My first experience with Max Brenner was years ago – we stopped into their Union Square, NYC location and sampled the most delicious little chocolates – their Praline Pecans. The bite-size caramelized pecans are covered in chocolate then dusted with cocoa powder, and are so incredibly delicious. With that first bite began a serious love affair.
After that first visit, every time I went to New York I made sure to stop in and snag a chocolate sample. The wait was always exorbitantly long, so we never sat down for a meal, just grabbed some things to go and vowed to go back again. When I heard that a Max Brenner was opening in Boston, I was thrilled. (From here forward – please excuse the grainy photos! iPhone doesn’t like low-light shooting…)
Of course, I always want to eat out more than I actually can/do, so it took us a few months to make it to the new Boston location of Max Brenner, but we did! One weekend morning, we headed there for brunch, and tried both sweet and savory items on the menu. I got the most delicious hot chocolate in their signature “hug mug,” and loved every indulgent sip of it. So you can imagine my delight when I was recently invited to sample their new savory waffle menu.
When people think of Max Brenner they of course think first of chocolate – lots and lots of decadent chocolate. But Max Brenner has an equally extensive savory menu, including the new waffle sandwiches which are surprisingly tasty for a company that specializes in chocolate. We got to sample small bites of all five waffle sandwiches, including Oven Roasted Turkey, Roasted Vegetable, Proscuitto and Apple, Roast Beef, and a Turkey Club. The waffles are pretty thin, so the sandwiches aren’t overly bread-y, and they are the perfect balance of soft and crispy. We really enjoyed them.
In addition to the waffle sandwiches, we also got to try the most sinfully indulgent and outrageously decadent chocolate martini that I have ever tried. It was SO. GOOD. Seriously thick and creamy, with a milk chocolate drizzle inside the glass. I’m not even a big milk chocolate fan, but when they brought us a little spoon meant for scraping the hardened chocolate off of the glass (which by the way is a genius idea), I went to town. Words can’t describe how good it was.
We were also served white corn croquettes, small white corn and manchego cheese balls, panko breaded and deep fried. YES PLEASE! They were served with some creamy sauce – I think chipotle? – and they were delightful. Crispy and airy, and surprisingly light given what they’re made with. They too were rather sinful, but too good for that to matter. Sounds kind of like a theme here right?!
Obligatory happy eating photo. We could have been smiling for the camera, or that could just be how we looked the whole evening – after a busy week, we were practically giddy with excitement this whole evening. And that was before the dessert fondue arrived…
What you see above is an individual-sized marshmallow-roasting flame. It was positively magical. Just like roasting over a campfire, except without the smokey smell and crazy flames. There were three fondue sauces – dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and a toffee/caramel sauce. All delicious – even the milk chocolate, and as mentioned earlier I don’t generally go for milk chocolate. My favorite was either the strawberries or the bananas dipped in the dark chocolate – but there were also cookies and brownies, which Kevin topped with a little bit of everything (just one of the many reasons I love him – his sweet tooth is bigger than mine).
Just an FYI – if you are ever looking for the optimal marshmallow-roasting, fondue-eating location (especially in the dead of winter), this is it. Your marshmallow toasts perfectly (which for me means catches on fire and gets lightly charred on all sides), and you get to sit in a comfy restaurant while you make it! This part of the meal was so much fun, we felt like little kids.
And as if we hadn’t already consumed enough sweets to have our fill for the next millennium out came these (horrifically photographed) Peanut Butter and Banana Chocolate Crepes. They’re served with peanut butter spread, milk chocolate chunks, fresh banana, a flask of milk chocolate ganache and a side of peanut butter. Yes, INSANE. Kevin loves the chocolate/PB combo maybe more than anything in the world, so he fell in love with these. They are extremely rich and decadent, but also extremely delicious.
We started the evening with lighter fare – fun and tasty waffle sandwiches – and ended with loads of the sweet stuff. We rolled ourselves home in heavy sugar comas, but worry not! I was back to my regular chocolate consumption schedule by the next afternoon.
In all honesty though – give these new waffle sandwiches (and the chocolate martini and croquettes and fondue and peanut butter banana crepes) a try. You’ll be happy you did.