On my long list of culinary loves, kooky sweets ranks somewhere near the top. While most would flinch at the notion of pairing black olives with beer or rosemary with apricots when it comes to desserts, I gravitate toward these unusual combinations whenever they are presented.
Momofuku Milk Bar, the lone confectionery in Chef David Chang’s East Village empire, specializes in classic baked goods turned upside down. Just how unusual are the offerings here? One of the most popular items on the menu is something called a Crack Pie™. It’s so famous that it’s trademarked.
Connected to Momofuku Ssam Bar by a short hallway, the Milk Bar consists of an open kitchen to the left and a series of glass cases lined with baked goods toward the front. The austere and chair-less space lacks the warmth of a neighborhood bakery, which is disappointing but not surprising considering the aesthetic of Chef Chang’s other Momofuku outlets (See: Ssam Bar and Noodle Bar).
I was this close to ordering a slice of the Crack Pie™, but then remembered my personal policy against eating foods that are referred to as crack or crack-like. Blame it on D.A.R.E. After I passed on the toasted oat crust with gooey butter filling, also known as crack cocaine in pie form, The Astronomer chose the blueberry pie. The Astronomer loves berries.
The sour cream-tinged slice ($5.25) came topped with corn streusel. One bite of our chilled treat and we realized that it only resembled pie in appearance. Composition-wise—cookie crust, jammy filling, and crumbly topping—this baby was all bar. Bars are nice and all, but we were hoping for some warm and fruity pie.
The best item I tasted at Milk Bar was the sweet and salty cucumber soft serve. I would’ve gotten a whole serving of this weirdly delicious flavor, but it was rainy out, and my California blood couldn’t handle a shock to the core.
Momofuku Milk Bar
207 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003