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Momofuku Milk Bar-this ain't no Dairy Barn

Since my Chowhound credentials didn''t get me into the pre-opening, I was determined to beat the rest of the non-food bloggers to the opening of Milk Bar. I was number 10 in line at 8:40am with the opening at 9am. They actually opened right on time. Of course the woman in front of me had to order one of every pie and cookie and pork bun in the place to go which knocked out the cashier. The pizza ovens were turning out gorgeous loaves of bread (some with blue cheese baked in?) when the ovens started smoking. No panic as they propped open the doors to clear out the haze. I should've ordered the pork bun with egg which I saw someone else having. (note to self: short McDonald's stock at the open Monday as these will undoubtedly make egg McMuffins obsolete). Instead I ordered the volcano. If Yonah Schimmel in its heyday had the foresight and lack of religion to insert bacon, onion and gruyere into their knishes, this is what you would've gotten. It was unbelievable. Knowing Chang would not be content to merely dethrone McDonald's and Jewish street food, I ordered the chocolate milk and the softserve pistachio with pretzels crumbled on top. Had the chocolate milk been hot , it would've blown away every hot chocolate in the city (and I've had all of them). it was frothy, with the most intense milk chocolate flavor I've ever had. Finally say goodbye to Mr. Softee, Custard King and all the ice cream wannabes. The pistachio softserve (which I enjoyed as much as the concord grape they served at Burger Bash but which I guess didn't make the cut here) was brilliant, sweet, salty, caramel and the pretzels crushed as a topping which I thought would screw it up actually enhanced the umami. I am not a David Chang stalker-haven't even been to Ko yet-but this place is brilliant.

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  1. Wow, gg, this is brillant and my mouth is watering! I have not heard anything about Chang opening up a Milk Bar. Is it near the rest of his "chains"? Is it a stand-alone and open throughout the day?

    3 Replies
      1. re: KTinNYC

        http://momofuku.com/bakery/default.asp

        milk bar & bakery hours of operation
        sun - wed 8 am - 12 am
        thurs - sat 8 am - 2 am
        207 2nd avenue l 13th street entrance

    1. I made it to the Milk Bar yesterday as well. My friend and I arrived at about 2 w/a line out the door of only about 8-10 people. It ended up taking us an hour to order and get our food. The staff behind the counter seemed very confused by how to tackle the ticket situation--there was a lot of staring at and rearranging tickets and a lot less preparing the food listed on the tickets. We both had the salted pistachio caramel ice cream, and I agree w/guttergourmet that it was very good. I got it w/peanut butter halvah topping. I also got a compost cookie to go, which was a very good, if not particularly interesting, cookie. Hopefully they'll figure out the line/service issues by the time of my next visit.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Lucia

        Practically empty today at 10am. The egg pork bun was amazing-the egg poached then fried and runny over the pork belly, cucumber, scallion, hoison sauce in the pillowy bun. The chocolate milk was great again and for dessert a slightly warmed slice of blue cheese stuffed polenta bread with kimchee butter melted on top. OMG MMMM!

        1. re: guttergourmet

          I could go for that egg pork bun right now! Too bad Milk Bar wasn't open when I was in town last week. And lol to your dessert at 10AM.

        2. re: Lucia

          We were there around noon on Saturday-the line was just at the door, but it took about 45 minutes to make it to the counter--I agree they need to work on the ticket system-we worked our way up to the counter again and told the two guys there that we had to be at the Public by 2 (curtain) and they were very nice about getting us out...but it is confusing, as you stand on line and other people cut in front of you to pick up what they've already ordered.
          That said- we agree with the above about the pistachio caramel soft serve-terrific. We also tried the grapefuit, which was refreshing, but felt like second place next to the pistachio.
          We also took a cinammon bun for later--at home, we warmed it up, and it was very nice-worth the wait? Maybe not. Let's hope they learn to manage the lines a little better soon (like pre-forming the cookie/cake packaging-to-go?)

