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Milkbar overrated

  • t

The biggest dissapointment of our trip was Milkbar, prepackaged cookies and crack pie in a mcdonald's apple pie container, is this the best DC has to offer?

Rest of trip was great- Lunch at EMP, Dinner Ippudo, Lunch Blue Ribbon/ Joe Shanghai's, Dinner Peasant, Breakfast at Russ& Daughters.

Where are the better dessert bars? Spot? Cickalicous?

65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

Momofuku Milk Bar
251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

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  1. <is this the best DC has to offer?>

    DC? Check your GPS - I think it's gone rogue on you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: small h

      DC = David Chang (or were you just kidding?)

      1. re: rrems

        I was actually attempting to make a point about the confusing use of abbreviations. In what I now see was a very confusing way. Comment fail.

    2. The trick is to eat the pie, not the container.

      1. I've had cookies at Milk Bar, never pre-packaged. What do you expect them to give you the pie in, a plastic bag? Or are you seriously saying there was a McD logo on the box?

        1. i think that with the expansion of the momo empire and the addition of a second (and now third) milk bar location they have started doing almost all of the baking at the central commissary where once they baked stuff on sight at the 12th st location. Over the last 6 mos to a year ive noticed the same thing about the cookies and the pie coming in much more professional looking packaging. The baked goods were always just about too rich, sweet and generally gooey for me, and after my last couple experiences we decided were more or less done with milk bar.

          4 Replies
          1. re: tex.s.toast

            Even more so than other Momo enterprises, Milkbar is an amorphous entity, more a concept than a location. You write it off at your peril. Last winter (and the year before, at least) it/they produced a superb stollen. Search for the CH thread on it. If you are done with Milkbar you're denying yourself a great seasonal pleasure. I took some of that stollen last year to India, to people who know a thing or ten about vibrant tastes, and weeks old (frozen) they loved it. The crack pie may well be packed in a McDonald's type of container -- although I'm not aware that Mc Donald's invented the tirangle -- but it's rich, buttery, and decadent. It's sweet, yes, but that's part of its intensity and strength.

            1. re: FoodDabbler

              The Stollen was excellent. The best thing I've had from Milk Bar.

              1. re: sugartoof

                Agree on the Stollen. Amazing stuff and I'll look for it again next holiday season. But I was unimpressed by the red velvet soft serve I tried once, and some of the other things I've tried were way too sweet for my taste.

              2. re: FoodDabbler

                i did read the thread about the stollen at the holiday market, and even tried to cop some a couple times, but they were always out by the time i made it by the stand. ill probably still end up at milkbar every once in a while (despite my wishes i am not in sole control of where i end up eating all the time) but i guess i meant to say that ive written them off/stopped seeking it out since noticing a distinct drop off in quality of the products i once went there for.

                i still like the corn cookie and liked the birthday cake cake truffles i had but the move to brooklyn-based production (and scaling up of the enterprise) has left a less than sweet taste in my mouth the last few visits.

            2. toro - milk bar bakes fresh in brooklyn, and now packages some of the items in gift bags/boxes. better than dropping it in a paper bag isn't it? their recipes are uniquely milk bar.

              most of the criticism was about over sweetness, and some combinations/textures just not working, but they've toned it down. yes, the place is hyped, and to me it's more an oddity with some fun choices than an all out good bakery - but the cookies are fine if not pricey. they used to be smaller, with a lump in the middle, so consider them much improved.

              Chickalicious is lighter and technique driven approach to sweets. The cupcakes are good, but lighter than a normal cake. Spot is more Asian themed with some cupcakes and standard baked items, plus their more involved dessert plates, and tastings.

              Based on your order, you should have gone to City Bakery/Birdbath, unless you wanted more experimental flavors.

