Neighborhood Gems: Whisk Gourmet

Some of the best fried chicken in Miami

Last month, Tasting Table asked readers for their favorite neighborhood gems. Now we're introducing the winning picks.

Before Miami got in a pickle about Southern food, Brendan Connor was quietly cooking some of the best fried chicken in town.

Before opening Whisk Gourmet with his sister, Kristin, in 2006, Connor worked his way through kitchens in Charleston, including Hominy Grill and Anson.

Parking near the South Miami restaurant is often challenging. However, the perennial clutch of customers waiting near the door reveals the lengths people will go to for the fried airline chicken breast, flanked by mashed potatoes and snappy emerald green beans ($19).

Brendan Connor

Connor marinates the chicken in buttermilk, smoked chili powder, garlic and herbs for 24 hours before breading it in seasoned flour. The result is a tooth-jangling crust that yields to tender, slightly smoky meat.

Rosemary and bacon gravy blankets the chicken–it's a recipe inspired by Papa Berry, Connor's grandfather: "My grandparents kept all their bacon grease in a jar next to the stove, and when you'd wake up in the morning they would use that fat to make the bacon gravy for biscuits."

When you go, also try the pulled pork, either doused in molasses barbecue sauce and cushioned between slider buns ($10) or marinated in garlicky mojo criollo and tucked into behemoth burrito halves for a Latin-Southern mash-up ($13 for full, $10 for half).

The regulars at the door may not appreciate us telling you about it, but you need to hightail it to Whisk Gourmet.

Our Other Favorite South Miami Neighborhood Gems: European Corner, Two Chefs, Chocolate Fashion, Café Pastis