Eating for Work: Yardbird Southern Table

Our CEO came from the UK to the last event in Miami for the season. Whenever Mark is around, I know we’ll be eating good! This time, our staff dinner was at Yardbird Southern Table, with a stick to your ribs menu I didn’t mind at all. You know how I do, fried chicken and mac & cheese all day baby!

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The drinks keep flowing when we’re all together, so we got started at the bar and looked over the menu. Amanda got excited for biscuits, which naturally brought about the cookie vs. biscuit explanation as Simona, a Swiss colleague, was also in Miami.

All I wanted from menu was fried chicken—lots and lots of fried chicken. Of course, I wanted mac & cheese and fries, too, but I knew that fried chicken was a must! A waiter walked past with it and my mouth watered: thatwas the green light.

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Mark likes to order a bunch of different appetizers and entrees so everyone can dig in and eat whatever they want. We got black angus burnt ends with blue cheese fondue, tater tots and pickled chilies, iceberg wedge and herb garden caesar salads, St. Louis style pork ribs, and of course, their Chicken ‘n’ Watermelon ‘n’ Waffles. A lobster that’s not even on the menu hit the table; no questions asked, just gimme! Their fried chicken was super juicy and perfectly seasoned, I had to box what was left for a late-night snack in my hotel room. By the end of the night, I’m convinced the ten of us polished off maybe five orders of mac & cheese—he just kept ordering them!

Chéo and I are planning a trip to Miami—he already knows I’ll be making the reservation as we land. The dulce de leche strawberry waffle on their brunch menu sounds divine.

Yardbird Southern Table
1600 Lenox Avenue
Miami Beach, FL

 

#avaeats All White Party + Potluck

#avaeats All White Party + Potluck

img_7055I. Am. Floating.

Saturday night was the night! The #avaeats all white party and potluck was an absolute success! Naturally, there were a few hiccups—but all the little things I worried about were nonexistent. We had a great turnout and variety of dishes from West Indian to Italian, and the never-failing tray of chicken wings from the Chinese spot. I can’t thank everyone enough!

I ordered an infused unicorn cake from @sugarhighbakes and they delivered! I offer them the opportunity to set up at the party and they gladly took it. I was a little nervous about them coming, I’ll admit, but they had a successful night and enjoy themselves, and I couldn’t ask for anything else. I know for a fact they’ll be getting some new business after this—mission accomplished!img_7059

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I enjoy making pretty desserts, so I held that down on the contribution list. I made vanilla cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream and a white chocolate brush stroke, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate bark, and brownies in a brand new silicone mold that almost made me shit myself—I’ll tell that story another time. Angelena reminded me the day before that she is a pescatarian, so I had to run out to grab some shrimp and decided to make shrimp kebabs two ways: lemon and garlic and jerk, using the jerk seasoning my god-sister brought me from Barbados.

The contributing menu consisted of so many bottles of liquor, homemade rum punch for adult capri suns, lo mein, rasta pasta, quinoa with kale, potato and green bean salad, macaroni pie, a gluten-free vegan interpretation of doubles, chicken wings, homemade pickled red onions and hot sauce, flan, a bunch of cookies, marble cheesecake with Oreo and graham cracker crust, and the plethora of sugary shit I mentioned earlier. 

Speaking of chicken wings, let me big up the contributor, Jeff, real quick for taking the initiative so whip out his handy-dandy camera and start snapping away! When I’m hosting, I have severe tunnel vision to make sure all of my guests are taken care of and I often forget to document the good times, so Jeff’s presence was clutch.

I made photo props and bought buttons and pool floaties to give away. There were contests for the best Instagram photo and caption using #avaeats: these were the winners. FullSizeRenderimg_7101img_7103

Chéo drove up for my first event. I was entirely too happy he was here. He seen me host so he knows how I maneuver, so having him here was a huge help! He made sure everyone had drinks and food and got them everything they needed, and like always, he was the captain of the cleanup crew. He looked at me with hearts in his eyes the whole time; he was so proud of me when he saw how everything came together. He won’t stop telling me; this man of mine is always making me blush. I love that his friends came and supported me too. These guys are always a fun bunch.

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I had such an amazing time. I’m exhausted, but I’m still on a party high. I put a lot of time, energy and money into concepts when I come out with them, so when I hear amazing reviews about anything I do I’m always grateful and always humble. I can’t wait to do this again!

I stole a few Instagram/Facebook posts because I’m screenshot mami: I like to see what I do through other people’s eyes.

Prohibition Bakery.

After Angelena and I pigged out at Pearl’s, Christina met us nearby to continue our food-filled Saturday. Christina has proven time and time again to be a rider- I have no idea how she found Prohibition Bakery, but I’m glad she did! If you want a real boozy (min) (cup)cake, this is the place!

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There were only a handful of flavors left when we got there: Pretzels & Beer, Old Fashioned, Dark & Stormy, Sangria, and Negroni. My favorites were Pretzels & Beer, made with Six Point Sweet Action Ale, Nutella, pretzel and white truffle, and the Old Fashioned, made with whiskey, bitters, orange, and a whiskey soaked cherry—but tasted everything like the typical black cake with icing served at every Trini wedding. We also tried Paloma rum drops with tequila and grapefruit for free!

