Babka: Moishe’s Bake Shop

Date: 1/12/2017

Borough: Manhattan

Address: 115 2nd Ave

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What we ordered: 

  • 1/2 a Large Chocolate Babka (would recommend)
  • Black & White Cookie
  • Rainbow Cookie
  • Chocolate Rugelach
  • Raspberry Rugelach
  • Raspberry Hamantaschen

Cost (post-tax, pre-tip): $22.80

The scores:

Ratings (1-10) Rob Missy
Taste 8.25 8.25
Presentation 7 6.5
Setting 8 7.5
Value 8 8
Overall 8 8

Ryan comments:

Ryan slept the entire time while we picked out our goodies, which took quite a few minutes.

Ryan’s Report Card (1-10): 9

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General Comments:

Moishe’s Kosher Bake Shop is an unassuming Jewish bakery in the heart of the East Village. It looks exactly how you’d imagine it looked 30 years ago. They have a nice spread of baked goods on display in their front window, and many many more when you go inside. Most of the interior is dedicated to pastries and sweets, but they also have challah and savory breads.

Here’s the front window display:

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These Hamantaschen are probably 4 times larger than a normal one:

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Here’s their Babka and Chocolate Chip Loaves:

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Here’s the fully loaded cases inside (but they have many other items on top that you can’t really see here:

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And their menu:

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Finally, an inside look at their cut babka:

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Moishe himself was there and commented on Ryan. He said that he would be happy to babysit and was very pleasant. He was exactly what you would expect for an older Hasidic Jew in full garb, including Bluetooth of course. Here’s a stealth photo:

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The bake shop is cash-only. As you can see from the list above we bought a TON of sweets in addition to half of their Extra Large chocolate babka, which was $9 on its own. We asked some questions after we paid about a couple of items we weren’t familiar with and they gave us a free sample of one (what Rob’s holding above). Not sure what it was called but it was almost like a baked pita with sugar & spices on it.

We took everything home for our taste test since Moishe’s doesn’t have any seating. Here’s the full spread:

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Let’s start with the less exciting parts, despite this being a babka review. The rainbow cookie looked great but really wasn’t all that impressive. They sell their cookies by the pound but didn’t give us a receipt so who knows how much this cost…

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The rugelach was equally forgettable and disappointing. The Black & White Cookie was a good size and felt substantial. It was very cake-like and pretty thick. Melissa was indifferent about it but Rob liked it.

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Now for the main event…the precious chocolate babka! It may not look like it in the photo below but this “half” of the XL loaf was probably the same size as a whole loaf at other bakeries. Before it was cut it honestly didn’t look like much and it kind of looks like a burnt loaf of bread. When you cut it open, the burnt looks like it’s chocolate, but it’s still not entirely appealing yet.

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Once you get a taste of the interior you can tell you’re in for a chocolatey treat. There are big pockets within the babka that are basically chocolate caverns. When a slice is in your hand it looks more like a chocolate challah bread than a babka. The taste is pretty incredible, especially when you get a bite of the cavern…the chocolate here is plentiful and extremely rich. The chocolate feels kind of gritty in the mouth (but in a good way), but it feels smooth to the touch. The chocolate cavern bites are seriously heavenly. By far the best babka we’ve tried in this project yet…and possibly ever?

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Overall, going to Moishe’s was a fun experience and we liked supporting good old Moishe. While the cookies were definitely a let-down, the babka was absolutely incredible and we will definitely be back. Next time we’ll have to get a full XL loaf because it’s THAT good.

UPDATE: we have since gone back to get another babka since we loved it so much and it was shockingly disappointing…like it was an entirely different product. It was more like a pound cake with one tiny swirl of chocolate through most of it. I don’t know what else to write, I’m just sad…

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