          1. I thought it was super yummy! I had the volcano--it was $7 and insanely filling and rich. Definitely knish-like with bacon flavor permeating the entire thing. It made me wonder if I could make something similar at home. I also ate a corrnflake/chocolate/marshmallow cookie and it was quite salty, maybe a little too salty but I should have had a glass of milk with it. I also got a slice of pistachio cake but I'm waiting until later to eat it. Overall, I really liked the vibe of the place. There were only 2 people in front of me but it took like 10 minutes to get served because there was only one worker at the counter and of course one of the people in front of me was asking a million annoying questions. This place is awesome but I would never go in if it were crowded.

            1. A sudden business trip over the weekend caused me to miss the opening of the Milk Bar. So returning to the city, I headed to the Milk Bar after a long lunch at EMP and a few store shopping.

              When I arrived it was 4pm and there were only 2 people eating and 1 person at the counter. I looked at the menu while the cashier was trying to pack the food for the lady. The cashier seemed confused - confused in how to put the food in different containers and where things were put. I wanted the English Muffin with lardon and egg the most but they didn't have it (they said it should be available tomorrow or on Wed). So I ordered the volcano, a few cookies, the cinnamon bun, the blue cheese polenta, and the salty soft serve. I have had the pork buns too many times, and I am not a big fan of sweets so I decided to leave the pies and cakes for next time.

              First the food. The volcano was quite tasty though I thought there were too much potato inside. It became very heavy very quickly and it felt like you had to force yourself to finish it. I also felt that while the ingredients were nice, none of the flavors actually "pop". The outside of the bread was also a little too chewy and tough.
              The blue cheese polenta bread was like a very dense sourdough without the sour taste. I liked the texture but didn't see/taste much gorgonzola. So little that if it wasn't in the name I probably couldn't tell.
              Among the cookies my favorites were the corn and the cornflakes w.marshmallow. The former tasted really like corn, not the corn flavor of corn flour or corn tortilla but like sweet corn. There was some salty aspect to it that I loved. The cornflake cookie got a good chewy texture with a bit a crunch. I always love food with both salty and sweet flavors and these cookies totally do it for me.

              The soft serve, like everybody said, was the highlight! I think from now on there is no more competition among froyo. I am heading to the milk bar everytime I want soft serve! (hope they have more interesting flavors soon!)

              Now the PROBLEM - SERVICE: The cashier was very slow in taking orders. Actually everyone in the bar seemed very slow - slow in heating the food, slow in packing the food, slow in communicating to each other. Also the cashier wasn't knowledgeable to answer questions. Someone asked about the crack pie and she couldn't tell what it was and couldn't even tell whether it was really sweet or not...I ordered take out but everything appeared on a plate for eat-in until the staff clarified with each other.

              Worst part: After waiting for about 10 mins, they told me that they were out of corn cookies but new ones were baking in the oven and would be ready in 5 mins. Ok, after 10 mins I didn't see any cookies coming out from the oven and someone asked me what I was waiting for. I said I was waiting for corn cookies. So another 5 mins the cookies were out, but then someone said there was still a corn cookie in the display case. I asked politely if I could have the fresh cookie from the oven, and the person said "everything is fresh. We just baked them this morning" and then tucked the display cookie in the paper bag and left it at the counter and walked away. I was MAD! I waited 30 mins for a cookie and you couldn't even give me a fresh one? Cosi will give me a fresh bread if I ask! This is going to tarnish my impression of getting great services at Momofuku forever!

              So this wasn't exactly a pleasant experience. But all in all, some food was pretty good though not everything. Also, I think they also need to be more careful about how they "handle" the food. Apparently the cashiers are cutting cakes and pies and pouring and mixing milk without gloves on, and then taking cash and coins withOUT washing hands....

              1 Reply
              1. re: kathryn

                my soft serve (pistachio flavor) was really odd in terms of texture. it was extremely stiff (i don't know how else to describe it) and had an oily mouthfeel. nothing like the great stuff i've had from the noodle bar. maybe the machine was off-kilter yesterday or something... ?

