Kickstarter campaigns are ubiquitous nowadays. Veronica Mars is coming to a theatre near you and entrepreneurs everywhere rejoice that the Internet is making their dreams come true in increments of $5, $25 and $100. But, most importantly, the crowdfunding site is also to thank for Miami’s new bread master, Zak the Baker.
Zak is the epitome of the sage saying, “slow and steady wins the race.” After raising $30,000 via Kickstarter to move his bakery from Hialeah to Wynwood, Zak has set up shop as the neighborhood baker of choice. Using local ingredients for his all-kosher menu and employing local artists to build the bakery’s furniture, he refuses to do anything half-ass and that’s always music to our foodie ears.
When you walk into the small shop, you’re welcomed by a chalkboard menu that outlines the day’s selections and puts Martha Stewart to shame. The menu is just as simple as the concept, which is part of the magic of this place. Good bread makes for damn good toast, and you’ll find delicious toast with an assortment of spreads that will rock your world. The breads that Mr. Zak currently has for sale range from traditional choices like multigrain and sesame to a more refined selection like plum fennel ‘n’ rye and olive ‘n’ za’ata.
At first we were slightly taken aback by the limited menu options but then we realized that the real star of this show is the bread. Regardless of the limited spreads and other offerings like soups and salads, this place makes sure to keep the bread as the centerpiece. Zak succeeds in making his bakery and his concept simple, where carbohydrates reign as king.
On our visit, we decided to order one from each category of spreads that’s offered, “Toast Sweet” and “Toast Savory,” a clever dichotomy of sweet and salty. The sweet selection, Cajeta Marscapone with Backyard Mangos and Goat Milk Caramel, was pretty incredible. Move over French Toast, this could easily replace the traditional sweets for breakfast and we will undoubtedly have a happily ever after. The mangos were incredibly fresh and the drizzled goat milk caramel on the perfectly warm gourmet bread lacks an appropriate adjective. Mouthwatering does it no justice.
For lovers of all things salty, we have good news. The Avocado Cilantro and Goat Cheese Toast was also pretty damn amazing. A light, fresh avocado spread lay the perfect coat for the goat cheese bits that playfully adorned the warm bread. The food looks as good as it tastes here and we can’t help but stress that the simple nature of this place, both physically and translated into the menu, is what resonates so much. When something is good, it speaks for itself. Zak doesn’t try so hard and that’s the cool part.
The Zak the Baker website is consistent with its clean and easy concept. It will make you think you’re shopping the latest JCrew catalogue. With close to perfect aesthetics, a piece of bread looks no different than art.
If you’re in Wynwood, this is a must stop. Just make sure to make your way from Sunday through Friday, as this gem remains closed on Saturdays for Shabbat.
Mel’s Recommendation. Our heart only had space for Zack Morris of yesteryear and Saved by The Bell afternoons, but we’re totally OK with making room for Zak the Baker. The place is charming and the bread is perfection. Williamsburg, move over, Wynwood has arrived.
Standout Dishes: We wish we could say it was one dish in particular, but the star of this show is the bread. You’ll be good if you sample Zak’s bread alone or add on any of the amazing spreads.