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Yard*Bird (BBQ); Keego Harbor; DTW

rainsux | Sep 17, 201406:07 AM     2

I apologize for the poor photo focus, but it was too dim for my tablet's camera to focus.

Boagman invited me to accompany him for an early dinner last night at Yard*Bird (formerly Jeremy's). I was curious, as Jeremy's kitchen never Wow!'d me. Then there was their dining room with a few too many tables (fixed). And the valet-thing (fixed).

The bldg has been gutted and re-done in the spirit of Vinsetta Garage. The garage doors open to an enlarged patio. Sadly; the patio is only a sidewalk away from Cass Lake Road. But if you are dining with good company, it is not a problem.

The remodel has introduced a lot of hard surfaces. There is also a TV (or was it music?) adding to the cacophony. As other dinner guests arrived, the noise level increased noticeably. Having a conversation at a 2-top became increasingly difficult. When the screaming two year-old arrived ... we left.

The qty of tables and chairs is appropriate for the space. Plenty of room for guests to move about and servers to do their jobs. The chairs' back brace, squeezes the butt. Uncomfortably so.

The chili. I'm from the school of, "anybody that knows beans about chili, knows that there are no beans in chili." It was not intended as a criticism, but the server mistakenly took it as criticism. I think I was able to convince her that it was simply another regional difference. Not bad. Just different. Pleasantly so.

YB's chili has a few unanticipated ingredients. The recipe uses pinto(?) beans. Nicely firm, not the typical soft/mush chili bean. +1. Sweet corn in chili? Yup. I've only seen this done once before. It works for me. +1. The meats include chuck, brisket & ground beef. +2. The base? Thin and nicely seasoned. Not the typical thick tomato-y base common to SE Michigan. +1. The bowl was appropriately sized and only $4. For another $1, YB will add salsa, jack cheese, sour cream and pickled jalapenos. No. Thank you. The chili was a pleasant surprise and does not require accoutrements.

I chose their sampler for my entree - $17. Pulled pork, sausage & brisket. I loved the pulled pork. Smokey, tasty and not over-salted - hurray. The sausage was a miss. A bit over-cooked(?) and dry. I'm not a brisket guy, but this was good brisket. Good flavor profiles. Not over-salted. Moist.

The sauce; the best sauce was the one that we both expected to underwhelm: Harbor Heat, made with beer, vinegar and chili. Thin, spicy and sour. I think it also includes minced garlic. Loved it. I forgot to ask about buying a bottle to take home.

The entrees include two sides. I chose cornbread and mac & cheese. The cornbread portion was a wee bit skimpy. Otherwise; it did not disappoint, nor did it wow. The mac & cheese? The recipe is not what I prefer. I like my mac & cheese the way that Beans & Cornbread does mac & cheese. I will not order again.

The portion sizes were appropriate, not over-sized.

The BBQ was served on butcher paper, directly on the tray. Both simple and low-cost. Not keen about this touch. Not even a little bit.

The server was prompt, knowledgeable and attentive.

WiFi? They have it. I could not get it to work using the WPA key they provided, "JeremyRes".

The business seems CCW friendly and the food:liquor mix does not seem to disqualify CCW. But KHPD's interpretation and routine behavior is (very) unpredictable. How unpredicatable? In KH, wearing a ballcap backwards will get you a VERY stern lecture about violating the (non-existent) Gang-Wear Ordinance. You've been warned.

Website: www.yardbird.cool

- Not a typo: it's a dot-cool site
- Works fine in IE.
- Works fine in Chrome.
- Does not work in my Firefox v31 installation.

Will I return? Yes. Primarily because it is near(er)
to home than LazyBones, Slows or CAYA. Next trip? Ribs.


What say you?

Vinsetta Garage
Beans & Cornbread
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