              2. I made it in to the Milk Bar at about 7:15ish last night..there was no line at all....just one party of 2 in front of me who took forever to place their order. They were extremely confused and so was the guy behind the counter...which prolonged the whole ordering process. Anyhow, as soon as I was up, I knew exactly what I wanted (I went especially to try the salty pistachio soft serve, but got the pork bun too!), so I ordered, and then waited, and waited, and waited......

                Luckily for me, David Chang was also there supervising and coaching the staff I guess, but that did not improve the service experience for me. However, he noticed that I had waited for almost 25 mins for a small order, and hence put a slice of the chocolate chip cake, and the volcano bread as freebies for me in a bag.

                Now for the food, this is what I ended up with finally after the 'free' items:
                1 slice of the chocolate chip cake - I thought it was very interesting with the lemony layer in between. However, when I think chocolate, I think chocolate. So even though it was different, I was not thoroughly impressed. i guess I felt like I need to like it just because it was a nice gesture.
                1 volcano - This one was good, though a tad heavy for me. I actually loved the potato, it reminded me of a patoto dish that my mom used to make when I was little and we always ate that with bread.
                The salty pistachio soft serve - Now, generally I'm not a big fan of pistachio icecream, however, I decided to give this a try after reading all the great reviews. The conclusion is that I'm still not a fan. Somehow, the flavor just doesnt sit with me, the after taste especially kills it for me.
                The prok buns - Did i mention that I got 2 pork buns, when I ordered only 1 :).

                There were no cookies in the display cases, and very few cakes/pies too. The crack pie seemed most popular as I saw most of the folks in there get a slice of it. Maybe thats what I'll try the next time I go. It was an overall pleasant experience for me due to the freebies (free stuff always makes me happy) but I do hope they can resolve the service issues soon.

                1. What were the general prices on the various items all CHers have tried??

                  4 Replies
                    1. re: kathryn

                      Some of the prices have already increased when I was there on Monday.

                      Volcano is $7
                      Blue Cheese Polenta bread is $9 per loaf, $2 per slice (flavored butter is extra $1, I think)
                      Cinnamon Bun is $5 (I think)

                      1. re: kobetobiko

                        Thanks for the info. According to that pic, it looked like a slice of blue cheese polenta bread was $8 a slice. My eyes kind of bugged out when I saw that one.

                        Do they heat up the volcano for you?

                  1. I have been 4 times now and tried all of the cookies and the choclate chip cake. Of the coookies my favorites were by far the Snickerdoodle and Corn cookie. The Snickerdoodle had almost a custard like flavor and texture...I'm sure it had about a stick of butter inside but who cares when it tastes this good! The chocolate cookies were WAY to chocolatey even for me and the Blueberry was a little too sugary.

                    I also had the choclate chip cake which was good but I really didn't enjoy the Lemon middle. I kind of wish I had known that was in the middle or I wouldn't have ordered it. I asked the woman what was insie but she failed to mention that part :( Service is obviously an issue as you have heard. However I am excited to go back and try out the rest of the desserts and soft serve. Oh and I like the feel of the place. Once things calm down I think it will be fantastic.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: roze

                      I thought the middle part of the chocolate chip cake was passionfruit. It didn't taste like lemon, imo and remembering what I saw via Eater (http://eater.com/archives/2008/11/vit...), it didn't state that either.

                      1. re: chocokitty

                        I stand corrected- thanks chocokitty. The tart flavor just really turned me off and I ended up eating around that part of the cake. Any type of sour with chocolate bother me.

                    2. I went there tonight at about 8, and they were out of most things. I got a chocolate cookie ($1.75) that was good: very chocolatey, salty, and not too sweet. I also got a piece of chocolate cake ($5) which I can only describe as rich, crumbly, with elements of some kind of pudding and very rich chocolate icing. I would describe it in better detail if the server hadn't smashed it to bits with his bare hands when he shoved it in a too-small take out box. I'm not sure what bothered me more, his ruining the cake, or mauling it with his bare hands. A glove, or a piece of wax paper would have been more aesthetically pleasing (and sanitary) but probably wouldn't have kept him from smashing my cake.

