What would a world where everything is based on Pop-Tarts look like?
That’s the premise of Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Café, a one-week pop-up only open at 48th Street and Broadway now through Sunday, Feb. 26. The result is a menu that looks very much like the masterpieces your sugar-addled brain came up with in elementary school that never got the credit they deserved, like a pizza ($8) made with a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts crust, strawberry sauce, frosting “cheese,” fruit leather “pepperoni” and even a you-so-fancy sprinkle of mint leaves.
“We said, ‘How can we take a traditional Pop-Tart and make it interesting and new and different and really be creative?’” says Angela Gusse, the marketing director for Pop-Tarts.
Instead of enlisting another celebrity chef — Christina Tosi of Milk Bar created the bowls served at the cereal bar that usually occupies the space — a team of food scientists spent two months reinventing some New York classics (cheesecake, tiramisu) as well as the favorite foods of the Pop-Tarts demographic of teens and young adults like tacos and chili fries.
The results look strikingly similar to the real thing, except those fries ($8) are Chocolate Chip Pop-Tart strips ($8) topped with “meat” that’s actually crumbled Cookies & Creme Pop-Tarts. Red jelly beans make for convincing heirloom tomatoes on tacos ($9 for two); and the made-to-order burritos (actually a sweet crepe, $12) are visually delightful, with sides of strawberry “salsa,” kiwi “salsa verde” and frosting “sour cream.”
The menu also includes more conventional treats like milkshakes and a cart with 18 kinds of Pop-Tarts ($1 each) if you want to kick it old school. Apparently, only half of you are toasting them, according to Gusse. Pro tip from a grown person who still has S’mores Pop-Tarts in her pantry: It’s not a bagel, toasting is crucial!