I don’t know what this place has to do with chef David Chang’s food, and the name is a little odd since Ronnybrook has their own milk bar over in the Chelsea Market and nothing about this place will make you think of A Clockwork Orange, but I stopped in around the corner from Ssam Bar to check it out anyway. Good thing I read somewhere about the opening, because there is no signage outside Momofuku Milk Bar to identify it. New York foodies seem to reside in one of two camps — either the Chang-obsessed who can actually be bothered to wait on long lines and mess with those ridiculous reservations systems, and the people who think he’s obscenely overrated. The business Andrea Strong wrote about — someone being charged $300 for a cancelled reservation at Ko — didn’t exactly win him any brownie points. (Yes, I know they didn’t charge the woman in the end…)
I’d love to get straight to the food, but I have to start with a warning. The ordering situation at Milk Bar is currently a disaster. The place was practically empty, and yet that still meant a 15-minute wait to get a slice of pie and a piece of cake. I personally could have jumped behind the counter and served everyone in the restaurant in about 2 minutes flat, but instead we had to stand there and wait. There is so much wrong with the service, it’s not even worth going into details. Here’s some advice — fix it fast, because I’m sure this place is gonna be packed soon with Upper East and West Siders slumming it downtown. Oh wait, apparently they like standing in line.
Okay, phew, that’s over. About the food, I went with the brownie pie and the chocolate cake. Very dense, very heavy, very rich, very chocolate-y. Again, no idea what this has to do with Chang or Asian food, but who cares? If you want a brick of a dessert, this is the place. They’ve got soft serve ice cream (just in time for the cold weather?) and pork buns (umm, again?) and some focaccia stuff, but if you don’t start drooling in anticipation after looking inside the pie and cake refrigerator case, then check your pulse because you might be dead.
I did pretty well there with my cake. Oh, who am I kidding, I ate the whole thing. Still, the pie only made me think of a Mississippi Mud Pie recipe I used to make from Susan Purdy’s long out-of-print As Easy As Pie. I’ll have to find my old copy of that book and make it, because that’s pie perfection.