Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Great Find: Momofuku Milk Bar

Let me just say Momofuku Milk Bar isn't technically a "find" - every foodie in town knows about it, and well, it' s been on my list since it opened, but on this blog, if I try it and I like it, it's filed under "Great Find." So you already know how I feel about the place. Went there last night with Book Babe. Whenever she and I get together, we talk writing, books, Gossip Girl, our dysfunctional families...and we eat, dinner and dessert always, in separate places.

Last night, we concentrated our efforts in the village. Dinner at Soba-ya--I had the kitsune soba, my go-to dish, which comes with a side of two inari sushi. Not mind-blowing soba, but tasty nonetheless and friendly, fast service. Our entire dinner took a record 45 minutes. I always enjoy my meals there.

Afterwards, we took a stroll in the cold up to 2nd Ave and 13th to go to David Chang's sweet heaven. First impressions--good vibe. The entrance is actually around the corner on 13th, not on 2nd, but you can see everything going on in the place b/c of the floor-to-ceiling windows. Last night, the crowd was downtown couples, hipsters, Asian foodies, and Momofuku Ssam reservation holders (the ones wearing the ties) standing around, eating out of cardboard containers.(where the neon "milk" sign is is a hallway that links the bakery to ssam--don't even have to go outside; very clever)
Between the two of us, we had:
  • Pork Buns: slices of pork belly cradled in Chinese buns; very tasty, although the roast pork at Big Wong's still can't be beat (2 for $9)
  • Cereal milk: let cornflakes sit in milk until soggy; strain and serve in soda cup, and you have a hit on your hands; I admire the creative effort, but this was just too weird for me; then again, I'm not crazy about cereal, unlike the people standing nearby, who seem to be enjoying the cones of cereal milk frozen yogurt, one fruit loop flavored ($4/cup)
  • Composte cookie: this chocolate chip cookie supposedly contains potato chips, pretzels and other stuff in it; the cookie retains the crunch of the chips - I had thought they were cornflakes, but cornflakes were on the brain, b/c of the above; good texture, crispy on the edges with a chewy center peak, just how I liked my cookies, but very rich ($1.75 each)
  • Candy Bar pie: this thing called to Book Babe from the display case - topped with chocolate covered pretzels, in the cut view, you can see the chocolate crust, peanut butter filling, caramel oozing out the sides and topped with a layer of hard chocolate; what a Reeses would be if it grew up and moved to NYC ($5/slice)
  • Key Lime cake: the surprise winner of the night; took a slice home for City Guy, who likes fruity desserts. With competition from all the above, I have a feeling the key lime cake gets overlooked here. The girl who packed it up for me hadn't even tried it. But I tried a bite when City Guy was enjoying it later and wow - this is amazing cake - the cake layer is flavorful, but not too fluffy or dense; sour cream frosting and a surprising layer of crispy graham crumbs and a base of graham crackers ($5/slice)
Really fun little spot and I definitely want to go back. Glad to say for once, the food has lived up to the hype. What looked good for next time: crack pie, dulce de leche cake, cinnamon bun pie and blueberry cream cookie.

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