August 23, 2009
Milk Bar, Lula's, and Cafe Katja (or Dessert, Dessert, Dinner)
Momofuku Milk Bar doesn't have these soft serve flavors anymore. Oops. But let's reopen the Momofuku Flavor Vault anyway.
The last time I had soft serve from Milk Bar, their doughnut flavors disappointed me—they didn't taste very much like doughnuts. The previously offered cereal flavors didn't scream, "EAT ME" either, although for the opposite reason—they did taste like cereal, and not in the most appealing way. (Unless you love Lucky Charms, in which case you probably would've enjoyed the soft serve.)
Thankfully, during this visit with Jason and Amy, the rosemary with olive cake crumble (as recommended by Kathy) was quite good. It tasted like...well, rosemary, which can be an overwhelming flavor, but in this case was just a step below overwhelming. (I did end up with rosemary-scented burps for the rest of the day, though.) The crispy cake bits helped temper the rosemary-ness.
I liked the lemon custard more than the rosemary, although not the Ritz cracker topping over the olive cake crumble. The Ritz cracker didn't really add much to the lemon—not crispy enough to add a satisfying crunchy texture, not flavorful enough to add...flavor. Maybe it would've added more oomph to a different soft serve, but they're not on the menu anymore so this information is useless. Yeaaaah oops.
Last was a slice of Arnold Palmer cake (named after the ice tea / lemonade drink) made of layers of tea-soaked cake, whipped lemon mascarpone cream, almond tea crunch, iced tea jelly, and lemon cake. I really like the cakes from Milk Bar—as you can tell, they're a bit..intense, generally composed of flavor combinations you wouldn't find anywhere else, and are on the heavy side.
My favorite cake is the pistachio; if they have it, GET IT. Otherwise, I don't have a strong cake recommendation. Unlike the soft serve flavors, I've been pretty happy with all of them.
Lula's Sweet Apothecary
After that first dessert, Jason and I parted ways with Amy and moved on to second dessert at Lula's Sweet Apothecary, a shop that specializes in vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free treats, mostly in the ice cream category. Don't let the diet-friendly designation deter you if you're omnivorous (easy to say, those desserts don't always have the best reputations for being delicious)—it's good even to those of us whose stomach acids can tear through everything.
They have an interesting flavor list for their ice creams—not that the flavors are wacky, just not ones you'd find at most ice cream shops.
We sampled a bunch of flavors before settling on the nut milk-based orange creamsicle and ginger molasses. The ice creams were smooth, creamy, not too sweet, and strongly flavored. Orange creamsicle tastes like orange creamsicle! Ginger molasses tastes like...well, mostly molasses, but it's still good. Better than a lot of typical dairy-based ice cream? I'd say yes. Way better than the sample of soy-based ice cream we tried from Stogo which tasted mostly like...soy. Do not want.
I had been meaning to visit Austrian/German restaurant Cafe Katja for months, but didn't get that real kick-in-the-butt until Jason mentioned he wanted to go there. Not being very familiar with Austrian or German food, I'm not sure how to rate it.
So here are some pretty photos! Yaaaay.
We started with a hot soft and crispy-crusted pretzel accompanied by..
Plops of plain, sweet butter and peppery butter..
And a tub-o-mustard.
For the meat log portion of our dinner, we tried the grilled krainer with potato salad. Tastes like...a juicy sausage. And that tastes like...WIN.
Last was the generously sized spatzel (spätzle, if you want correct accents), soft lil' egg noodle nublets with snow peas, sliced shiitake mushrooms, pea sprouts, and peppercorn sauce. Influenced by the neighboring Chinatown, perhaps? I don't think I tasted much peppercorn action, but I like the creamy cheese sauce, which didn't taste as heavy as it looked. It's a substantial entrée for vegetarians in a sausage-centric restaurant.
Although it's unlikely I'll ever toss and turn in my sleep while moaning, "I NEEDA BRATWURST," if I ever do get a longing for sausage and spatzel, I'd check out Cafe Katja again. Also, our waitress was one of the nicest, most pleasant waitresses I've ever encountered. I rarely point out service unless it's memorably good or bad, so that should mean something.
Methinks dessert-dessert-dinner is a good way to structure one's afternoon.
Posted by roboppy at 11:20 PM
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