                      I like the other Momo's, but this one was dingy and grim, it reminded me of a depressing bakery in a college town. Servers at the other Momofuku outposts may sometimes be attitudinal, but they are always pro. This seemed very minor league. The previous tenant in that storefront, a laundromat run by a Ukranian family, was a much more useful addition to the neighborhood!

                      1. i was there yesterday as well, around 2 in the afternoon. no line. i got the "english muffin," which was a homemade english muffin with a poached/fried egg, caramelized onion, and lardons. it was really, really amazing but also incredibly rich. i really wanted the pork and egg bun but they weren't offering it (even though they were offering regular pork buns, and egg in the muffins.)
                        i also got a slice of the polenta bread that was stuffed with blue cheese, slathered with a very generous amount of bright-orange kimchi butter. also very rich, also very delicious. the blue cheese was just in the middle of the bread, so only a couple bites got the benefit of the blue cheese.
                        the english muffin was $6.50, the bread with the butter was $3.
                        david chang came in while i was there and appeared to be checking out the scene and had some bread with kimchi butter as well...

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: sararose

                          So are the cookies and baked goods available later @ night??

                          1. re: STA1985CH

                            They make a certain amount of cookies, pies, cakes, and breads each day and they don't seem to make everything on the menu every single day. The soft serve and pork buns are typically available at night.

                            We just stopped in around 9ish, and they were already out of cookies (they said they usually run out pretty early), and only a few pies and cakes left. Pies available were brownie, blondie pumpkin, and candy bar. The cakes available were pistachio and chocolate chip. The only bread available was the blue cheese polenta. No volcanos, pork and egg buns, or cinnamon brown butter buns.

                            1. re: kathryn

                              I was there today at around 5. At that time they still had quite a lot of cookies, though not a lot of variety. The cookies were mostly compost, chocolate, some peanut better, and a few cornflake marshmallows. They did have most of the pies, but only 2 cakes I think. A few fresh blue cheese polenta.

                              This time around the service was GREAT! Apparently the staff seemed a lot of more knowledgeable in answering questions (literally memorizing the ingredient list, I think, as I heard "a pinch of salt" among the ingredients that the staff mentioned...And they had started wearing a latex glove to handle the pies. (they might have read our posts?)

                              I applaud their improvement.

                              Now I want to ask for more flavors for the soft serve - goat milk??

                              1. re: kobetobiko

                                That's funny about the glove. I stopped in yesterday and I mentioned to a very nice woman at the counter that the food was good but the handling was bad, and she was very apologetic and said that they definitely weren't supposed to barehand the food. I was raised in a restaurant, and my mom and dad always told me that you should let a restaurant know what went wrong... you're doing the other customers, employees, and owners a better turn than being disgruntled and never coming back.

                        2. Last night I braved the cold just before closing and got a slice of brownie pie. The server and one of the bakers were nice, helpful, funny, and generous (it was the end of the night), and they were professional with a spatula. They only had brownie pie, crack pie, some kind of pumpkin dessert, and soft serve (no thanks in sub freezing temps). the brownie pie was very intensely flavored, not too sweet, great texture. For $5 the serving seemed a little small, but considering how rich and delicious it was, no complaints. And they generously gave me another freebie. The crack pie basically sounds like a sugar pie. Maybe they should consider changing the name to "gentrification pie" since there's not a lot of crack left in the neighborhood - now we have high rents and fancy restaurants instead.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: hungrycomposer

                            I'm not sure that the portions are consistent but if the my slice of pistachio cake was representative (should be, it had a thumb print) then this is one for big eaters. Heavy on the salt and sugar for me, but quite good enough to get again.

                            1. re: wew

                              The portions don't look big but the pies are dense. The cake slices don't look huge either but it takes like 3 people to get through it! A pretty good deal for $5 I would say, and you can always take the leftovers home.

