While people line up for hours at trending places such as the Salty Donut and Mojo Donuts, Bake Shack (238 S. Federal Hwy., Dania Beach) has been quietly garnering a steady fan base. The little 22-seat eatery serves breakfast and lunch, but the specialties of the house are the doughnuts made daily by owner/baker Keith Freiman.
“People like them because they aren’t too sweet,” says Freiman, who confesses he isn't much of a sugar lover. “If it's a key lime doughnut, I want you to taste the key lime; same goes with the strawberry-filled one.” Jam and custard fillings are made in-house.
Better still is the Dough Boy ($5), an egg sandwich featuring Freiman's specialty doughnut bread. It's what makes the restaurant popular not only with locals but also with travelers. "Due to my proximity to the [Fort Lauderdale] airport and the port, people come straight to me." He points to a group toting suitcases. "Uber just dropped them off. I get three or four a day." Visitors find Bake Shack, in part, because of its near-perfect Yelp rating.
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Besides offering doughnuts, Bake Shack turns out an array of savory items, such as the California egg sandwich ($8), a fried egg with a soft yolk, avocado, and mixed greens on house-baked challah; chicken and waffles ($14); a pretzel burger ($11); and a steak sandwich ($12) made with homemade focaccia bread.
The owner of this cheerful eatery has quite the resumé. After his training at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, Freiman went on to work in renowned restaurants in New York City and Miami, including the three-Michelin-star Picholine, the iconic Mark's Las Olas, Delray Beach’s 32 East, and Philippe by Philippe Chow. All of that experience spurred him to open a place that would reflect his laid-back personality. “A place like this is my dream: breakfast, lunch, brunch, done.”
Although his shop has been open only about a year, Freiman already has expansion plans for his humble eatery that offers solid fare at reasonable prices. “I like to make things that people want to eat. I want you to look at it and say, 'That looks so good!' It’s not an art piece, but it is. It’s an art piece you wanna touch, you wanna grab.”
238 S. Federal Hwy., Dania Beach; 754-217-4235; bakeshackfl.com. Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.