YARDBIRD – Get the Chicken

Getting anything but the chicken at Yardbird Southern Table and Bar is like going to Carnevino for the crab cakes.

It’s like going to a Slayer concert for the acoustic set, or a Michael Bay movie for the romantic sub-plot.

The good news is there are so many permutations of “yardbird” on the menu, you could eat here a dozen times and not get bored with any of them.

But if you’re going to start with one thing, make it the chicken and waffles:

….so crisp and moist and well-seasoned, you’d swear you just popped into a southern diner, or public house, for a platter full.

That same chicken is available in chunks on a (superb) biscuit, or without the spiced watermelon and cheddar cheese waffle (which can be a bit tough), but regardless of how it’s plated, you won’t find a better plate of the stuff within a 250 mile radius of our humble burg.

Before you even get to those savories, though, you’ll have to traverse the palate-slaking siren call of the bountiful beer bar…which has the coolest tap handles we’ve ever seen:

….or the catalogue of comely cocktail concoctions, all made with top shelf spirits (Buffalo Trace, High West, etc.) and priced in the $15 range. (Fifteen bucks may still seem like a lot to pay for a mixed drink, but it sure beats the twenty-buck, bar-brand bending-over you get across the street at the Wynncore.)

With your thirst slaked (or at least tempered), you will be ready to hit the dining room (oddly carved up into separate areas: bar/lounge (way too lounge-y for ELV),  main dining room (nearest the kitchen) and a side room that feels like a side room). The chairs are not as comfortable as they should be and staff not as polished as they could be. (Clearing dirty plates in a timely manner seems to be a skill set too challenging for many of them.) But once you get beyond these rough edges, some superior vittles await.

Whether it’s the silky, smoked, and roasted bone marrow (perhaps the best version in town):

…or the chicken liver toast:

….or this slap-my-ass-and-call-me-Sally fried green tomato/porkbelly/BLT:

…you will feel a party in your mouth (and your arteries hardening) with every bite.

Going to Yardbird looking for something light and healthy to eat is like attending a Lady Gaga concert for its subtlety and refinement. But if you insist, they do a killer, smoked chicken salad:

….with yogurt dressing that is as close as you’ll get to diet food in the Deep South. Sitting atop a slab of warm cornbread, this might be Yardbird’s definitive dish, were it not for those fabuloso fried fryers.

Our staff would like to recommend the shrimp & grits:

….but those grits were mighty pasty both times we tried them, and the dish, although good, can’t compete with Carlos Guia‘s version at the Country Club Grill at Wynn.

Better by far is almost every other carbohydrate offered here. From the Elvis flapjacks (only available at the weekend brunch) to the skillet cornbread to the beauteous biscuits:

we at ELV can’t think of a better way to work on a 44 inch waist.

Executive Chef Todd Harrington and his kitchen crew hit the ground running when they opened six weeks ago, and whatever bumps we’ve seen in our three visits (those grits, warm farmer’s cheese, grilled cobia and an andouille stew that don’t bring much to the party), are more than made up for by the birds and the small plates and the over-the-top desserts:

Like we said: get the chicken, and hold on for dear life. No one leaves this place hungry.

ELV was comped once, paid full boat once and (with noted pancake whore Michael Uzmann) received a friends and family discount of 30% for brunch, and on a recent dinner check.


In the Venetian Hotel and Casino

3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Las Vegas, NV 89109



1 thought on “YARDBIRD – Get the Chicken

  1. We were given a discount at brunch, as well, and I’ll wear my pancake whore crown proudly. Been there for 2 meals and a special event so far, plus to the Miami original, and am stunned by Todd’s execution and dedication to making that place hum.

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