal Chess Pie
Taking advantage of an extra Holiday day off, a rare period of time with no planned travel used to revisit some local favorites, it was along with a ten year old on Winter Break that brunch was planned at Yardbird, even Las Vegas’ “slow season” seeing a line at the door just prior to eleven o’clock and the Restaurant more than 2/3 full throughout the course of a ninety minute visit.
The fourth actual meal at Yardbird in 2017, though two additional stops were made for Pie and Biscuits in October and November, it was by familiar hostesses that a party of two was greeted at the podium after the queue had dwindled, a small two-top in the side room comfortable but a bit dim, though not much was dull about the cooking.
Making small menu changes across the course of this year, some for the better but the removal of Chess Pie in exchange for Peanut Butter Mud Pie clearly a financial decision rather than one in-tune with the Yardbird’s theme, it was after greetings from a youthful Male server that Beverages were ordered, Coffee for one and Milk for the other quickly followed by four hot Donuts in a skillet with Maple Bacon Caramel plus Yardbird’s reference-standard Buttermilk Biscuits ready and waiting to be slathered with Apple and Honey Butter.
Soon expanding to Beverly Hills and likely further thereafter, an attempt to “standardize” the menu clearly evident in the slow creep away from traditional Southern fare and towards an “everything to everyone” menu, it was just as the second Biscuit was being buttered that the waiter again stopped by with two new plates, the Avocado Toast essentially ignoring everything vegetarians love about the ubiquitous Brunch staple by adding rolls of Ham plus a poached Egg while the Crab Cake Benny was good, but not as remarkable as Yardbird’s classic Fried Green Tomato BLT.
Going off menu for a moment with grilled Halibut served over Dirty Rice in the style of Jambalaya, a robust bit of spice complimenting both the Fish and Shrimp nicely without overwhelming other ingredients in the mix, it was after being told “we don’t have any Wings” that Yardbird’s Chicken n’ Watermelon n’ Waffles was delivered, the breading a bit less crispy than memory serves but the flavor still great and Meat still juicy whether dark or white.
Watching the youngster pick at his Burger and Fries in a manner most non-parents probably would considering his ability to plow through an In n’ Out Double-Double, it was with half the Burger, Fries and Chicken packed to go that three Desserts were delivered, the aforementioned Ice Cream Pie expectedly pleasing the Kid who likes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Oreo Cookies while holiday-specials of a potted Carrot Cake and Eggnog Bread Pudding were both boozed up and delicious, though certainly designed for more sophisticated palates.
FOUR STARS: While I understand the desire to expand and cash-in on a great concept I cannot help but look at Yardbird through the eyes of someone who has been supporting them for three years since opening on 1/1/2015 and although most of the classics are still available with great service there is not much about the “new” menu to get excited about…though I do appreciate Chef Keris going out of her way to make the Chess Pie as an off-menu Holiday gift.
RECOMMENDED: Mama’s Biscuits, Chicken n’ Watermelon n’ Waffles, Eggnog Bread Pudding.
AVOID: The Avocado Toast is silly, especially at $22, and the Crabcake Benny simply is not as delicious as the Fried Green Tomato BLT.
TIP: Even on Weekdays Reservations are recommended for those who prefer not wait.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.