Monday, March 1, 2010

Volcano Bread on a Monday Morning

I was over at Momofuku Milk Bar this past Sunday.

Momofuku Milk Bar
207 2nd Avenue at E 13th Street
(entrance on E 13th Street, around the corner from Ssam Bar)

As usual, a wide variety of dazzling, strange and oh-so-tempting desserts and menu options inundate my visual horizon while I was there.  Good thing there is always a line at Milk Bar.  So I bided my time and decided to make up my mind while waiting for my turn to order.  The cakes looked familiar, in that I recall seeing them when I was last here a few months ago.  So cross those out since I figured they were probably staples and I'd be able to sample them again next time.  A selection of flavored butters beckon - kimchee and honey were the two flavors I contemplated, but nah, that means I've gotta buy a loaf of bread that I will never be able to finish so, another time.  Their soft serve flavors of the day sound very interesting - red velvet (I chose that flavor as the one sample they allow per customer - it didn't taste that great; had a weird tang) and cream cheese sounded tempting but again, nah, I'd just had 2 cupcakes for dessert after lunch and was feeling a bit too lardy at that moment.  Then, I looked up at the massive chalkboard that spanned the top half of the back wall.  And I zoomed into their 'Daily Breads.'  Apparently, the Sunday bread was 'Volcano.'  This was a humongous, volcano-shaped bun that is stuffed with potatoes, bacon, gruyere and onions.  Now how can that combination be wrong?  So I decided to buy one to-go and have it for breakfast the next day.

Monday morning comes along.  I had thought through the best way to reheat this huge hunk of bread.  I decided to go with microwaving for 3 minutes on high, followed by 8 minutes in a 400F toaster oven.  Massive under calculation.  The bun was so thick (about 4 inches tall) that my subscribed process did nothing but slightly tickle the outermost layer.  Anyway, I still ate it since I was already running late.  Ignoring the fact that the bun was not properly heated through, I would rate the Volcano as an overly starchy experience.

I think the idea is for a potato gratin in a bun.  The bread was interesting; it was very chewy, almost mochi-like.  The filling was comprised of a thick layer of sliced potatoes and tiny bits of caramelized onions and very fatty bacon.  The bacon was cut in thick cubes and therefore wasn't of the crunchy variety.  In fact it was almost too fatty as there were greasy bits of pork fat.  The gruyere flavor permeated the bread quite well however, since there was a double dose of carbs here (the bread and the potatoes, and a very thick layer of potato at that), the end result wasn't very appetizing.

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