                              1. re: kathryn

                                I agree, considering how rich the sweets are the moderate portions are probably a good thing. The slice of cake I got was actually huge. And buying anything delicious for five bucks in this town is an OK deal these days.

                          2. Went back this morning and finally got the homemade English muffin, egg, bacon and onion. Outrageous. I must be the only person who has gone 3 times and never had any cookies, cakes or pies. I do like the chocolate milk and had another slice of the polenta gorgonzola bread with kimchi butter. They gave out free samples of the compost cookie and i was unimpressed. i do like the pistachio soft serve. Anyone try the chocolate brownie soft serve?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: guttergourmet

                              I was there at 8: 30 this morning, no line and only one other customer. I wanted the English muffin sandwich but it is not served before 10:00, the women behind the counter said the dough was still proofing. I had the pork and egg bun and it was outrageously good. The yolk is slightly runny, actually a little gloppy, and works perfectly with the bun. I added a shot of Sriracha. Sadly they do not serve hot coffee. At $9.75 it better be perfect, I can't wait to try the English muffin sandwich.

                              1. re: stuartlafonda

                                Coming up: hot coffee. And it's from Stumptown ... http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/0...

                                -----
                                Momofuku Ssam Bar
                                207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                            2. went to milk bar today around 3pm, line was along the wall on the right side of the place, waited about 20 minutes, got the pistachio soft serve with brown butter topping, pistachio cake and a variety of cookies. i have yet to eat the cookies. we brought them home for later. the soft serve i must say was really salty, i expected something a little salty but wow. i was sorta underwhelmed. the cake was pretty good. i liked the lemon curd stripes. the cake was flavorful, maybe a bit on the dense side. i'll really wanted to try the buns but i had no idea they were 9 bucks. i feel strange buying one when mantou pork buns in chinatown go for less than a buck. i hope the cookies are good.

                              1. The pork buns -- are they still 2 per order?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: baobao

                                  yes although it doesn't say it on the sign (its confusing)

                                  1. re: Lau

                                    Went this morning around 8:30 am. One person in line. Cash register acting up so they were only taking exact change or credit card. Pork Buns AND pork and egg buns were both $9. Got the cinnamon roll, which I thought was a little pedestrian. Quite rich. $4.

                                    1. re: maggiej

                                      Also got the cornflake/marshmallow/chocolate cookie. It's fabulous. A bit of rice-crispy-treat taste, totally rich, just salty enough.

                                2. I live a couple doors down and have never been understanding of the Saam craze (realize it is better than when first running as a lunch/take out spot but other than the brussel sprouts have still not been wowed by dinner service).

                                  However, I adore halvah and like sweets so decided to pop in the other night when it was empty. The staff was so confused I left without buying anything. And the people I spoke to on the street were leaving frustrated about waiting for ages for what they said wasn't the most special pork bun they ever tasted.

                                  The fluff n fold that was there before Milk Bar moved in was a great service to most of us on the block. So far, I am not sold on this being a better replacement.

                                  1. I went and tried a little of the pistachio soft-serve, which I thought was interesting but too salty for me - it's not something I would go back for, but it is an innovative taste. The crack pie, on the other hand, was delicious, but expensive for what it was. It tasted like a chewy seven-layer bar (sans coconut)... you could definitely taste the condensed milk in there. Tasty, but $5 seemed a high price somehow.

                                    The Vegetarian New Yorker: http://vegny.blogspot.com/

                                    1. so i am back on the thread to comment on the cookies i brought home but hadnt yet tried. basically we got one of each one. so far i've had the cornflake-marshmallow-chocolate cookie which was tasty and i also had the banana cookie which i thought was delicious.

