The Wynwood community in Miami fills me with mixed emotions. It was once an urban community with a majority Dominican, Puerto Rican, and African-American population housing local minority fabric and discount clothing stores where my mother would take me as a kid to buy items for the house; it is now a bustling art district where the real estate is one of the highest in the nation.
With this evolution came trendy businesses, co-working spaces, retail shops, luxury condominiums and, of course, restaurants. With the exception of Beaker and Grey, Morgan’s and possibly Prohibition (they are hit and miss), there aren’t too many spots that I lose my sh@t over.
Granted, I haven’t tried everything in the area, but so far nothing has been a standout. That is until James Beard Award-winning chef Mike Solomonov, his partner Steven Cook and friends decided to bring their Philadelphia Doughnut and Fried Chicken joint, Federal Doughnuts to Miami, smack in the heart of Wynwood.
For starters, the menu is segmented into two different types of doughnuts: the “hot and fresh” and “fancy.” The fancy doughnuts are available daily, but change throughout the year so don’t get too comfortable with any one flavor. Their rock star manager Autumn told us some of the past flavors have included guava poppy, strawberry shortcake, lemon meringue, black & white, chocolate éclair, and blueberry mascarpone – all made in house!
On the other hand, the hot and fresh have the Krispy Kreme effect. Bottom line these hot doughnuts are fried in your freaking face and then tossed in flavored sugars like strawberry lavender, cinnamon brown sugar or cookies ‘n cream, then served soft and warm.
Lord Jesus have mercy on me! Why the hell were these doughnuts so damn good? The closest comparison would be those little doughnuts you get at the fair as far as taste goes, so you know what I mean when I say these are like crack. So imagine getting that sh#t all year long! There is no way I’m going to see one damn ab with the opening of this place, and I haven’t even started on the mothef@cking chicken!
I know you’ve probably had a huge variety of fried chicken in your lifetime. Some just acceptable, while others were positively memorable. As with anything, your reference point is key in determining likes and dislikes, especially when it comes to food. My reference point would be my great-grandmother’s fried chicken. It was heavenly.
I knew from the jump that Federal’s chicken would be a bit different, since it’s twice fried Asian (Korean to be exact) style; which was just fine because my reference point for Asian fried chicken would be none other than Merry’s House of Chicken in West Covina! Amazing. Los Angeles is considered the mecca of superior Asian fried chicken, so I think I know a thing or two when it comes to measuring up.
Well, Federal Doughnuts did more than measure up, in many ways they surpassed some of my most sacred chicken joints across the country.
My standard for Korean fried chicken has various segments. The first, without a doubt, is the crunch! I need the cornstarch to have created a crunch that can be heard from the inner corners of my big ass head. I want my temples to vibrate from the crunch! Federal’s crunch, was definitely formidable. So much so, it maintained its crunchiness and integrity a day later after warming it up in the oven.
Now, I am not recommending that you take this chicken to go because it is always best when it first comes out of the grease. Honestly, you definitely want to dine in, or sit on the side of the road or even in your car immediately after purchasing to get the full power of this chicken! Yep, I said powerful.
You can order a half chicken or a whole with your choice of wet or naked. BY FAR MY FAVORITE WERE ALL THE WET GLAZES! My favorite of the wet glazes was the honey ginger! Second would be the sweet soy garlic, then the chili garlic. If you choose to stay away from the glazes, then I would go for the buttermilk ranch seasoning and then the za’atar, a middle eastern flavor that was both unique and dynamic.
Now, what I’m about to say will offend some folks, but honestly I don’t give a damn. Federal Doughnut has a chicken sandwich on that expensive, yet delicious, Martin’s Potato Roll that will make Chick-fil-a rethink its life decisions. Good God Almighty this sandwich literally made me bite my finger by mistake. That potato bread, pickle, secret sauce and delicious fried chicken will put yo’ ass in a damn coma if you’re not careful.
This quaint eatery was pleasantly surprising and will become a major national brand very soon. Oh, and the chicken sandwich comes with a honey doughnut on the side. This spot was so good, that I am going to Philadelphia next month to see what else they’re hiding if this is the type of food coming out of that town. That’s a place I need to be.
From exotic, fragrant, garlicky, crunchy, savory, and sweet, Federal Doughnuts takes yo’ ass on a palate roller coaster. The only downside to this spot is that you will need a gym membership because it’s so addictive. It is now one of, if not my favorite restaurant in the Wynwood neighborhood.
I look forward to good times with Federal Doughnuts in the future as well as seeing this brand go very far soon. This place is Hungry Black Man Approved. Be sure you say hello to Autumn, the rock star manager, when you visit. They’re located at 250 NW 24th St, Miami, FL 33127. Call them at (305) 573-9393.
Follow The Hungry Black Man on Facebook @thehungryblackman and Instagram at #thehungryblackman! Sign up for great eateries around the country by dropping your email below!