#SobeSavvy Presents #BeachyBrunches ! Vol 11: @YBSouthern @50EggsInc #SundayBrunch #MiamiBeach #SouthBeach #Miami

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The great jazz musician Charlie Parker’s nickname was ” Bird”. Shortened from “Yardbird”. He once said of his nickname; “I got the name Yardbird because I was crazy about eating chicken: fried, baked, boiled, stewed, anything. Down there in the South, all chickens are called yardbirds. Every house has some.”

Something so ubiquitous as chicken may seem to some to be a plain bland boring staple of a food choice. These naysayers have NEVER stepped foot in Yardbird Southern Bar and Grill restaurant in Miami {and now also in Las Vegas} http://runchickenrun.com/ They take their chicken so serious that their website states:

“Our chicken is 100% natural with no steroids or hormones and is American Humane Association Certified. Our labor of love begins with a 27-hour brining process, then we dredge it in our secret recipe of spices and flour, followed by the final step of frying to perfection.”

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They have turned chicken into, well.. REALLY good chicken ! My family and I decided to see how they did Sunday brunch this past week. I knew how popular they were so we arrived by 10am and were seated promptly. They have terrace tables on the side of the restaurant but September heat in Miami is still stifiling so we opted to sit indoors. Their interior is best described as a beautiful huge country kitchen/dining room. Just like Miami’s denizens, it is stylish and attractive.

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We had a window seat and I ordered a mimosa and the hubby ordered one of their signature cocktails. They has a bourbon selection like no other. It is REALLY extensive, but he wanted something with whiskey. So he got the Watermelon Sling.It was served in a old fashioned mason jar. White whiskey, fresh pressed watermelon juice and lemon . Served with a rosemary stalk. Nice touch and it was refreshing on such a warm Sunday morning.

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Carlos, the general manager came over to assist with breaking down their brunch menu. Certain items are available for brunch and lunch/dinner, but some specific items are brunch only. We were famished so we decided to have some fun and order a number of different dishes.

We started with something I was very familiar with…brisket. We had the :

Smoked Brisket
pickled onion & cucumber
smoky tomato jam, house-made

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Having spent time in Texas, I know brisket and I know the pretenders pretending to make brisket. This is no pretender ! Brisket so tender it just dissolves in your mouth. The tomato jam and pickled onion went great on it. This was addictive so you have been warned.

Our palate now fully online, we ordered their signature entrée :

Chicken ‘n’ Watermelon ‘n’ Waffles
honey hot sauce, chilled spiced watermelon
vermont sharp cheddar cheese waffle, bourbon maple syrup

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Ladies and gents this is chicken unlike ANY other. Beyond description. Uber juicy, bursting with herbs and spices. The cheese infused waffle is uniquely tailored to be the Bonnie to the chicken’s Clyde. The bourbon maple syrup is divine. Watermelon was the cool side to both of these.

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Our next entrée victim was off of their “Mama’s Biscuits” portion of the menu. We had the multi layered gargantuan

Egg & Sausage Biscuit
fried egg, house-made sausage
‘merican cheese, heirloom tomato

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I found it impossible to take a civilized bite out of this. I have a feeling it was designed to be a “improper” kind of dish. Too big to properly bite so you just dive in wherever you see an opening !! So I deconstructed this behemoth and indulged in good ole fashion slicing and dicing. Sausage is obviously not mass produced but hand made. This dish is like when all different players come together for perfection. It took me back to my Grandma’s kitchen in Maryland when she pieced together breakfast favorites to make a meal. Incredibly good.

Next up was one of my favorite dishes when I am visiting south of the Mason Dixon Line. We had :

Shrimp n’Grits
seared shrimp, roasted tomatoes, virginia ham, nora mill grits, pbr chicken jus

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Reminded me of being in low country around Savannah, Ga. Subtle flavors that just meshed together well. A really well thought out dish done with country flair.

As if all of that food was not enough , we finished our tour of the south with :

Cinnamon Apple Hand Pies
house-made vanilla bean ice cream

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I describe it as really small empanada like pastry puffs filled with apple delights ! Served still warm with their homemade vanilla ice cream. Delightful end of our culinary journey .

Usually very popular restaurants end up not living up to diners’ inflated expectations. Yardbird is the exception. They deserve all the praise and almost cult like following of their return guests. Not resting on their laurels seems to be their key to long term success..

I hope this YARDBIRD manages to fly for a long time to come.

