The biscuits arrive in an unassuming disposable box, still gently warm and roughly the size of a softball. Served with honey butter, jam, and tangy-sweet house-made curd, they’re already superb, but used as the vehicle for a breakfast sandwich, they’re transcendent. From the fried chicken and waffles to the shrimp and grits, there’s no dead weight on the short, sharp menu at Yay Yay’s, but if you only have stomach capacity for one item, a biscuit needs to be a part of it.
Chef Charlotte Miller, who built up a reputation through catering for years, opened her first brick-and-mortar along with her business partner Jason Luntz in 2022. From its location on Jefferson Street, a historic commerce hub, to the wall murals, to the thoughtfully curated selection of books by Michael Twitty, Toni Tipton-Martin, and others, every facet of her café is a celebration of Black history and culture in Nashville. The airy, welcoming interior is ideal for a leisurely brunch or afternoon tea.
It’s also intended to serve as an event and gathering space. In an interview with Edible Nashville, Miller said, “It’s not an oasis, but a catalyst.” When not running her own business, she volunteers with Project Return, a nonprofit dedicated to helping those with incarceration records build careers in the hospitality industry.
The “Can You Say Yay Yay?” with fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, and pimiento cheese on a biscuit is absolutely as much of a triple-threat as it sounds like. The whole concoction is structurally unsound in the right way, with a biscuit crumb so ethereal that it begins to disintegrate almost as soon as it hits your fingers. You won’t mind—the messy sense of immediacy of this sandwich is part of its allure.
Know Before You Go
Those with hearty appetites should ask for the “Blue Plate Special,” which might include mac n’ cheese, fried green tomatoes, meatloaf, greens, and cornbread.