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Feb 6, 2010 02:53 PM

Is Momofuko Milk Bar worth a second chance?

I live in the neighborhood so not a strecth to get there but I went one Sunday morning and sampled the cornflake/marshmallow cookie and the compost cookie to very mediocre results. I gave some extras to friends on Monday morning to very average to below average reviews. I also sampled the Volcano which seemingly has all the ingredients worth living for - bacon, potato and gruyere but it was greasy and leaden. Did I pick a bad time or day? I would assume a place focused on baked goods would be baking early morning and daily so what happened?

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  1. I went once, didn't like it. Went again, still didn't like it. Tried a third time to be sure....three strikes they're out.

    1. I've always found their cookies to be just OK, but then again I like cookies a la Levain where they're very soft, not crispy and thin like they are at Milk Bar. I'm also not a fan of the soft serve there, but I am definitely a fan of the Crack Pie-I tried it for the first time last week and have been dreaming of it ever since! It's a small serving, but it's the perfect size because it's so rich. I'd recommend going back there just for that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jess321

        i thought the crack pie just tasted like glue and sugar. not really my thing but i have have a friend who likes it

      2. I tried 3 of their soft serves 3 of their cookies, their crack pie and one of their cakes.
        I didn't like any of it, I thought most of it was way too sweet. thanks for reporting the volcano was bad, it sounded good so i wanted to give it a shot. i seriously doubt u went at a bad time, i just think they're bad. They're open till 11pm or midnight so morning should be best. i think any bakery in manhattan is better. if u want unique desserts with an asian twist i like Spot at st mark's.

        2 Replies
        1. re: daffyduck

          What's good at Spot? I've always wandered by but they have too many options it seems..any favorites?

          1. re: Jess321

            my fav things there were the ice creams: condensed milk, vietnamese ice cream and ovaltine. lol but i'm half asian and these were some childhood flavors that i loved so they might have reminiscing effect. i also liked the yuzu esikmo and white semifreddo, but my fav things were the ice creams. i think the topping i liked the most was chocolate pearls. There's also a 15 percent student discount.

        2. No, I just find it underwhelming and overpriced/overhyped. I agree - 3 strikes and they are out. The only reason why I even gave them 3 chances was because of the Momofuku name.

          1. Basically, it's an 'unusual' bakery, and you're going to either love this place or not. It's almost like an experimental, unapologetically ooey-gooey place, so it's gonna appeal to the people who appreciate that kind of dessert. If you try some items and they're not your type, you probably just don't like the place, and that's fine. I don't think it's a matter of off-days here.

            That said, all of the items are different so you may like a few things and absolutely despise some others (wow I still can't forget that rosemary soft serve, yikes). But don't feel like this place by definition IS GOOD and if you don't agree, you're wrong.

            14 Replies
            1. re: janethepain

              I agree it is a quirky place with some intriguing sounding items. I have been twice and it didn't blow me away. I also think their "one sample" per customer rule is stupid. The girl behind the counter had a real attitude last time also.

              I feel like the best things there are the banana cake, chocolate cornflake cookie and chocolate cookie. Their soft serves are nothing special- they just come up with whackey flavors. I think they would be better off finding some that are customer favorites and keeping those. Then if you want just rotate a few as specials.

              The crack pie is good but not destination worthy. Same thing for their other cakes. I say its a place to try once just to say you have tried it which you have but with so many great spots in the city I say go somewhere else.

              1. re: steakrules85

                The new red velvet soft serve is really good, especially swirled with cream cheese frosting soft serve. I've never liked their soft serve since salty pistachio (when they first opened) but I loved this one. I agree that they really should let you sample more than one flavor.

                1. re: uwsister

                  the red velvet flavor IS ridiculously rich and well, red velvet cake-y. you can't eat very much of it before you feel gross. the scary thing is, a guest didn't finish theirs and left it in the trash. the ice cream melted down and solidified into a big red velvet chunk, practically cake batter. i mean, this stuff is RICH.

                  but yeah, the one sample per customer is ridiculous. come on, it's not like you have 31 flavors that customers abuse the samples for.