I’m convinced the three of us walked out at the end of the night strangely tipsy off some cake! The alcohol doesn’t bake out, as one might think, because they add the liquor after they’re baked. These mini cupcakes are crazy boozy so you just might get carded, but each contains less than 5% alcohol by volume, in compliance with NY State Law.

Prohibition Bakery was founded in 2011 by a bartender and a chef, Leslie Feinberg and Brooke Siem. Unfortunately, their Clinton Street location closed down a few weeks ago after five years due to typical NYC rent hikes—a whopping 40% increase. They’ve since relocated and only offers delivery and catering services for now. Hopefully they’ll get another brick-and-mortar soon.

img_6890They even have a cookbook, so you can get boozy from the comfort of your own home!

Fries Before Guys (except mine!)

After our date at Pearl’s, Angelena and I started wandering around Willyburg and stumbled upon the Verameat store. After several laps around the small shop, something pretzel shaped caught my eye. Remember those pretzel studs I wrote about for the Christmas Gift Guide? This is where to get them!

In a corner of store, there’s a board full of keychains and pins. Luckily, I caught the sale—BOGO (buy one, get one half off) for the win!

They had Chinese takeout boxes, milkshakes, pizza slices: I started picking out keychains and the next thing I knew, I had about 10. Now, let’s do some math, shall we? If the keychains were $16.99 with a BOGO and I picked out 10, I was about to spend too damn much on some keychains!

Less is more, so I walked out with only this beauty, but I got Angie a pin from one of her favorite movies, Death Becomes Her, as an early graduation gift.

A very special thanks to the sweetest sales associates there, Rhea & Kali. When I realized where I was, I showed them the gift guide post. Rhea’s promised to stalk my blog, and she even slid in my email with a special offer. I’m definitely going back for more keychains!

New Tings at Pearl’s.

Rainy Saturdays are meant for hearty foods. I can’t explain it, but there’s something about eating something warm and filling that comforts me when the weather’s yucky. My Angelena had one of her once-in-a-blue Saturdays off, so I headed over to her house for with every intention to figure out where to eat—after a nap.

Yes, I went to her house and took a nap. That’s what friends do. I was tired, don’t judge me.

I was craving something different, usually that’s Caribbean food for me. The thought of a bake & shrimp from Pearl’s made my stomach growl, so that was that. We hopped in a Juno—Uber was wild expensive that day—and we were on our way!

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Angie had never been to Pearl’s, so I was too excited to take her. I knew she’d like the food and love the music; she danced the whole time she was looking at the menu. A bartender when the money’s right, she looked over their cocktail menu and was completely sold on the Sweet Bumper: sorrel, lychee wine, St. Germaine, champagne, candied sorrel flower. When she read out the ingredients, I’ll admit I thought it was questionable. However, it was so pretty when it got to the table, I had to have a taste. Two thumbs up from the both of us!
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Angie gave up meat a few months back, so I automatically suggest the bake & shrimp. I was ordering one too, but I wanted to try something different. Tamarind is one of my favorite flavors, so the tamarind wings caught my eye. Macaroni pie is always a given.

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If you’re looking for the perfect combo of sweet and savory—these tamarind wings are it! The order comes with just 8, so I had to exhibit a little self-control and not take an order to go.img_6709-1

The macaroni pie and bake & shrimp are always a hit at Pearl’s!

As I’m writing this post, I could go for an order wings right now! Where’s Angie?

Peace Out, Summerhill.

Peace Out, Summerhill.

In 1988, I was born at Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn.
I’d lived within 2 miles in Crown Heights until I was 12 years old.
I remember my dad playing with me in the park in Crown Heights.
I remember running for the ice cream truck in Crown Heights.
I remember the boys playing basketball using a milk crate for a hoop and the girls jumping double dutch with phone cords in Crown Heights.
But I also remember my cousin being shot at point blank range in Crown Heights.
And I also remember losing another to gun violence on the streets of Crown Heights.

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Becca Brennan, a former tax attorney from Canada, turned an empty bodega into a “boozy sandwich shop.” Capitalizing on the history and gun violence of Crown Heights, she admitted to fabricating a story about the bodega having an illegal gun shop in the back, marketing the cosmetic damage as a “bullet hole-ridden wall.” She’s also selling 40oz. bottles of rosé in brown paper bags. There’s a real history behind the 40 oz. in brown paper bags, but for her it’s another marketing angle.

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Naturally, I was bothered when I heard of Summerhill. The Crown Heights I love so much and always wanted to return to was being mocked. Who the hell in Crown Heights needs this surfer-style sandwich shop with $12 BLTs?  While gentrification is great, what is it really doing for the existing community? Yes, it’s bringing in new business and living opportunities—but it’s buying out the heart and soul and replacing it with coffee shops and bars. Becky took our struggle and ran with it like the wind in Chicago.

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Just as I was outraged when I first heard of Brennan’s doings, so was the crown Heights community. A forum was held outside of the restaurant, and she never even came outside to address the public. Instead, she sent out her PR team to pass out copies of an apology – only to the press.

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Brennan claims she will be reaching out to the community to learn what’s really needed and how she can play a role in the betterment. This should be interesting. Becky, do better.

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*I do not own any if these photos! I saved all photos from google!