#SobeSavvy Presents #BeachyBrunches ! Vol 10: @SienaTavern @SienaMiami #SundayBrunch #Bottomless #Brunch #MiamiBeach #SouthBeach #Miami

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Want to have a relaxed stylish brunch on an expansive sunny patio ? Want to have a relaxed stylish brunch on an expansive patio while indulging in mouth watering food choices and bottomless drinks? I am sure your answer is a resounding YES, so next weekend head out to Siena Tavern Restaurant. Located in the former China Grill space on Washington Ave and 5th street, Siena Tavern is a force to be reckoned with. The baby of season 5 Top Chef Fan Favorite Fabio Viviani, Siena Tavern has not only become a popular dinner and happy hour choice, it now offers a weekend brunch.
Guests can sit on the beautiful patio or inside their stylish dining room. Bottomless Mimosas or Bloody Mary’s are available for a flat fee. Siena Tavern decided to take some classic dishes and put unique high end culinary touches to them. Take their eggs benedict. Most of these resemble a fast food egg sandwich with English muffins. Siena Tavern decided to use mortadella. What is mortadella you ask ? It is made from very finely minced high quality pork and cubes of fat “sprinkled” inside. They use a brioche bun as the base with a pesto hollandaise sauce. We also had a caramelized waffle. Accompanied with oak barrel aged syrup and Nutella butter. No, you do not need a eye doctor appointment. NUTELLA.BUTTER. Let that sink in. It tastes as good and decadent as it sounds. Indulge in their truffle scrambles eggs. Roasted wild mushrooms and truffle oil. Oh..it also comes with goat cheese toast. Goat. Cheese. Toast. I think by now you get the picture. Many different dishes and all delish. If you have only been there for dinner, it is time to include their brunch in your brunch circuit tour. We also had the pleasure of snapping a quick pic with Fabio in the flesh. He was gracious as usual. Go to brunch at Siena Tavern. You can thank me later.

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#SobeSavvy Presents #BeachyBrunches ! Vol 9: @VintroKitchen @VintroHotels #SundayBrunch #Bottomless #Brunch #MiamiBeach #SouthBeach #Miami

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What do you get when you combine the words “vintage” and “retro” ? VINTRO ! That’s the name of a new restaurant and bar that is making waves here in South Beach. http://vintrohotels.com/kitchen/

Collins Park neighborhood is the art and cultural hub on the beach and Vintro Kitchen fits in perfectly. Art is everywhere in the hotel and restaurant. Paintings, photographs and unique pieces adorn the public and private spaces. Art is such an emphasis here that it’s website states… “Love that picture in your room? You can purchase it from Vintro’s Pop-Up gallery. Our exclusive limited editions are curated by Zoel. Serving as a hub for emerging and established local and international artists, the gallery displays over 50 amazing works to inspire our senses”. Since the restaurant is the namesake of a 50 room uber stylish and funky boutique hotel, I had hoped it would live up to my expectations. Having spent considerable time in Europe, Vintro immediately transported me back to similar spots on the Cote D’Azure. Lots of wood and leather backed chairs and booths. Vintro Kitchen also has a fabulous indoor and outdoor space. This is achieved by basically having an opened back wall that expands on a beautiful terrace/patio on the canal.

On this breezy and easy Sunday they had a acoustic guitarist complementing the mood. Out on the terrace they have master grill chefs making all sorts of goodness. Lamb chops, chicken and also a cauldron of paella at your disposal. Unique indeed. An air of relaxation permeated the restaurant. It feels more like brunch at a friends country home in Nice,France. We had bottomless mimosas, champagne and sangria. Our glasses were never empty. Vintro had an amazing buffet of all your favorites. Creamy scrambled country fresh eggs, French toast and sausage for brunch purists. They were shucking oyters. Kumomota oysters that is. Fresh pastries and fresh cut fruit adorned the center of the restaurant. Later in the afternoon they had a beautiful woman dropping off langostines at all of the tables. What a yummy touch at a yummy brunch. Art work was present everywhere. What else could one want on a Sunday afternoon.

Service was awesome and the crowd was a perfect balance of locals and hotel guests. This is a gem not to be missed. I ran into Gerry Kelly. Mr Kelly is a iconic marketing legend in Miami. Vintro Kitchen is one of his clients. His affable spirit was infectious. The friendly head chef Keith Suarino made his rounds to interact with the guests. He advised that since they are a new brunch spot that he is still playing with the brunch menu. Rustic Mediterranean is how he described the cuisine. I describe it as deliciously delightful. Foodies should put this on their bucket list when seeking a brunch with style and comfort. Vintro Kitchen is a force to be reckoned with. May the force be with you….At Vintro Kitchen.

Enjoy the pics and my IG Video Short

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#SobeSavvy Presents #BeachyBrunches ! Vol 5: Terrazza @ShoreClubSoBe #Brunch

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Brunch — a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning but it can extend to as late as 3PM on Sundays. The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch.

Terrazza restaurant at the Shore Club challenges many assumptions about brunch.https://www.morganshotelgroup.com/originals/originals-shore-club-south-beach/eat-drink/terrazza

Ending at 4pm is just one of them. South Beach being South Beach means a good portion of their denizens think anything prior to 1pm on a Sunday is just too early, hence the 4pm end time.

