Miami New Times 05-05-2016 : Page 33

look more like a structure than a vehicle. “We signed a three-month lease to do Bird & Bone,” Hales says. “If it does well, we’ll renew and possibly then look for a brick-and-mortar spot. The menu is something that works for an outdoor location.” Best known for Asian flavor profiles, Hales is turning to his birthplace for inspiration. “I was born in Louisiana, and we had spicy fried chicken grow-ing up in my house. It’s something I grew up eating my whole life.” Hales offers one particular trending item sorely lacking in Miami: hot chicken. His dish rests spicy fried chicken on a slice of Zak the Baker bread, topped with a cooling pickle. This iconic offering is best known in Nashville but is available throughout most of the South. Nina Comp-ton makes a version at her New Orleans eatery, Compere Lapin, and hot chicken has made its way north to Chicago, where it’s a staple at Parson’s Chicken & Fish. In Miami, it’s nearly impossible to find. “I looked into that and asked, ‘Why is KFC the only option for this national trend in Miami?’ ” Hales says. “I tried the KFC ver-sion, and they’re not even doing it right.” The menu features chicken wings ($7.50), nuggets ($5.50), and a half-chicken ($12.50) — all served at heat levels ranging from mild to fiery. (There’s also an option to order “Southern” style with no sauce.) The chef says each heat level also in-corporates different flavor profiles. “I deal with spicy food a lot, and I have for seven years. I know how to do it well. We’re testing the spice blends, and I’ve pretty much nailed it.” For instance, the Nashville hot ’n’ numbing style (level “fak’n hot” on the menu) incorporates traditional Nashville hot sauce with the numbing oil Hales uses at Blackbrick. “It’s sort of an American thing mixed with my Asian pantry.” All chicken dishes are made with birds from Florida Fresh in Ocala. In addition, Hales offers a rib of the day ($10). “We do a lot of cumin lamb ribs, so look for that on the menu. We’ll be making both dry and wet rubs to go with the meats.” No chicken or rib meal is complete without sides. Bird & Bone offers pi-mento mac ’n’ cheese, green goddess coleslaw, and wedge fries. “It’s a very Southern type of menu,” the chef/owner says. “You get a protein, two sides, a piece of bread, and a pickle.” Summer is the season for fried chicken in Miami, with many high-end restaurants, such as Cena by Michy’s, offering a weekly fried chicken meal and fast-casual. Hales doesn’t, however, see fried chicken as a trend as much as an evergreen dish that’s every-one’s favorite. “When I want to cheat, it’s with a piece of fried chicken. We sell a lot of Korean fried chicken at Sakaya Kitchen. In fact, 48 percent of my sales in all my restaurants are from chicken and ribs.” Most dishes are priced well under $10, making Bird & Bone an affordable alfresco meal. Considering that the Wynwood Yard also features a full bar, live entertain-ment, and new tenant Mr. Bing shaved ice cream, you might just have your summer hangout spot already lined up. LAINE DOSS 33 33 | Contents | Letters | riptide | Metro | night+day | stage | art | FiLM | Cafe | MusiC | | CONTENTS | LETTERS | RIPTIDE | METRO | NIGHT+DAY | STAGE | ART | FILM | CAFE | MUSIC | MiaMi New TiMes MIAMI NEW TIMES M ay 5-M ay 11, 2016 M ONTH XX–M ONTH XX, 2008

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