Max Brenner

Written by on June 16, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Broadway, New York City, New York

How I heard of this place: I first heard about Max Brenner when visiting friends/family in Haifa. We decided to venture out to Tel Aviv and pay the chocolate haven a visit. After the Centenary event at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx, we needed a late-night dinner/midnight snack and Max Brenner was the perfect choice.

Type of cuisine: Among the small array of breakfast and lunch/dinner entrees including omelettes, sandwiches, burgers and flat bread pizzas, can be found the ever-present and abundant world of chocolate. “Chocolate is not just about taste. It’s a symbol of different aspects in our lives of romance, of sensuality, of decadence. These aspects actually create the new chocolate culture of Max Brenner,” says Max Brenner, innovator and creator of this new chocolate culture.

Ambiance: “Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man, provides a “chocolate mood:” a person being surrounded by huge bricks, candles, pralines, colorful toy tins and crates filled with cocoa beans. Each person’s chocolate experience is unique to the individual as it brings out different emotions in each and every person.” And that bald man is not shy! A huge line drawing of his head is boldly painted white on the brown background of the logo outside. The large windows show the darkened interior with amber lights aglow. Inside, the dark wooden furnishings complement the yellowed walls and brown floors. The chocolate shop, immediately to our right as we enter almost pales in comparison to the two large vats of chocolate (one milk and one white) being tempered. As we make our way around the restaurant to our seats, we pass the pastry display case mostly depleted at this late, midnight hour. The hour doesn’t mean much to the number of patrons still present in the dining hall. We make our way up a set of nearly hidden stairs, into a brighter space, yellow walls creating more vibrancy in the golden lights. Wooden floors are barely viewable underneath the black booth seating and tables that run the length of the loft seating area in which we find ourselves. On the far left wall, heavy, dark wooden shelving, holds uniform jars of colorful, yet muted spices. We squeeze our way into our seats at this table for twelve and proceed to peruse the plethora of menu options.

What I ordered: I know we were in a chocolate shop, a place known for all things decadent, yet, feeling hungry and interested in something more substantial for my midnight snack, I opted for The Best B.A.L.T. ($14.50) with crispy bacon, avocados, lettuce, tomato and cilantro-avocado mayo.

MB Club

One of my dining companions selected The Brenner Burger ($14.25), with Max’s secret barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomato, cheddar & vidalia onion ring on top.

MB Burger

Three of our dining companions enjoyed the Grilled Chicken Panini ($14.50 each), toasted with goat cheese, spinach, tomato and black olive pesto. Each sandwich came served with two large pickle strips and chili-chocolate powdered waffle fries.

MB Panini

Our desserts included the Banana Waffle ($13.95), two small Belgian waffles topped with fresh, heavy whipped cream, sliced bananas and a caramel drizzle, with a side of vanilla ice cream; the Banana Tempura Fondue ($12.25), a Chinese wax-interior, paper take-away container filled with warm and crispy banana bites, pure milk chocolate dip, and toffee sauce;

Banana Fondue

the S’more Concoction, a ceramic three-hole, lined paper plate with one, square graham cracker topped with a drizzle of chocolate and roasted mini marshmallows, a tiny vase of caramel sauce, a miniature ceramic bowl with fresh banana slices swimming in caramel and a glass container of chocolate, marshmallow cream, chocolate-covered graham crackers, topped with a mountain of dense, fresh whipped cream.

S'mores Concoction

Finally, we had one order of the Melting Marshmallow Hot Chocolate ($5.95), dark hot chocolate served in a hug mug with mini marshmallows atop.

Hug Mug

I’ve been making chocolate for more than 10 years. Almost without noticing it, I find myself telling its story. Maybe through the telling of its story, I can also express something about myself, something about the longings, the romance and the decadence. I invite you to watch, smell, taste and feel my love story.”

What I loved: My sandwich was, by far, my favorite of all of the dishes I sampled/consumed. The waffle fries adding delicious spice and satisfying crisp, yet soft potato goodness.

Why I loved it: For a heaven of chocolate, the food is stellar, the ambiance fun and warm, the company enjoyable and full of laughter!

Cost: Average ($12 – $15 per dinner entree)

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