Momofuku Ssäm Bar + Milk Bar, New York: Confessions of a Crack(Pie) Addict

It's been longer than I wanted since my last post. A lot of things have happened since I went to the Food Blog Forum seminar in March. For instance, I got offered a dream job that took me to bridal market in New York City for ten days. I love weddings, I love fashion and I love New York! How lucky am I?

Behind the counter at Momofuku Milk Bar

So to balance out the really LONG post about the seminar, I'm going to keep this as short and sweet as possible.

Momofuku Milk Bar's Crack Pie

Go get some crack pie at Momofuku Milk Bar, NOW! It is divinely buttery. The deceptively simple-looking pie filling resembles lemon bar filling -- until you bite into it and taste the caramel/butterscotch-like flavor. The oat crust tastes as decadent as the interior. It adds a nice crunchy nuttiness to counterbalance the richness of the "gooey butter filling."

Crack pie: up close and personal

I hoover-ed that piece of crack pie so fast, it's a wonder I didn't also eat my fingers. Wanting to share this with my family, I carefully flew back with two slices for them to try. Now my parents and my hubby are also crack(pie) addicts! :)

Compost cookie in display

The compost cookie with its melange of ingredients is inspired and heavenly -- a thin, chewy cookie with a surprising combination of potato chips, pretzels, coffee grounds and oats combine to make one rapturous taste experience with a depth of flavor unexpected in a "simple" cookie.

Milk Bar in neon; the compost cookie

If you want to try making these delicious desserts at home, check out this post from TheKitchn.com which includes links to recipes for crack pie and compost cookies. [UPDATE 12/26/11: You can also check out my own post on making miniature versions of crack pie!]

Momofuku Ssam Bar

I got so excited about the crack pie and compost cookie, that I almost neglected to share with you our mini-meal at Momofuku Ssäm Bar! It was a mini-meal so we could save room for the crack pie, of course.

We had the pork buns, natch, and the Fuji apple kimchi with maple labne, jowl bacon and arugula. A little salty jowl bacon, a sprig or two of arugula and a piece of kimchi'd apple speared together and dunked in the cool labne made for a beautiful combination of flavors and textures.

Fuji apple kimchi at Momofuku Ssäm Bar

As for the pork buns...the soft white buns cradled two slices of tender pork belly, resting on a few slices of cucumber. Scallions and hoisin sauce added herbaceousness and sweetness. The crunchiness of the cucumbers played against the soft chewiness of the pork. I could have easily consumed four or five more of these little bundles of fatty goodness (hmmm....maybe a good name for another blog? ;)).

Ssäm Bar menu; the famous pork buns

Below is a glimpse into the Ssäm Bar kitchen with the chefs hard at work.

Where the magic happens - Momofuku Ssäm Bar kitchen

And, finally, the incomparable New York skyline reflected in the window at Momofuku Ssäm Bar. If you go to New York, you must try the crack pie. It will change your life!

New York reflected in the window of Momofuku Ssäm Bar

Momofuku Ssäm Bar
Momofuku Milk Bar
BTW, now there are two Milk Bar locations! You can get your fix in the East Village and in Midtown.


  1. Donna, you've managed to make me hungry and homesick, all in one post. Love, love, love your photography. And now I am reminded that I really need to get back to my hometown...to eat! Every time I go back, it's always about the food, revisiting old faves, and catching up on the newest/hottest eats in town.

    And again, congratulations on landing your dream job! I'm so thrilled and excited for you!

  2. Hi, Liren! Thank you so much for the kind words! How fun would it be to go to NY together, so you could really show me the town?! I'm going back in October for fall bridal market, but the schedule is so crazy. I felt like I was running a marathon this past market, which is exhausting for someone who mostly likes to exercise her fork-lifting hand and not much else! :p

  3. AH! I went there! It was amazing! I can't wait to make the Crack Pie at home - thanks for that link. Did you happen to try any of their ice creams? I want to try making the cream cheese frosting one at home. It was soooo good!

    I had looked at the Apple kimchi on the menu, but passed it up. I was trying to be adventurous, so I went for the tripe. I have to say, I kind of regretted the choice, but I am sure glad that I tried it!

    Now I want another pork bun.... :D

  4. Hi, whisk-kid! I am looking forward to trying homemade Crack Pie, too. Here's another link a friend sent me, showing Pastry Chef Christina Tosi demo-ing the recipe on a tv show.


    The Fuji apple kimchi was nice. Not nearly as spicy as "regular" kimchi I've had, so I didn't have to sweat through the meal. :)

    Thanks for visiting!

  5. I am such a fan of crack pie and I haven't even been to Momofuku. It will be my first stop on my next visit to NY. I've never heard of Compost cookie, but man potato chips pretzles chocolate, yum yum yum!

  6. Donna! Didn't Nancy Reagan teach you anything? Just Say No. Crack is whack ;-)

  7. Hi, LetMeEatCake! Definitely, go straight to Momofuku when you land in NY! It'll start your visit off with a beautiful food memory. :)

    The compost cookie is delicious, too, so save room!

  8. Gastronomer: LOL. Crack(pie) is definitely NOT whack!

  9. I want some of that pie right now. Amazing photos! I need a trip to NY.

  10. Hi, A Little Yumminess! I want some pie now, too...I've got to carve out some time to try making crack pie at home! Thank you for your kind words. :) Have a great Tuesday!

  11. Your post is seriously making me drool! Wish I was there! Thank you for sharing!!

  12. love your intermix of bw photos..so New York cosmopolitan!

  13. Kitchen Runway: Thanks for visiting! Can't wait to see your posts about Japan & China!

    Ravenous Couple: Thanks for the kind words -- I took these photos w/my new toy: Olympus E-PL1. It's so fun! http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/01/olympus-e-pl1-review/

  14. I'm going to NYC next week. I'm going to stop by and try some crack pie!!!

  15. Very nice pictures with you new toy!

  16. Bao, definitely go get your crack in NYC! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And thanks for the nice words about the pix! Have a great day!


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