zak the baker, i've been waiting for you



if you've heard me talk about food lately - you've heard the same lament: I think the days of heavy, butter, butter, butter, bacon, bacon, short rib are over. I've been waiting for the simpler times to take over. I've felt it coming. And now it's here. At Zak The Baker.

You probably recognize Zak's name. He's the master baker behind the bread at Miami's new wave food joints like The Market, Panther and more. The fresh, thick break has been made by hand by Zak or his apprentices and sold at restaurants where it's paired with whatever they choose - now, at the Zak The Baker brick-and-morter, the matchmaking process is totally in Zak's hands, where the menu is always changing, season and listed on a chalkboard. 

The food is simple. It's traditional. It nods to Middle Eastern comfort food, a naturally ingredient-driven cuisine that is healthier and trendier by nature than the heavy comfort food trend that came before it. Let's hope this is the first of the new - new wave of Miami restaurants. 

Try the daily salad. Right now it's a beautiful, colorful pile that includes squash and barley so that you don't leave hungry. There are bread-focused categories on the menu like "Savory Toast," "Sandwiches," and "Sweet Toast," but never an overwhelming amount of options. 

Friday's is Hummus Friday and you'd better get there early if you want the best hummus you've ever had. This Wynwood establishment already feels like an establishment; on the Friday I visited the crowd was a nice blend of hip, well-dressed Wynwood types and Orthodox Jewish men and women chatting at the round tables. The food is all kosher and if you're lucky, you'll get a round of hava nagila like I did - everyone started clapping and laughing as a group of older men lead the restaurant in song and one particularly showy old fella with a very decent tenor voice really stretched out the performance. 

If that doesn't make you want to go to this nice, new spot - I don't know what will.