Monday, May 4, 2009

Dinner for Dessert

Dear Boo,

I know we've talked about this before--the fact that somehow in the past few years, my ferocious sweet tooth has been tamed, nay, conquered, by what is now my ferocious savory-tooth. Which is not to say that sometimes I don't enjoy, or even require a good milkshake. It's just not a frequent occurrence as it once was. These days I find myself finishing a good meal and craving not a square of sticky toffee pudding cake (amazing, by the way), but another serving of that onion ring poised perfectly on top of the strip steak. The Boyfriend has often joked on the way home from a big meal that we should stop for a slice of pizza to round out the evening. We've never done it, of course, but I have to confess that there is a tiny dirty secret part of me that thinks, hmm, that sounds kind of good.

So the other night, the Boyfriend and I had a date. We went out for sushi, then wandered over here to partake in one of my favorite spring/summer activities: drinking whiskey in the open air. (oh and also playing Ms. Pacman which believe it or not I had never done before. I kicked ass.) Then, after realizing we had been chatting and missed the movie we'd planned to see, we decided to head home, stopping on the way for some kind of dessert item (at the Boyfriend's insistence, not mine). We were going to pass Momofuku Milk Bar, of the Boo and Baker's infamous smackdown, and I thought, having never been, why not try it. Now the whole milk bar/momofuku empire kind of irks me, mostly because of the lavish praise heaped left and right on these restaurants as if David Chang is the second coming. Which I know is not fair since I haven't experienced much more than a bowl of broth noodles with pork neck which I liked but which didn't inspire transcendent hallucinations as promised. I guess it's all just part of my aversion to anything that makes annoying 20-something new yorkers in finance line up and shoulder their way in to pay $24 for a few strands of noodles and shout to each other across cramped tables about how everything there is the BEST thing they've EVER seen/tasted/smelled/thought about. Apologies, Mr. Chang. I guess my issue is more with your clientele than anything else. Can I please have a reservation at Ko now?

Moving on. Sure enough, Milk bar was packed, but the line seemed to be moving quickly and by now I was really curious. We planned to steer clear of the flavored milks and get a compost cookie (with pretzels and chips it sounded like the perfect dessert for someone like me). Then I spotted the "snack" section of the menu which listed pork buns. I've been told I made a terrible mistake by not trying these when I went to the noodle bar, so I was intrigued. Let's get the cookie and an order of pork buns, I ventured. Really?! The Boyfriend's eyes lit up. I figured we'd had a relatively light sushi dinner, on the early side, so it wasn't totally nuts to have a little meaty late night snack. Besides, I thought. A mini pork bun couldn't have more calories in it than a slice of cake which might be considered more appropriate for a post-dinner dish. And for that matter, neither does a slice of pizza. So what's so wrong with going savory for dessert? The french have the cheese course. Why can't I have my pork bun dessert?

Turns out I can. And turns out, it was DELICIOUS. Two little steamed buns stuffed with crunchy cucumber, sweet hoisin, and a couple of thick slices of just fatty enough pork belly. I really can't say enough about how good this was. We had a slice of the candy bar pie (they were out of cookies) which was also intensely good and incredibly sweet as you might imagine. But I mainly stuck with the pork buns. I'm pretty much counting down the days til I can swing by and get some more.
So what about you? Ever had dinner for dessert? Is there something I'm missing about why a large portion of sweets is more acceptable than an order of fries? Please help. Because the next time the Boyfriend makes his pizza joke, you might just find me ordering a slice.

Love,
The Mouse

11 comments:

Abby said...

I agree whole-heartedly. I much prefer savory. Seeing the picture of the pork bun vs. the dessert--no contest. Pork Bun all the way!
And by the way, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having pizza for dessert. or breakfast. or dessert again.

The Boo said...

ok, no lie: Last night I dreamed I was at a restaurant with a few friends, and when we asked for the dessert menu, it was full of pasta dishes and meat items. Everyone assured me it was the 'new thing' and made me feel totally out of the loop. So I ordered some pasta, but no one else did. Then I got up to look for the bathroom and found that our entire extended family was eating dinner in that same restaurant.

maxo said...

hmmmm sans the pretzle,,,,i want that chocolate triangle, thank you...

Katie Vagnino said...

I have dinner for dessert fairly regularly...I always crave french fries more than ice cream, even in summer months.

Also, sometimes I forgo dessert for another glass of wine. Wine for dessert is also awesome.

The Mouse said...

Thank you, all you kindred souls! I am thinking of having a post-dinner french fry course at my next dinner party. you're all invited.

Anonymous said...

those pork buns are incredible. I still think $9 was like a two or three dollars too expensive. I mean 9 bucks isn't going to kill you, but something about it seemed excessive. especially when it's counter service. they could at least throw in a third pork bun.

also, another after dinner treat i've been craving lately, corndogs. not sure why, but I think a corndog could make a nice dessert.

-- the bf

luis18 said...

what about when people eat dessert with the main course? like drinking a shake with your burger. sure it's delicious, especially when you dip your fries in your shake, but isn't it slightly obnoxious?

The Mouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Mouse said...

My next savory dessert from the Milk Bar, also with a $9 price tag, but come on. with cheese, potatoes, bacon, and bread, how could i resist??

http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/05/momofuku-milk-bar-making-of-the-volcano-nyc-east-village.html

annie said...

drinking whiskey in the open air. --- where did you do this? big brother at work blocked the link. ... i remember when i first saw someone (my first college roommate order a shake with her burger. her sister did too. it was 'what they did' -- it blew my mind.)

annie said...

parentheses was sp to end after 'roommate' - won't let me back in tho. maybe should have been commas. tired. sorry.