What portion of the planet makes better breakfasts than the American South? None. And how many American Southern restaurants are there in Miami? At least one that we know of: The First & First Southern Baking Company. And does Ray Hicks, owner of First & First do Southern breakfasts proud? Yes, he does. Now all you really need to know is the address, but we'll tell you a little more about the place just the same.
Truth be told, we've already told you about Ray, and how he comes from West Virginia, and how he offers about two dozen home-baked goods each day at his shiny 60-seat downtown restaurant. We told you about his peanut butter cupcake, and how it is really good -- and we even gave you the recipe. But the place didn't look very crowded the other morning. Ray said it's because "most people don't know we're open for breakfast."
Now you know.
And it's a doozy of a breakfast. I tried the blackberry waffles: steamy, moist, fresh, delicious. Real maple syrup comes alongside, as does a mix of berries and three strips of crisp bacon ($8.95). Ray also serves cornmeal/blueberry pancakes; potato pancakes; chicken & waffles; an all-encompassing "lumberjack" breakfast; and grits, of course.
A tall wedge of chocolate layer cake with Maldon salt sprinkled on top was delectable. Pineapple upside down cake, blue velvet cake, 7-Up cake, and all sorts of south-of-the-border desserts are proffered, along with cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, and milkshakes -- such as the Burnt Marshmallow Shake.
Lunch and dinner brings chicken & dumplings meatloaf; trailer trash lasagna; and fried chicken, among other dishes. Ever had a cherry soufflé salad with chicken salad and pound cake? Neither did I, but it's on the menu here ($7.95).
(Note to self: Convince one of rookie Short Order bloggers to go try cherry soufflé /chicken salad/pound cake and write about it).
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You probably weren't wondering whether First & First has a happy hour, but it does: From 4 pm to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, patrons get two cocktails and an appetizer for just ten bucks.
We all agree that Miami needs more indie restaurants. This is one that deserves our support.
First & First Southern Baking Company
109 NE 1st Ave., Miami