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Yardbird Soars; Sparky's Sizzles

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Lee Klein calls Yardbird Southern Table & Bar a "clear, all-encompassing concept: small plates, honest grub, good value, late hours, and a hip urban setting." And just like Chef Jeff McInnis's previous employer Gigi, with Yardbird, he "has a huge hit on his hands." The bottom line: "Beer, bourbon, blues, and Southern American fare, at an affordable price point, in a fetching farmhouse environment — a distinct and integrated vision completely realized." [MNT]

Jodi Mailander Farrell says that Sparky's Roadside Barbecue "feels more like a spot you’d stumble upon in Austin, Texas, than downtown Miami. But there it is amid the electronics stores and Cuban lunch counters, pumping out live music at night and offering tasty craft beers and a superb smoked beef brisket sandwich." What worked: "delicious, decadent fried pickles," "smoked chicken wings packed with smouldering flavor," "moist and tender beef brisket," and more. Not so much: hush puppies were "dry, bland," "non-descript fries and coleslaw," and "An underlying sameness to the overpowering smokiness of the dishes - Sparky’s hazy, dry quality may be an acquired taste." Bottom line: 2.5 stars. []