Words and Photos by Katie Yao
Although New York City is a mere 4-hour drive from Boston, this distance between the two has been shortened with a T-ride to Harvard Square’s Milk Bar. Christina Tosi, the famous classic American pastry chef, has decided to open the next location of her empire in Cambridge. On opening day I made my way across the Charles River for the advertised $1 Cereal Milk soft serve, but I encountered a line snaking down Massachusetts Ave with an estimated 4-hour wait time. The cold wind deterred me from waiting in the line for more than 10 minutes and so, I made my way back to a (thankfully) shorter line the next week. The pastel pink stripes down the white walls were great backdrops to the cups of ice cream and &pizza, a pizza chain from D.C. that shares the space with Milk Bar.
First up is the Milk soft serve with corn flakes and fruity cereal as toppings. The soft serve was soft, creamy and wonderfully swirled to perfection in the white cup, but it lacked the advertised after cereal milk taste. The toppings enhanced the nostalgia of drinking milk at the bottom of a bowl of cereal with a crunch, but the watered-down version of the cereal milk flavor made a lot to be desired.
Milk Bar advertised a special creation only available at the Cambridge location: the Boston Cream Pie Milkquake. This blend of fudge sauce, Cereal Milk soft serve and yellow cake pieces is supposed to taste like the custard-filled yellow butter cake with chocolate glaze. Initially the fudge sauce and soft serve mixed together to form this nice fudgy, chocolaty ice cream but in the end, the soggy milk pieces sunk to the bottom of the cup and was similar to wet cake mix.
The crack pie slice came wrapped in parchment paper in a brown box, kind of like a cute present. You would expect a large pie slice but it ended up being a flat sliver half the size of a postcard. The brown sugar oat cookie crust offered a soft crunch of caramelized sugar and the incredible taste of gooey butter. It was decadent, but the price hardly justifies the value.
Now, the greatest disappointment was the prepackaged cookies. The shop had a few baskets labelled with the names of the cookie flavors, but the individually wrapped cookies looked so similar to store-bought ones, that it’s skippable. I expected freshly baked cookies, or at least the smell of that wafting through the space, but only the odor of oven pizza hung in the air. There’s tons of local bakeries with freshly baked pastries and local creameries with better-flavored ice cream, so you may be able to skip over Milk Bar.
3 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138