                  1. re: janethepain

                    I can actually understand the 1 serving per customer policy - the lines there can get very long, the cashier is the one giving the samples, and there typically aren't that many people behind the counter. I've also seen them relax the rule when it's not that busy.

                    1. re: janethepain

                      I actually finished the entire serving with ease and will be back for more before the month is over -- guess I like it "rich."

                      I've also seen them give out more than one sample, but I think it depends on the counter person. I've had a counter person who was totally nasty (the sample was literally the size of a penny, when I inquired about it he replied "That's the policy" before quickly dismissing me -- and the place was empty) while other counter people were happy to fit in two flavors in one cup or an extra sample after my purchase, etc.

                      1. re: uwsister

                        i usually like rich things too but some of momofukus items i find to be just way too much. for example their eating their crack pie feels like eating super concentrated butter with a boatload sugar injected into it. ive had a counter person that was pretty nasty with samples even though it was obvious i was going to buy something. But that's ok, i'm sure he didn't want to get fired or anything. lol if i owned momofuku milk bar i'd only give one sample. hopefully ppl will think the one flavor they tried was a fluke and still order an ice cream.
                        btw theres a place on st marks that has red velvet frozen yogurt that tastes just as good as momofuku's, it's the place that sells yogurt for 35 cents.
                        i think it's hard to mess up red velvet ice cream. it's kind of like tiramisu ice cream, you're dealing with awesome flavors the worst u can get is a not bad.

                        1. re: uwsister

                          I'm going back to Ko for dinner next week, and plan to stop by Milk Bar for my "fix" of crack pie. Sounds like I might go for the red velvet mixed with cream cheese frosting. I may even buy the chocolate chip cornflake cookie too (I'll diet for the rest of the week).

                          1. re: ellenost

                            You should definitely try the red velvet & cream cheese soft serve! I got another one today. The weather was so nice outside, couldn't resist. Also glad to see someone else needs a regular fix of that crack pie BTW...

                            Steak, next time try asking if you could have two flavors in one cup. I'm convinced it's only one counter person who's really nasty. I didn't have a problem sampling carrot cake soft serve with cream cheese frosting soft serve today (which can be swirled, but still two flavors.) Did NOT like that one, however.

                        2. re: janethepain

                          Yeah it is pretty ridiculous, especially when your local baskin robbins or cold stone does have 31 flavors and they let you sample whatever you want. And you can't tell me they are not any busier than Momofuku.

                          Haven't been but I heard the great gelato places like Grom, L'Arte, etc. will let you sample. And CIF also.

                          Even when it is dead there they refuse to let you taste more than one flavor. I am gunna pay $5 for a flavor I dont like? Please.

                          1. re: janethepain

                            Ew ew ew ew ew. That description of the red velvet softserve was enough to convince me that I don't want to try it. Not that I was big on going back to Milk Bar in the first place, but god, imagine what that would do in your stomach.

                            That is probably the worst thing I have read on chowhound in months. I blame your way with words :)

                      2. re: janethepain

                        I actually liked the rosemary soft-serve topped with olive oil crumbs. Reminded me of Otto's olive oil gelato. Compare that to the white truffle ice cream I had the other day from Ciao Bella in Grand Central? That was truly foul.

                        1. re: Spoony Bard

                          It might be the olive oil crumbs that did the trick - i read a blogger who said it was good that way. but the sample alone was enough to make me gag, and i usually love herbal stuff.

                          I have noticed though that the samples are less ridiculously small. Before they jerked the machine handle up and down in a split second, so basically what you got was a smush of ice cream in those tiny ketchup paper cups. When i got one a few weeks ago, it was a healthy dollop in a bigger plastic condiment-sized cup - I was actually pretty surprised. Though that size sates me enough that I don't want any more usually

                          1. re: janethepain

                            This is my problem with most of their flavors. I really only want to eat a very small amount of them. Which makes it in my book, not that good. I can eat a single pint of Capogiro in one sitting, easy.

                            Ugh, I'm still thinking about that lump of red velvet. I need to go cleanse my brain.

                            20 W 50th St, New York, NY 10020

                            1. re: windycity

                              I haven't tried the red velvet, but I love the cereal milk soft serve. Also the crack pie, though admittedly an occasional indulgence.