Momofuku Milk Bar

72 Wooster St. New York, NY 10012(347) 577-9504milkbarstore.com

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Momofuku Milk Bar is what happens when you let a mad scientist (David Chang), who is very in touch with his inner five year old, into the kitchen. Yes, this tiny dessert café (a.k.a. bakery) sports a menu that reads like something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, minus the snozberries.

Starting with the cookies, the Compost Cookie (pictured) is most definitely the one to be getting, made from a menagerie of ingredients including (are you sitting down?) pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, chocolate chips and about 40 other things. No exaggeration. It’s salty meets sweet meets the kitchen sink. In fact, this cookie is so complex, it’s likely to give the other cookies a complex. And it does, because after the Compost, the other cookies range from good (the blueberry & cream) to good riddance, like the corn cookie.

The Cereal Milk in all of its various forms from milkshake to soft serve to, well, plain old milk (about which there is truly nothing plain), tastes like the leftover milk from a bowl of Fruit Loops. Genius in theory, but in practice there’s actually something a bit unsettling about this one, because you can’t help but wonder who, and how hygienic was the person who ate the bowl of cereal from the milk you are now drinking? Granted this is obviously not how it’s made, or at least I pray it’s not, but for some reason it still triggers this visceral off-putting reaction.

Another infamous treat at the Milk Bar is the Crack Pie. Basically a variation on a chess pie with toasted oats and hints of butter cake. The net, net is supposed to yield something so addictive it’s like that other addictive thing bearing the name “crack.” Well, having never tried the cocaine version, I can only speak from my experience of the pie, and addicted I am not. Primarily because it is way too sickly sweet. And that’s kinda the problem with Milk Bar in general, much of the stuff is so crazy sweet that it becomes polarizing.

But polarizing means there are two extremes, and while the Cereal Milk and Crack Pie fall at the low end, the Compost Cookie and the Birthday Cake Truffles fall at the peak. Now I know some people dismiss these as birthday cake pops without the stick, but I would say that is a drastic oversimplification. It’d be like calling quantum physics similar to algebra because they are both math. Yes, there’s way more going on in these balls than meets the mouth.

So ,while it’s not exactly a smashing success like Ko, the Milk Bar still has its moments. You just have to navigate your way through the sugar bombs.

3 teeth

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Five Guys

240 Main St. White Plains, NY 10601 • (914) 422-3483 • fiveguys.com

FiveGuys

Dear 5 Guys,

Lose the peanuts and spend the money on shakes. What kind of burger joint doesn’t have shakes? It’d be like a raw bar serving up shrimp cocktail without cocktail sauce!

That MAJOR gripe aside, the burgers themselves are pretty good. In fact, a lot of East Coasters even claim them to be the In n’ Out Burger of the East. Granted most of those East Coasters are either delusional or simply mind-fucking themselves into believing it, but even with all the wishful thinking in the world, comparing them to the likes of In n’ Out is a VERY generous bridge too far. I mean sure, it’s great that the burgers are better than Burger King, and I’m even happy to give 5 guys the upper hand when it comes to their fries (light years better than the cardboard crap at In n’ Out), but I’d take a Double Double Animal Style any day over 5 Guys. Which brings me to my second major gripe, I don’t like burger places without a point of view. As Ego would say in the movie Ratatouille, “give me some perspective.” I hate “make your own burger” places. If I wanted to make my own burger I would’ve done it AT HOME! I came to you because I just wanted to pick out something interesting off of a menu. Ideally a combination of things that I wouldn’t have thought of.

So, with these two major dings going against it, 5 Guys is definitely not getting 5 Knives.

3 teeth

The Strip Club

378 Maria Ave. Saint Paul, MN 55145(651) 793-6247domeats.com

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It’s not what you’re thinking. I mean c’mon, give me some modicum of credit. I’m not about to stoop so low as to review the food in a nudie joint. Although that does pose an interesting thought for a spin off stripper review site, “Ferocious Nudie.” But as misleading as the name might be, The Strip Club does in fact serve up some serious flesh… in the form of beef, pork, poultry and fish. So good it’s actually worth venturing into this sketchy part of town.

For starters I highly recommend the pork belly with the spicy carrot slaw on top and the crispy cauliflower drizzled with yogurt. The seared foie gras is also good, but it is sadly overpowered by the English muffin base, the duck egg and the glazed apricots, so much so that you barely even taste the foie gras. Making it a good starter kit for those just toeing the waters, easing them into their first time, but for true lovers of the livers, you will feel a bit cheated. And last of the starters for me would be the beef tartar over hummus. A bit on the whatevs side of the four.

On the entrée side of things, be sure to skip the duck or pay dearly with order envy should those around you go with the filet mignon or the braised lamb. Both were superbalicious yet simple in their preparations, allowing the meat to shine in all of its mouth-watering glory.

And for dessert we went with the fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, served with a crème anglaise dipping sauce, which actually proved to be my least favorite dish of the night. The cookies were the under baked, doughy kind, which always feels like a cheat to me to get to gooey. And the créme anglaise tasted more like a grasshopper milkshake melted down. But even with ending on a sweet and sour note, I have to give props where they are due. The service was great, the décor relaxed and for some bizarre reason, the patrons old, which is a bit of a downer, but it also somewhat tempers your fears of the neighborhood, because let’s be honest, if anyone is getting mugged, it’ll probably be the sweet old lady, not you.

4 teeth

Northpoint

Mitchell International Airport 5300 S Howell Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53207 • (414) 747-5300 • northpointcustard.com

double

My god was this bad. And I mean really, really bad. Not one thing was good. Not the burger, the shake or even onion rings. The only thing that was just okay were the cheese curds, but even those leave you feeling gross.

I honestly would’ve preferred to eat the food on the plane, that’s how bad it was.

The shake was too icy. The meat was over-cooked, dry and flavorless. The ingredients tasted like GMO’s. And their ketchup is Hunt’s, which should tell you something right there- even their condiments sucked.

Just so atrociously, all-out bad. Did I say it was bad yet? Oh, I did? Sorry for beating a dead horse, but I’m only doing that because it was BAD.

So, again, in summation… it was B-A-D.

1 tooth

Shake Shack

Madison Square Park New York, NY10010(212) 889-6600shakeshack.com

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Once upon a time, this was easily 5 knives. I mean the Shack Stack (a fried portabello cap stuffed with cheese atop a beef patty) was hands down the best fast food burger I had ever had. But that was back when the Shack was just a shack. Before they expanded to Grand Central, the Upper West Side, Westport, Connecticut and Istanbul, Turkey. It’s the classic case of “how big do you get before you get bad.”

Well, having been back a gaggle of times between now and 2004, I can officially say they have reached it. My how far we have fallen Mr. Meyer. And while the Shack may have upped its game again for its recent 10 year anniversary, it’s right back to its old habits. Which is sad, because in its hay day it truly was worth waiting in that absurd line. A line so HUGE that if you were strolling through New York City and happened upon it, you would think someone was giving away free money. A line I, myself once waited in, and I don’t do lines. Shit, I even cut the line at the Vatican to get into the Cistine Chapel. And yes, if there’s a Hell I’m most likely going to have front row seats.

Oh, and speaking of Hell, as long as you were halfway to dying of a heart attack after that burger, another must was their black and white shake. I mean it is called the SHAKE Shack after all. So thick and creamy you could literally feel it dragging your stomach down to your feet. And then you obviously had to have the fries with it… I’m feeling dejafull just typing this.

3 teeth