review by Biscuit Wakefield
The Udder Place
Chocolate Chip Cookie
My apologies. I forgot the price.
Two years ago I joined my husband on a trip to New York City, where he was attending a boat sales show, and there I encountered a chocolate chip cookie unlike any Iâ€™d ever eaten. It was at the Levain Bakery, which my daughter Kathy tells me is â€œfamousâ€ from mentions on the Food TV Network. The place was recommended to me by someone at the conference, who said I â€œabsolutely had to tryâ€ the Levain cookie, even though it meant riding the subway alone and getting lost. As I wandered around in circles I found myself envying the pigeons, what with their homing brains. Finally I homed in on the bakery and a â€œfamousâ€ â€œmust-tryâ€ chocolate chip cookie was mine â€“ and just as everything in New York seemed overly large and hard to digest, this cookie was a whopper. I could only eat half, but oh, what a half it was: massively thick, underbaked in the center, with sturdy outsides and a heady rush of sugar. I have since dreamt of this cookie, which Mr. Wakefield liked also when I shared a piece back at the hotel.
The reason for this preface is that The Udder Placeâ€™s chocolate chip cookie was reminiscent of Levainâ€™s, if a lot smaller and less intense. When I broke it in half the thick bottom crust bent, it didnâ€™t snap;the insides were soft and doughy. This is my preferred CCC texture but I realize it may not be yours. As at Levain, there was no pronounced vanilla flavor â€“ cheap extracts have ruined many a fine cookie. Instead, the experience was one of light caramel, almost like eating a blondie. The chocolate involved was quality semi-sweet, but in my opinion the chip-to-dough ratio was a mite low. The cookie itself was also greasier than it should have been, leaving visible oily stains on the napkin. A little less fat and a little more chocolate and this would have been a contender for the top chocolate chip cookie in Portland.
Best of all I did not have to ride a bus or the subway in order to get it, although it does require a short drive from the peninsula, which I did not mind because I had some spare time that morning.