                                      1. Like chinaplate, I miss the old laundromat that was replaced (or displaced) by the milk bar... And the last items I bought I found a little disappointing - a gooey cinnamon bun, and the volcano. In all fairness, I brought the volcano home and re-heated it, but there seems to be a certain gooey aesthetic to the food that's not always appealing. They are getting it together more in terms of service, and the baker is patient and very helpful and nice. It's fun to drop by and get a little something on my walk home, but I couldn't imagine hanging out there or making it a destination. Maybe if they could do my laundry for a good price...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: hungrycomposer

                                          Sorry for your loss of the laundromat. At least it didn't become another Subway or another bank...

                                        2. I went on Mon. morning to buy breakfast for my co-workers, and I was appalled at the selection. I got more disappointed as I tried to cobble an order.

                                          "Can I buy a loaf of bread?"
                                          "They're not ready yet, but you can buy a slice of cornbread for $7."

                                          "Cinnamon rolls?"
                                          "We're not making those today."

                                          "Egg sandwich?"
                                          "That's not available yet."

                                          I resorted to the volcanos and a couple cookies. They were DELICIOUS, but what a sad selection. I wish they served more breakfast food during breakfast hours.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: thesu

                                            I went there this Monday early afternoon. Since then my family have been debating how well this place is going to do after the early furore -- we're not convinced by the concept. Ssam bar started off weirdly, though, when it only sold the ssams and then adapted a bunch and did great. Maybe the same will happen here.

                                            I had the pork-and-egg single bun, which was more excessive than the pair of regular Ssam buns. It was good.

                                            For the sweets I had a slice of the pistachio cake, which didn't thrill me. My family liked it, when I brought most of it home, but I agree with the poster who complains about the gooey aesthetic, which this epitomized. This is like the antithesis of a refined Pierre Hermé pastry.

                                            The soft-serve looks like their surest bet. I'd had that before at the noodle bar, so I bought banana and chocolate-chocolate cookies. The cookie's texture is similar to a City Bakery/Bird Bath cookie but the cookie is thicker and smaller, with less crunch. The banana cookie was sort of like a distilled banana bread, and interesting without being gimmicky like the blueberry-cream or compost cookies seemed. The chocolate chocolate cookie was ok -- but it's really more of a (very decent) brownie.

                                            Basically they need more savory items as the pork buns are a once-in-a-while kind of thing, likewise for the volcanoes/knishes. Some cold noodle dishes or various kimchees (the Ssam bar's kimchee plate is always to die) would be nice. Even sandwiches -- I'm sure they could think of something.

                                            It's not a dessert cafe type of place you'd want to hang out in: the layout is weird, and the eating arrangements are inhospitable.

                                            Regarding the bread, I also wonder how many people intend to eat blue-cheese loaves. Couldn't they just settle on making a really great loaf that's not loaded with junk? There are few enough good bread places in New York anyway. If the Milk bar followed the example of somewhere like St John Bread&Wine in London, which makes unbelievable but plain breads, I, for one, would be grateful.

                                            In fact, as it stands the place I'd compare the Milk Bar to is Magnolia Bakery: drippy, excessive desserts and iffy service, occasional queues.

                                          2. I went last Saturday night around 8pm and it was not too crowded, no wait. I didn't have to take a ticket. They had some cookies and pies (but no crack pie) in stock and the blue cheese bread. I got a slice of the brownie pie which was rich and really good. I also asked for a sample of pistachio soft serve, they gave me a very generous one (the sample cups are on the large side). I'm also not a pistachio fan, but it got so many raves I wanted to try it. I did enjoy it the thick and creamy texture and the saltiness was interesting, but I don't think I'd order it in the future. Looking forward to trying pies and cookies and sampling more soft serve. BTW, when I was there the service was excellent and the servers super-friendly.

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: citysweettooth

                                              huh. when i asked for a sample of soft serve before i made my purchase, the girl behind the counter told me that their machine "didn't work that way" (her words). i thought that was quite odd.

                                              1. re: wleatherette

                                                Weird! I asked for it after I placed my order as an afterthought and it wasn't busy, maybe that helped or the servers weren't all trained the same? Maybe they're still trying to figure out the policy... I hope they do offer samples regularly bec. especially with more "unique" flavors I'd be loathe to pay for a whole order without tasting first. The fact that they offered a sample on request left me with a good impression.

