Welcome to Zak the Baker Cafe
I now call to order the first meeting of the Porridge Appreciation Society, or better yet let’s just go for broke and say that we’re the Zak the Baker (ZTB) Appreciation Society. You’ve might have heard about Zak’s before… oye vey, the lines! So popular you get there early or you plan to wait and yes, it truly is worth the wait- even in the hot Florida sun. ZTB is a kosher cafe, founded by Zak Stern. To learn more about Zak, read “The Tall Tale of Zak the Baker,” but I’m going to continue by focusing more on the cafe’s food.
Zak the Baker Cafe
405 NW 26 St. Miami FL, 33127
Mon-Fri, Sun 7am-5pm (Closed Saturdays)
One day I went Wynwood with Zak’s in mind and hit up Panther Coffee (because their ice coffee is the bombaliscious brew) to fortify myself, in case of ZTB lines. I was pleasantly surprised once I got to Zak’s because they too serve Panther Coffee cold brew! The house was packed and the line was long (Sunday mid-morning hours) so I decided to get something to go. Toast with cherries, pears, almond butter on Zak’s famous bread and I sat on the curb while I savored this treat. I might have even licked the box when I was done. No shame in this foodie’s game.
First Time for Everything
Next time I planned my trip to ZTB more purposefully; ahem, I was first in the door. I embraced my vision for the year of trying new things and ordered the porridge. I played it safe and ordered quiche as well. I also ordered that amazing toast to go, for later of course. Just a heads up, the daily menu is written on scrolls of brown butcher paper to the right of the door as you enter and changes based on seasonal items. However, you have plenty of time in line to peruse the scrolls of scrumptiousness to decide what to enjoy.
Some of you might be asking- what is porridge exactly? I’ve heard of porridge in nursery rhymes and fairy tales such as Goldilocks & the Three Bears. Porridge is like oatmeal, right? Actually, oatmeal is porridge but all porridge do not contain oatmeal. Porridge is a broad category, a cereal or meal/grain that is boiled in either milk or water. ZTB porridge is special- you don’t have to trust me… go try some. We’re talking a list of amazing ingredients, to include: quinoa, oats, amaranth, granola, cherries, magic, maple syrup, rainbows, happiness, etc. which put all together lead to a gut busting goodness until your spoon scrapes the ceramic bowl. The oats are smooth, while the quinoa provides pops of chewiness. The amaranth gives the porridge a slightly nutty flavor and is a powerhouse of nutrients, to include: vitamin C, iron, protein, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. When you do come for the next meeting of the Porridge Appreciation Society, bring a friend!
Was the quiche good- dare you ask? Of course. The somewhat last word of this quick review is that ZTB uses the best ingredients, prepared intentionally to be full of flavor in every bite. Don’t ask what’s good here; it all is.
There is no REAL Porridge Appreciation Society- well not that I know of. Just go try the porridge, you’ll love it. This review is actually a compilation of many visits watching the ZTB crew zip around each other- everyone knowing their role, where to go and what to do. I love the ZTB staff, such amazing folks. Mad props to ZTB for bringing bread (and other types of) joy to the South Florida masses. You can often find ZTB bread served at other local restaurants, sold at select farmer markets or at Whole Foods locations. You know you’re loved when co-workers bring in bakery items from ZTB! Lookout for a ZTB Deli at a new location in Wynwood in the near future.