Location: Midtown West (West 56th Street and 5th Avenue)
What We Ordered: Hannah - Cereal Milk; Jon - Blueberry & Cream Cookie
This week we decided to visit the famous dessert branch of award-winning Momofuku restaurants, Milk Bar. Notorious for their Crack Pie and Cereal Milk, and a favorite among New York dessert foodies, we had high hopes for Milk Bar's ice cream even though they are better known as a bakery. Hannah ordered a cup of Cereal Milk ice cream and Jon went with the specialty flavor distinct to this Milk Bar location, Blueberry & Cream Cookie, with cornflake crunch topping.
For those who don't know what Cereal Milk flavor is, it's essentially exactly what it sounds like. Imagine leaving your Cheerios in a bowl of milk for twenty minutes and then drinking just the milk. Blueberry & Cream Cookie is a little harder to describe. It was surprisingly salty with a hint of blueberry. The cornflake crunch was a nice addition, but they were suspiciously stingy on the toppings, only giving enough to cover the bottom outer edges of the cup of ice cream; a very poor ice cream-to-topping ratio.
Our options were very limited with only two flavors (Cereal Milk, Blueberry & Cookie Cream) and two toppings (cornflake crunch, fudge) to choose from. Milk Bar's exclusive flavors provided an interesting departure from other ice cream shops, but their potential was hindered by the lack of availability of their other specialty ice cream flavors and additional toppings. It's like having a 60" Ultra HD TV that can only play VHS tapes of home movies from 1982.
Milk Bar gives off an ambiance of 90s grunge meets Robin Sparkles. The dim lighting accompanied by bursts of neon illuminating against the exposed concrete walls throughout make it look like a candy coated version of a Fight Club basement. The staff is especially friendly, even voluntarily striking a pose for a photo-op while taking our order.
Milk Bar has been a popular fixture in the New York dessert community with their delicious array of cookies, cakes, pies, and other desserts, but soft serve ice cream is just not their forte. Both the Cereal Milk and Blueberry & Cookie Cream flavors left something to be desired. Cereal Milk and Blueberry & Cream Cookie did taste like how they were intended to, but after a few spoonfuls of both it was clear that it was an acquired taste.