We arrived in Philly Wednesday night just in time for dinner. Where to go where five people with slightly different eating preferences will be happy? Sure, Italian food is always a good choice. But this night we opted for something different, something more American, something more chocolaty. We had dinner at Max Brenner! Max Brenner is known for its extensive chocolate menu. The chocolate menu is much longer than its regular menu. I was surprised they even served dishes prepared without chocolate, to be honest. Max Brenner is a small chain. It originally opened in Israel, and later opened in New York City and Philadelphia. I had brunch at the NYC location Summer 2009 and absolutely loved it. And yes, my scrambled eggs came with a side of chocolate sauce.
With such an elaborate chocolate menu, I had very low expectations for the dinner menu. How can a restaurant be really good at everything? I don’t know how they do it, but Max Brenner mastered the menu. The Food menu states, “FOOD FIRST, THEN CHOCOLATE.” What a great rule. The food menu is full of salads, burgers, pastas, pizzas, and traditional American appetizers. However, each traditional dish has some twist to it making it special to Max Brenner’s. For my food, I ordered the Veggie Conscious Burger served with avocado, tomato, cilantro-avocado mayonnaise and waffle fries dusted with chili and cocoa powder. I knew they’d sneak in chocolate!
The presentation was simple yet elegant. The waffle fries are served in an egg shaped bowl; one side is higher than the other. I honestly couldn’t taste the chili and cocoa powder, but the fries were delicious. On their own or dipped in the cilantro-avocado mayo, these may be my new favorite fries. They’re so good that I’m still wanting more as I write this, five days later. I could see the veggie pieces in my burger – always a good sign. The tomato and avocado toppings added to the flavor of the already delicious burger. Even the pickles were good!
I began to study the dessert menu as soon as I ordered my meal. Before I ate anything, I decided I’d order hot cocoa for dessert. I know, a silly choice for such a place. But, I wanted to enjoy my meal and not be too stuffed later. Plus I knew there was a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie waiting for me at my sister’s apartment. The menu sure is tempting though. My favorite page/item?
This molten chocolate cake looked heavenly. Plus, it has a great foodie quote. Chocolate is the substitute for love and will always be there for you. Even I know this isn’t true, but, chocolate is still great. I wanted to taste pure chocolate. I ordered the milk hot cocoa.
The hot cocoa is served in this adorable handleless HUGMUG. Get it? You use two hands to hug your mug. The chocolaty goodness warms your body from the outside in, starting at your fingertips. Not surprisingly, the milk hot chocolate was delicious and tasted like melted milk chocolate.
I’m already starting a list of items to order next time I make it to Max Brenner. The chocolate pizza, for starters.
Have you been to Max Brenner? If yes, what’s your favorite menu item? If no, I suggest you get there fast (if you love chocolate)!