Yesterday afternoon, Mal and I enjoyed a delicious and very indulgent meal at Max Brenner in Boston. We left with full bellies, big smiles, and agreeing that we must visit again.
Awhile back, I was invited to attend a media event at Max Brenner to try their new menu, but, unfortunately, I was unable to attend. The PR folks kindly offered me a chance to try the same sampling menu (available at the media event) at another time, so I jumped at the opportunity. I had heard great things about Max Brenner (there are locations in NYC, Philly, and Las Vegas) and its tag line “Food First, Then Chocolate” (obviously) intrigued me.
When I walked in the door of Max Brenner, I immediately smelled chocolate. It hit my nose even before the hostess greeted Mal and me. Awesome.
The space was divided into three sections: bar, restaurant, and gift shop.
The bar (aka “Max Brenner Chocolate Bar”) was warm and inviting and offered a full liquor menu, plus all sorts of decadent chocolate-inspired cocktails and hot toddies. A few examples:
- Intoxi-Cake: cake-flavored vodka, Frangelico, and your choice of: white, milk or dark chocolate
- Max’s White Russian: Absolut vodka, Kahlua, white chocolate served on the rocks
- Tiramisu: French brandy, Kahlua, fresh brewed espresso, milk chocolate served up
The bar would be a great place to relax (and warm-up) after a day of shopping on Newbury Street or sightseeing around the city.
The gift shop offered all sorts of chocolate (tins, boxes, sets) and hot chocolate for purchase. The dine-in restaurant was big, open, and located toward the back.
Once Mal and I were seated at a table, we were warmly greeted by our server. She welcomed us and asked if we had ever been to Max Brenner before. We told her it was our first time and she replied with an enthusiastic overview of the menu and what Max Brenner was all about. I loved that she was genuinely excited for us!
Based on our server’s recommendations, we started with two cold beverages. One was a Frozen Hot Chocolate and the other was a Salted Caramel Milkshake.
Dessert first? Yes, please!
The Salted Caramel Milkshake was made with vanilla ice cream, milk, sea salt, caramel sauce, and whipped cream. It was thick, sweet, and creamy and, well, out of this world.
The Salted Caramel Milkshake is an Alice in Wonderland-inspired menu item. It was served in a tall glass, which said “drink me” on the front, and our server said the straw hole is supposed to be the rabbit hole Alice falls down.
And once you drink away some of the whipped cream, the opening of the glass is supposed to resemble the grin of the Cheshire Cat. Neat, right?
The Frozen Hot Chocolate was made with Max Brenner hot chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chunks, milk, and ice. It was also amazing, but not nearly as sweet at the Salted Caramel Milkshake.
Up next: Savory Waffle Sandwiches.
The new menu includes five different Savory Waffle Sandwiches, but there was no way Mal and I could eat them and, of course, we didn’t want to waste food, so we asked to try just three of the sandwiches. (We still ended up taking home some leftovers.)
We tried the Roasted Turkey Waffle Sandwich, Prosciutto and Apple Waffle Sandwich, and Roast Beef Waffle Sandwich. Each of them was packed full of fresh ingredients (I love that they included fresh arugula instead of regular old lettuce) and featured a number of taste bud-pleasing flavors—Rosemary, Gruyere, and Dijon, just to name a few. The waffles were surprisingly light and not sweet. They were perfect for a loaded sandwich.
While we sampled the sandwiches, our server brought us a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate to try. It was served in a “Hug Mug,” which is mug without a handle that you’re supposed to hold cupped in your hands, so you can embrace all of the senses of drinking a warm beverage— in this case, sweet, rich hot chocolate.
And then came dessert… yes, more dessert. And it was awesome.
Mal and I were pretty stuffed at this point in the meal, but we managed to push through and enjoy a good-sized portion of each dessert.
The Chocolate Chunks Pizza was a sweet dough topped with melted chocolate, crunchy hazelnut bits, sliced banana, roasted marshmallows, and a melt-y peanut butter sauce. I know, right? I can’t even believe this exists, but it does, and it was heaven in my mouth.
And, finally (I bet you’re stuffed just reading about all of this!), we enjoyed a Peanut Butter and Banana Crepe. Inside was peanut butter, banana, and tons of chocolate. It was served with milk chocolate ganache (in a mini beaker) and more peanut butter, but we didn’t end up using either of them. We had enough going on inside the crepe! Mal simply said “that’s ridiculous” after taking his first bite.
I absolutely loved Max Brenner and would totally go there again. (Mal and I are actually planning to suggest it for an upcoming double-date!) It’s a really great place, especially if you’re looking for something a little different or you simply love chocolate and desserts and want to indulge.