My family and I arrived shortly after they opened at 11am. We were seated at their airy spacious patio adjacent to their gorgeous pool. Numerous celing fans kept the oppressive Miami heat at bay.The patio space’s simplicity added to the calm sophistication of the setting. We had high hopes that the food and drink matched the terrific ambiance. It didn’t. It exceeded it. Terraza has decided to take the normal eggs and waffles brunch to a level that I have never encountered before.You have your standard brunch fare for their guests who require the familiar. What they also have in addition can only be described as a brunch tour de force.Let’s talk food first. Made to order pasta station and omelette station are present. Various toppings/fillings are available. No need to wait in a line whilst holding your plate like a manilla folder. You can place your omelette or pasta order with your waiter who will have it made and bring it to your table. Whilst awaiting an omelette I would recommend you try one of the many many tapas plates. Every Sunday the executive chef changes up the tapas choices to keep things interesting and inventive. This Sunday I tried the grilled salmon on a bed of roasted corn and lima beans. I also tried the crispy fish and calamari salad. We also devoured their burger and also had a mini slider. I wanted to try the roasted eggplant and two different types of sausage but just didn’t have the room ! My daughter loved the brioche french toast with fresh strawberries and bananas and tore into the lemon ricotta pancakes. The Antipasto and shrimp cocktail choices sat next to the custom self serve Bloody Mary station. Did I mention their Bloody Mary’s yet ?

They also have what can be only be described as the worlds best custom made self serve bloody mary station. You start with your choice of 3 different bloody mary foundations. V-8 , straight fresh tomato juice or clamato juice. Now the fun begins. They have endless choices to fill, spice and garnish your drink in any way shape or form you choose. From smoked applewood bacon slices to pickled asparagus or quail eggs and numerous pickled or peppered olive choices. You can make it as hot or mild as you like also. From celery seed, paprika, old bay,imported Thai Spice or cayenne pepper to name a few. Terrazo’s F & B manager, Eduardo Hernandez was gracious enough to walk me through the myriad of choices.

Terrazza has coined their brunch as a “Ladies Who Brunch”. Besides all the of delectable items on their buffet, women also get bottomless mimosas , bellinis and this week they also had sangria {white and red}. Our glasses were never empty longer than 45 seconds. Service was attentive and efficient without being intrusive. I asked Eduardo, “why a lack of signage on the tapas for their vast buffet ?” He responded, ” we decided to forgo the little signs on the food because we want to encourage our guests to interact with the line cooks with questions about the dish so they may occasionally learn something that they might not have if we had the signs on the dishes”

We ended our brunch journey at the dessert station with chocolate covered strawberries and scrumptious cheesecake bites. I’ll try the croissant au chocolate next time. Need a breezy easy Sunday brunch ? Look no further . Go to Terrazza at The Shore Club. You will be swept off your feet.

Ladies Brunch is $44 inclusive of bottomless mimosas , bellinis, and Sangria . Gentlemen pay a $20 upcharge.

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#SobeSavvy Presents #BeachyBrunches! Vol 1: @NikkiBeachMiami Amazing Sunday #Brunch

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” I’ll take another langostine from the Paella Seafood platter”. That’s what I told my husband this past Sunday at Nikki Beach’s world famous Farm To Table Sunday Brunch. It was a lazy 80 degree January afternoon and life was good. Nikki beach was celebrating Chinese New Year during their weekly Sunday brunch. Chinese themes and attire was all around. This is no ordinary brunch. How many places can you sunbathe and simultaneously brunch ?

White loungers on the sand. White Daybeds on the sand. Tables on the sand. Quiet chill out music playing.You get the picture. Besides the beautiful aesthetic of it all, it is unlike so many things here in Miami that are style over substance. Nikki Beach is the rare style AND substance.Yes the atmosphere reeks beach chic sophistication, but so does the cuisine. Nikki Beach has many items either buffet style or made to order. Basic brunch staples like omelettes and waffles are made to order. They specialize at the unexpected. Seafood paella topped with mussels, grilled calamari and yes, giant langostines. Pad Thai made to order. A Vietnamese soup bar. Custom made crepe station. Cheese and salad stations are there too. An assortment of petite deserts are found inside across from the meat carving station and sushi bar. Fresh watermelon juice flows from a tiki faucet.

They offer discounted house champagne , mimosas and bloody mary’s for $7 to quench your thirst. Can’t make it to St Tropez next Sunday ? Than go to Nikki Beach.You won’t be sorry

Where: Nikki Beach 1 Ocean Drive Miami Beach, Fl 33139
http://www.nikkibeachmiami.com/nikki-beach-miami-sunday-brunch-menu/
When: Every Sunday 11am – 4pm
Cost: $49.95 Champagne, Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas are a la carte for $7

Enjoy some pics from my brunch at Nikki Beach

‘Lovely’ Leslie Heigh / Freelance Photojournalist
The ‘Bon Vivant ‘ Blogger
www.SobeSavvy.com
Follow Twitter/Instagram @IJust_LoveThis
Hashtag #SobeSavvy

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