Posted May 4, 2016
By YUNA JO
If you’re homesick for the South and looking for some comfort food, look no further than Spring Chicken. Within your first step into the restaurant, the modern yet welcoming interior fits perfectly with the checkered waiter uniforms and the cowboy boots. It is where Southern class meets Miami sass (but probably more on the Southern class side).
The Southern-ness doesn’t stop with the cute-sy uniforms either. The menu, heavily inspired by Southern American comfort food, ranges from Chicken Biscuits to Super Food Kale Salad to even Waffle Fries. The food selection manages to be both classically traditional and inspiringly original at the same time, like the Watermelon with fresh mint.
The owner, John Kunkel, is also the brains behind Lime, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Swine, and Khong River House, all with locations around South Miami. This brand new addition to his restaurant empire is the flagship store with other locations coming soon in Miami Beach, Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale.
This first store is located conveniently close to the University of Miami, attracting many of its Southern students. Their small yet powerful menu is inspired mostly by Kunkel’s own grandmother’s original recipes. By opening a store out of his grandmother’s recipes, Kunkel brings a taste of his Southern home to Miami.
Under his mission, this fast-casual joint exclusively uses natural chicken from northern Georgia that raised without artificial stimulants such as steroids, antibiotics and hormones. The road to the most natural chicken doesn’t end there—- they are also entirely fed with a pesticide-free vegetarian diet. You can kiss your frozen nuggets goodbye because while those are fed God-knows-what, Spring Chicken’s ingredients are probably better fed than you are.
With affordable prices, the classic appetizers ranges anywhere from the friendly price zone of $5 to $7. They also give you a choice of how you’d like to consume the most natural chicken you’ve ever tasted— fried, grilled, pulled or smoked.
In addition to the many selections of chicken, the wide menu selections include salads, sandwiches, biscuits and family meals that are designed for sharing. The small yet rich dessert list included milkshakes, ice cream and some old-fashioned floats. In essence, the star of Spring Chicken’s menu is definitely the chicken (as the restaurant name suggests) and the rest are merely decorations to compliment your meal.
The most important dish; however, that attracts all the customers, is the Yardbird ($5.95)—- the class yet iconic chicken sandwich. I decided to try this classic dish to see what the fuss was about. What really made this sandwich was the chicken itself, not the buns or the sauce. The tender, juicy, deep fried chicken is so good that it can probably drive Chick-fil-A out of business in the near future. Or it will get Shake Shack (which is two blocks down the street) to get rid of its chicken sandwich.
Another enjoyable experience of this joint is its large sauce bar, open to any and every customer. It included many varieties such as ranch, buffalo, honey mustard, barbecue, all of which are homemade. In my opinion, this added more excitement to the dining experience because you are free to customize your own taste and flavor into your meal.
The Homemade Biscuit ($1.85 each) is just as heartwarming as the name sounds. In the menu, Spring Chicken emphasizes that “no meal is complete without them”, and they are absolutely right. The warm, freshly made biscuits are the perfect addition to any of the main dishes they offer. The Two Piece Drumsticks ($9.95) came with fries and is probably the best chicken fingers you’ll have in your life. Nonetheless, the Spring Farm Salad ($5.95) is nothing special in comparison to Spring Chicken’s protein dishes.
But of course, here’s where the Miami sass kicks in—- Spring Chicken offers multiple unique beers on tap, including but not limited to: Yardbird Stock Ale ($4.99), Miami Vice ($6.29) and Wynwood’s Lu Rubia ($5.25). They haven’t forgotten about the classics either. Spring Chicken also offer Bud Light, Miller, Coors and Pabst Blue Ribbon if you don’t feel as daring in your beverage choice.
Located in the midst of a busy, fast-moving city, Spring Chicken serves a nice, Southern escape. Inspired by an actual Southern grandmother, the restaurant is a home away from home to the many homesick settlers in Miami. Along with the modern yet comfortable and cozy interior, you are free to make it a quick stop just for food or stay as long as your Southern heart desires.
- Name: Spring Chicken
- Address: 1514 S. Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables, Fla, 33146
- Open times: Sundays-Thursdays 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
- Phone number: 305-504-2704
- Cuisine: Southern American
- $$$ (per person): $15
- Paying options: Cash, credit, debit
- Review rating: 4/5