                                              2. re: citysweettooth

                                                I was there last Thursday night, around 10:30 p.m. Again, not too crowded, didn't have to take a ticket, but the appearance of the place is rather off putting. They were out of every cookie except corn cookies, but had an ample supply of pies and cake. I had the candy bar pie which was extraordinary. I seriously could not believe I was eating such a good pie in such a dump, famous owners aside. Here's my advice: call ahead and ask what they have before you trek downtown. You can ask them to save you a slice of something,.Otherwise, you'll get there and they might be out of what you want.

                                                1. re: brendastarlet

                                                  You really think the Milk Bar is a dump? I think it's a good looking place.

                                                  1. re: KTinNYC

                                                    Agreed. It's starkly elegant-- metal and wood. very minimalist while being pleasantly bustling.

                                                    1. re: STA1985CH

                                                      I thought it was starkly like a bakery, sorry.

                                                      1. re: brendastarlet

                                                        i agree. i was surprised by the decor (or complete lack thereof), but i assume that the dumpiness is on purpose? it reminds me of the popular "indie" cafe in my college town, which was... rustic.

                                              3. Tried a chocolate milk shake combining the fudge brownie softserve with the chocolate flavored milk. It was a bit too intensely sweet. I still stick with the savories. If they ever finally perfect and introduce the challa with chorizo I will be thrilled.

                                                1. We got a cornflake marshmallow cookie, double chocolate cookie and candy bar pie. Good, but really really sweet and heavy. I guess it complements the food of Momofuku Ssam -- more subtle desserts would totally be lost on the palate after eating at Ssam Bar.

                                                  1. Tried the Cornflake Marshmellow Chocolate Chip cookie and Compost cookie. The Compost Cookie sounds gross, but it was actually good for the first few bites. I felt like the cookies were a little too heavy and super greasy (the paper bag had grease stains all over it). One cookie is definately enough to fill you. Not sure if I would have them again, although they were good the heaviness/greasiness borderlined on gross. I am anxious to try the soft serve and savory items (i.e. volcano and pork egg bun).

                                                    1. i really don't like their cookies. they are very greasy, too sweet, and the only thing going for them is that they have semi-interesting flavor/texture combinations going on. the cookies are not really chewy, yet they are not pleasantly crispy either. they're quite bad on a strictly-cookie standpoint.

                                                      the cakes are quite good, my favorites being the pistachio cake and the banana cake. i have tried all but the chocolate chip with passionfruit curd and the dulce de leche. both the pistachio and the banana are quite superb.

                                                      the soft serve is decent, but nothing mind-blowing. the salty pistachio was, for me, way too salty. the new flavors are here and i've tried the chocolate malt flavor and the graham cracker and they are both decent. nothing special.

                                                      the green curry banana bread, though, is really interesting and when it comes out hot from the oven (they warm it up for you with a generous smear of butter), it is really delicious and the green curry gives the banana bread an extra layer of warmth and heat that works really really well. i would definitely try this if you haven't had it yet.

                                                      and of course, the pork buns are delicious. but i have to say - the pork buns i had on my first visit to momofuku noodle bar were far more delicious than the ones i've had at the milkbar. i think the pork was a little crispier on the outside. the pork in the milkbar pork buns are soft and flobby. still delicious, but not mind-blowingly so.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: j.jessica.lee

                                                        I like their cookies best, they are a little less cloyingly sweet than their other desserts. Last time I brought home a slice of dulce de leche cake, my boyfriend took a forkful and said "I think all of my teeth are going to fall out if I have another bite". I actually liked the cake, but I ate it in 3 separate servings. And they got their plating together - when they first opened they'd barehand the cake and stuff it into a too-small box, but the last server I had was strictly pro with a spatula.

