Chicken-fryer and biscuit-builder supreme Maya Lovelace brings her much-anticipated new restaurant to NE 42nd Avenue this spring. Now the chef-owner is now dropping some details on what to expect — some star sandwiches, for one.
But first, the Oregonian announced on Friday that the restaurant now has a name: it’ll be the Southern-sounding Yonder, and fried chicken will be a key focus (including her triple-fried classic, a Nashville hot chicken, and a tangy North Carolina tomato vinegar take).
Lovelace also spilled some further menu details to Eater, including a fried chicken sandwich with a saliva-inducing description: skin-on thigh (“we think chicken skin is pretty much the most delicious thing that has ever existed in the world”), on a benne (heirloom sesame) bun with smoky bacon jam, pimento cheese, iceberg lettuce and bread and butter zucchini pickles.
She’s also set to reprise her chef-wich that was featured at Lardo in summer 2017: grilled pimento cheese, collard greens, and bacon on Texas toast (see below).
Per the Oregonian, classic sides like biscuits, collard greens and mac and cheese will make appearances, and rotating mains such as fried catfish or oyster mushrooms.
Over at the bar, Lovelace says that details are still falling into place, but that “a big deal local bartender” will put together Yonder’s cocktail menu. Sparkling wine will figure somewhat prominently too — Lovelace says she’s a big advocate for the combination of bubbles and fried chicken, for multiple reasons.
“It has a lot of texture, a lot of acid to cut through the fattiness…sparkling wines are delicious with rich, salty food. It’s going to be really fun, I love the high brow, low brow, thing, [the chicken] is seen as a very blue collar working man’s food.”
But Lovelace still stresses that Yonder won’t be doing so-called “elevated” versions of Southern fare.
“I don’t know that we’re necessarily elevating it, we’re making food at Yonder that is going to be pretty down home, but using really high quality ingredients...we’re not doing a play on anything, we’re doing it straightforward and from the heart.”
Yonder is set to be in front of Mae’s new home (that is, two restaurants at the one address, 4636 NE 42nd Avenue) — expect it in spring, and expect more details closer to opening.
- All Maya Lovelace coverage [EPDX]
- Meet Yonder, the new restaurant from chef Maya Lovelace of Mae [The Oregonian]