Chocolate Overload at Max Brenner

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.

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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.

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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.

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The space was divided into three sections: bar, restaurant, and gift shop.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Dessert first? Yes, please!

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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Like so:

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And then came dessert”¦ yes, more dessert. And it was awesome.

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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.

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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.

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Dessert overload.

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.

65 Comments

  1. I love the motto of that restaurant! Any place that encourages chocolate eating is great in my book. Those savory waffle sammies sound so interesting! This is probably one of the most intriguing restaurant review posts I’ve ever read since I am a huge dessert fan.

  2. Um did you know that Max Brenner is my favorite restaurant? I’ve been there so many times at 4 different locations and its better every time I go. I always get the same thing, Mac and cheese and a s’mores sundae but I’ve tried the milkshakes and pizza. I’m hungry just reading this and I think another trip is in order. But I’ll have to run back to back half marathons to Burn it all off. It’s worth it 🙂

  3. O.M.G that all looks amazing! Although, I think their slogan should be “chocolate. Then more chocolate”! And I LOVE that hug mug, it’s just too cute!

  4. Oh wow! I am going to NYC next week (first time ever) and I see you said they have a branch there…I am definitely going to make this restaurant one of my stops! Thanks 🙂 any other suggestions?

  5. Yum, we’ve eaten there twice and it’s been delicious both times! Gave the kids hug mugs and MB hot chocolate for Christmas, so cute! Glad you enjoyed too!

  6. Oh My! I was actually curious about the place and hadn’t been yet. Guess I gotta make the visit!

    Would you say the hot chocolate is better/worse/different from LA Burdick’s?

  7. Holy smokes! That place looks amazing!! I totally got full at the thought of eating all of that. HAHA 🙂 We’ll have to try that place some day!!

  8. I had my first crepe at Max Brenners in Las Vegas! Oh my gosh it was so sweet, but we couldn’t stop eating it. It was banana and Chocolate! Pure heaven. We played the slots at Caesars while eating it, it was quite messy, but so good! I don’t eve want to know the calories in it! 🙂

  9. OMG. Everything looks delicious. There is one in Philly and I always walked past it. When we move back, I am definitely making a point to stop in there, at least for the crepe 🙂

  10. I loved reading this! It made me think of my wedding weekend. We got married in Vegas and had our rehearsal dinner at Max Brenner. Everyone loved it! We served the chocolate pizza for dessert.

  11. First of all I need a hug mug in my life!! I would drink hot chocolate everyday!! I’ve been to Max Brenner in NYC but somehow didn’t see the hug mug. No matter, now I have an excuse to go back! I must say the food there is delish!!!

  12. Woaaaa. That place sounds magical. I’d have such a difficult time trying to decide which desserts to eat because I only have room for so much!

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