                                                        1. re: hungrycomposer

                                                          I agree, they've worked out a lot of kinks. Now that foot traffic is more manageable and they've got a numbering system, it's a much more pleasant experience to go to Milk Bar. I tried the malted chocolate soft serve yesterday and think it's by far superior to the salty pistachio. Have still to try the graham cracker flavor.

                                                          Also had their new carrot cake - which is carrot cake with milk crumbs and cheesecake in between. It was good, but a little sweet for me. I think their banana cake is hands down their best cake. The chocolate chip cake with the lemon curd in the middle is a bit bizarre. Have still to try the pistachio one though - I was scared away by the lemon curd trauma from the cchip cake.

                                                          Had the brownie pie the other day as well, nothing to write home about - just a very dense fudge-like brownie with a salty graham cracker crust. I'd rather have a Valhrona chocolate truffle from Bond St. chocolates.

                                                          Although their cookies are a bit weird, there's something about them that is quite enticing. I've had most of them, but the cornflake marshmallow and double chocolate are my favorite. Something about the chewy, buttery texture makes it oh-so-good, but also really makes you wonder what they put in it to make it taste that way!

                                                          1. re: sammyw111

                                                            While I love Milk Bar's creative and unique spin on desserts, I found the cornf-marsh-choco-chip cookie and the candy bar pie to be overly sweet. They were both delicious, but I had a very hard time finishing them because my teeth were throbbing. That will not stop me from returning, though!

                                                            www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                            1. re: LeahBaila

                                                              I completely agree. I wanted to love the desserts but I thought each and every one was way too sweet. I did love the pork buns though!

                                                      2. we went tonight and had a milkshake with chocolate malt soft serve and cereal milk, which was awesome, and the crack pie, which lived up to its name. Both were crave-able.

                                                        1. I am in complete agreement with all previous posters who complained of cloying, greasy, sickeningly sweet desserts. Have been twice and only gave it a second chance because of Ssam. Crack pie is like a stick of butter covered in sugar. The snickerdoodle soft serve with pretzel topping made me want to gag. This is like amateur hour! Bring back the Fluff-n-Fold, please.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: snickers

                                                            Yes, exactly! I've been here three times now and I've really tried to like it each time and each time I haven't. They somehow manage to mangle desserts that SHOULD taste great. Crack pie was TOO much butter! Compost cookie went down like a brick. Cereal milk is tasty for a reason -- because it comes at the end of a bowl of subtler cereal; by itself it's just too strong. Yudge. Candy bar pie picked the wrong types of candy bars to emulate -- the caramel tastes cheap. The soft serves are a bit better but still too much (and I say this as someone who usually likes too much). The pistachio flavor was too salty and bizarre when it existed, the chocolate malt that they serve now too malty. The root beer float flavor is too icy, and the orange julius tastes literally like frozen orange juice. Their cakes apparently are no better -- I tried the one with yellow cake crumbs and it was cold, with the cake hard, the frosting bland, and the overall cake tasting like a supermarket cake or worse, but for much more money.

                                                            Unfortunately, this is a place that is just plain bad.

                                                            The Vegetarian New Yorker: http://vegny.blogspot.com/

                                                            1. re: shivohum

                                                              I myself have been back twice (after an original visit posted above) to see if it was any different. The place was fairly empty these times (in the afternoon and early evening). The blondie pie was fine for about one bite but then tasted of little more than sugar.

                                                              A mixed soft-serve of graham cracker and chocolate malt was tasty. However, I'd always choose a Van Leeuwen ice cream over the soft-serve.

                                                              Like many of the other offerings, the pie and soft-serve seem to play too much on cloying childhood tastes.

                                                          2. ATTN GUTTERGOURMET AND OTHERS:
                                                            The chorizo challah is finally available. They told me today was the first day they had it. A small-ish loaf for $7 that yielded about 5 slices. It is only available by the loaf. I ordered it to stay and they offered to warm it up in the oven for me.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                              I saw it there on Saturday afternoon... Maybe it was still in previews!

                                                              1. Has anyone tried the kimchi and blue cheese croissant? I saw it on the board the other day...