              203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

              Spot Dessert Bar
              13 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

              3 Replies
              1. re: sugartoof

                "Their recipes are uniquely milk bar" - that's one of reasons why I remain a fan. You can find red velvet cupcakes at a hundred bakeries, but you won't find a crack pie or birthday cake truffles or whatever Milk Bar has to offer. I also genuinely find many of their offerings to be delicious, though there has been a few misses. I love subtle sweetness of Asian-style desserts, but Milk Bar is another ball game altogether. My husband recently raved about their chocolate cookie I brought back from lunch at Ma Peche. He claimed it was the best cookie ever.

                BTW I think of Milk Bar as more Christina Toshi's place, rather than David Chang's, though it's part of his Momofuku empire (re: "the best DC has to offer.")

                I'm also a fan of Chikalicious, Spot, and Kyotofu. Each place has their own strength. Even though I am sometimes less than happy with Spot's customer service (I find it ridiculous how quickly their loyalty cards expire) I still like the place.

                1. re: uwsister

                  Yes, Milkbar is much more Tosi than Chang. Even a savory offering such as the pastrami-sauerkraut-rye croissant is, I believe, hers.

                  1. re: uwsister

                    fully agree. their chocolate cookie tops my list of favorites. my second favorite might be the corn cookie. the truffles are almost always excellent. i didn't like the pretzel one earlier this year, but the new strawberry lime is worth a trip. there's nowhere else that has anything similar.

                2. i agree. milkbar is my least face chang enterprise. i've never been very impressed with it. but ssam remains one of my fave places in the world

                  1. We were in both Ssam and Milkbar for dinner last night. Ssam, as usual, rocked.

                    From Milkbar, we enjoyed our corn cookie and cereal milk milkshake that we had while walking home. Had the crack pie last week from a container that's better, imho, than any McD container that I've come upon (caveat: haven't had McD for 8+ years now, so McD container that OP might be referring to might be more recent).

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

                    Momofuku Milk Bar
                    251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

                    1. You'll find that most people here either love or hate Milk Bar. Put me in the latter camp as I find their stuff way too sweet and heavy. I've kept trying different things from Milk Bar, puzzled as to what people find so magical about it. Consider me still scratching my head. They do have some very novel flavor combos. So I think a lot of the stuff is very interesting. But I just don't like the taste of it. I have enjoyed some of the desserts from David Chang's Ma Peche and Ko as they were a bit more subdued.

                      Another dessert bar you may want to try it Kyotofu. Personally not my thing either but many people seem to enjoy it.

                      705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                      Momofuku Ko
                      163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                      Ma Peche
                      15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                      1. yeah, Milkbar is trendy junk - a bad joke of a place...i dislike Saam too...and Noodle Bar is just foul...will never go to Ko by virtue of Three Strikes and Out...

                        try Chikalocious -- i've never been but people i trust have enjoyed it...

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Simon

                          It seems that Milkbar and Chikalicious are opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to dessert. One is edgy, in-your-face, with supersaturated flavors, and the other is refined, subtle, and exquisitely crafted. IMO, our whole culture more and more tends to the former, much to its detriment...

                          203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

                            1. re: ellenost

                              Me too, Ellen!

                              Detrimental to our culture? Chill. It's only a bakery!

                            2. re: hummbaby

                              That's not fair to Milk Bar, which isn't so pop culture as it is a self aware irony approach to baked goods. More indicative of our culture would be something more like Crumbs.

                              Meanwhile, Chickalicious isn't the kind of place that replaces Milk Bar or even tries to.

                              1. re: sugartoof

                                okay: i'd love to hear you explain the distinction between "pop culture" and "self aware irony approach to baked goods" -- have at it, hoss...

                                1. re: Simon

                                  Cereal flavored Milk & Birthday cake balls vs. Massive cupcake flavors that could be TGIF drinks & and specials named after people from the Howard Stern show.

                                  Can't figure it out?

                                  1. re: sugartoof

                                    they both sound awful to me (like having to choose between actual Cheez Whiz and some generic variety of movie theatre nacho sludge)...

                                    but your analogy makes sense and i understand the distinction you were making (my question was genuine)