Saturday, June 18, 2011

Deep Fried Whoopie Pie at Flex Mussels

I'm still not really sure that I want to write a blog.  They're time consuming, and you're supposed to have a point of view, or at least a really nice camera, etc.  So as I was contemplating whether or not to even start (because stopping = failure, so this must be considered), I came upon my inspiration.  My muse.

The deep fried whoopie pie.

And I suddenly felt confident that even if this is the only post I ever write, and it sits alone in this blog in cyberspace for all eternity, that I will still have done the right thing.  Because this baby deserves homage. 

I was a huge fan of pastry chef Zac Young on Top Chef Just Desserts, where he premiered this concept.  I was an even bigger fan of him at the 2010 Chocolate Show, where he served me chocolate mousse in a glass and topped it with gold edible glitter.  It tasted good, and it was sparkly, and I was sold.

Last week my friend Jordan and I ventured to Flex Mussels, the restaurant where Zac Young is permanently stationed.  We started with mussels (what else?).  Most of the menu is comprised of different varieties, and the only non-seafood option is chicken (which is actually listed under "not seafood.")  I ordered mussels topped with walnut pesto and shrimp, which was comforting (the whole restaurant smells like butter), but honestly I wasn't taking it too seriously.  I didn't even bother to order the frites.

We each ordered our own whoopie pie, which was the most unusual-sounding option on the menu.  Even so, its written description does not do it justice.  Yes, it's "fried."  But not it's not fried so that it tastes like it's wrapped in dough; it's fried so that it has at delicate crust, providing a crunchy texture to counteract the warm devil's food cake inside.  That "cream cheese filling"?  It melts, and it's incredibly tasty on its own (is there white chocolate in there?)  The whoopie pie itself is gigantic, and it's sitting on top of a pool of thin caramel sauce.

But wait, there's more!  When the plate arrives you may think that someone has attached an extra dessert to your plate.  That "caramelized white chocolate cream" is actually a rich caramel mousse, which supports a scoop of coffee ice cream that complements the pie quite well.  We laughed at how our crispy chocolate bars--probably painstakingly handcrafted at the restaurant--were cast aside and left untouched in the wreckage of our plates.

Since I ate the deep fried whoopie pie, I have been roaming the aisles of grocery stores and asking "Can I fry that?"  Deep fried ice cream sandwich bars, deep fried milanos, deep fried cornbread...

It's a muse, what can I say.

Flex Mussels
154 West 13th Street, New York -
(212) 229-0222
174 East 82nd Street, New York -
(212) 717-7772

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