I spent this past weekend slowly, lethargically gallivanting about the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn with my old childhood friend Diana, her chef beau, and their District of Columbia-based married friends. Following a superficially stylized but still delightfully flavorful meal at trendy Mà Pêche, which has garnered ample attention due to the Momofuku reputation despite its location in the Midtown depressing dead-zone, we sampled some desserts from the companion bakery, Milk Bar.
To speak in broad and grandiose generalizations, in most towns, when a joint is popular, it is either because of an unchallenged monopoly on the market, because it is indeed actually good, or because it has been sufficiently bolstered by media squawking and lemming-like flocking to a locale to simply be popular. Milk Bar, from my limited experience, seems to fall into this final category. I ordered the branded Candy Bar pie, which, completely unsurprisingly, tasted like an amalgamation of various drug store delights smashing into a single pie-shaped pan. Naturally, I was expecting a sucrose prominent treat, one that would perhaps lead to some aching teeth, however, was very disappointed with the complete singular dimension of the dish. There were no savory flairs, no bitterness, no bite; this was a pure plate of saccharine, one that had I been magically transported to my youth, I would have gobbled down without regret or shame. Particularly when I compare this to one of my absolute favorite desserts, one of true decadence, Kentucky Derby pie, which gracefully and maturely unites bittersweet chocolate, rich pecans, and strong, smokey bourbon, I can only shake my head at what was definitely my own mistaken transference of ideals and expectations. To my defense, the promise of pretzels was one that I believed would add a desired crunch texture and a more nuanced taste; alas, the piece featured a single pretzel at the very top. This offered little variety to the sugar-saturated topography of the pie.
In truth, I did gobble my piece down, more so because I had endured a trying day of running about and professional stress, with little nutritional sustenance. For the future, though, rather than dish out the few dollars for this dish, I would prefer to spend a single dollar on a Hershey Take Five or Twix bar.
(image taken from NYC Go)