Fried chicken in Zurich? Yes please! The team behind The Bite Gourmet Burger and Brisket Southern BBQ are delighting our cravings for good ‘ol American style food in Switzerland with Yardbird Fried Chicken.
Despite their busy pre-opening schedules, the restaurant owners were kind enough to sit down with us to answer some of our juicy questions…
GG: When did you realize Zurich needed a restaurant dedicated to good ‘ol Southern Fried Chicken?
Yardbird: Zurich has an incredible gastronomy scene that’s growing by the week, which is something amazing for a city of this size! Fried Chicken is a concept that had our attention from the very beginning when we first started specializing in American food. It was around the time before we opened Brisket that we realized that Chicken was going to be our next concept. It’s a type of cuisine that we love and it brings people together in a social and casual way.
GG: Tell us about your epic research road-trip…favorites along the way?
Yardbird: Oh, the Chicken Trip! We actually spent about 6 months planning that road-trip from start to finish. In the end we couldn’t leave for too long, because of our businesses here in Zurich, but we did manage to travel the States for just over 3 weeks, literally eating our way across the country. Nashville, Atlanta and (obviously) New York are the mecca of Fried Chicken in our humble opinions. Nashville for the incredibly spicy variety, Atlanta for the crunchy and juicy buttermilk fried chicken, and NYC for always continuing to inspire us to the core.
GG: The fried chicken takes center stage at Yardbird…but your cocktails are Killa (Beez that is!) Tell us about the inspiration behind your drink menu.
Yardbird: Some of you may not know this but we have a pretty tight group working together with us at our existing restaurants, made up of a lot of family members and friends. The cocktail menu was designed by Stephan’s girlfriend, Dominque Schnell, who did a killer job of putting together a well-balanced and interesting menu. Every single cocktail on the list is a house creation, sometimes inspired by classic drinks that we’ve also know and love. The name game is the fun part for us. We try not to take ourselves too seriously.
GG: We love your international spin, adding Italian and Seoul-style chicken recipes to the menu. Do you have a favorite to recommend trying first?
Yardbird: Funny enough, the “international spin” on our chicken dishes comes from the deep South. We saw a lot of great ways that chicken were done and it opened our eyes to the endless possibilities of creating more globally inspired dishes. This is something that the South has done very well and has managed to keep chicken interesting and relevant. Of course, we’ve put our own spin on each menu creation, especially coming down to the seasoning, sauces and most importantly, the brines. Fried chicken is nothing without the homemade brines to keep the meat succulent and full of flavour.
GG: Biscuits and Gravy are perfect for Sunday brunch…any plans to expand your hours to include Sundays in the future?
Yardbird: Never say never! Sunday brunch is something that’s crossed our minds before, and it’s something that we undertook for about six months when we first opened The Bite in 2013. It was going really well and we knew it had potential to grow, but to be honest, we realized how important it is for our staff to have time off with their families. Since we’re closed on Sundays & Mondays, we can guarantee our staff a two-day weekend, which is so important for recharging and coming back to from the work week feeling rejuvenated. Again, we may re-evaluate brunch at a later stage, but for now, you’ll have to come visit us for lunch or dinner from Tuesday to Friday (or for Saturday dinner!)
GG: Tell us about the name?
Yardbird: The name “Yardbird” comes from a term derived in the deep South, where chickens are often considered the bird that runs freely in your backyard. It’s a staple in the South and will now be introduced to Zurich.