06 Jan Max Brenner Review | New York City
While you roam the streets of New York City looking for gluttonous fulfillment, you wonder, is Max Brenner for me? This article will make it easy to decide with its in-depth Max Brenner Review.
Self-proclaimed as the ultimate experience for chocolate lovers around the globe, Max Brenner boasts a dessert menu that bursts with sweet concoctions, like crepes, sundaes and fondue. For those less-inclined towards their sweet-tooth—don’t fret—Max Brenner has a brunch and savoury menu.
Headquartered in New York City, Max Brenner boasts 50 global locations, including Australia, Singapore and the Philippines, with eyes on Russia. Most locations outside of America host Max Brenner Chocolate Bars as opposed to restaurants. The bars are more Starbucks-esque, having only sweet options. Here, you order over the counter and seat yourself.
Rumour is Max Brenner is opening in Toronto. Until then, I snatched the opportunity to indulge in some chocolate goodness while in New York City for New Year’s Eve.
I first heard about it from friends, who exclaimed I had to dine there, to Max Brenner’s enticing Instagram feed. My sisters and I detoured to Max Brenner instead of claiming early spots at Times Square for the New Year’s Eve ball drop. The air was frigid and the thought of entering Times Square at two pm and staying in outside until midnight seemed like a preposterous idea. That morning’s Statue of Liberty cruise already enveloped in cold-like symptoms.
We rush inside a Starbucks down Manhattan’s 8th Avenue, our faces covered with thick wool scarves. I use the WiFi to make 3:30 pm reservations on Max Brenner’s website and book an Uber there, while my sister orders a chai latte. Our Uber takes us to Max Brenner just in time for our 3:30 reservation. And thank goodness for the reservation. The lineup to receive seating is huge. It isn’t even a lineup—a mass of people stand all over the inside entrance. Fortunately, the hostess walks us right past everyone, to our table.
The hosts and servers mostly consist of students, dressed somewhat professional (think dress pants with a casual top). They are friendly, relaxed and not overly stringent.
Dessert is the motivation.
I order the chocolate chunks waffle which consists of chocolate hazelnut spread, milk and white chocolate chunks, chocolate drizzle, mixed berries and vanilla ice cream. My sister orders the strawberry hazelnut crepe, which consists of chocolate hazelnut spread, sliced strawberries and powder sugar, with chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream. My other sister settles with an Oreo latte.
For drinks, I order a white chocolate chai and my sister has the Kangaroo Cup, a coffee cup with a melting chocolate pouch, which allows the chocolate to melt and swirl into the coffee.
Max Brenner Dessert Review
The strawberry hazelnut crepe is delicious. I’m surprised to see the waffle plate arrive with two waffles—I know I won’t be able to finish it. The waffles look dissimilar to the waffle image on the menu. They are overdone, in my opinion, to a crisp, dark brown. I like my waffles soft and fluffy. I give the white chocolate chunks waffle to my sister, which she eats alongside her Oreo latte.
Max Brenner Drinks Review
The Oreo latte is amazing. It’s topped with whipped cream and Oreo crumbles and has a slightly sweet, warm taste.
The Kangaroo Cup is bitter, and undrinkable (for my sister at least), which is surprising as she has a penchant for bitter foods like black coffee and dark chocolate.
The white chocolate chai is heavenly. It comes in a canister, enough for two to three people and the infusion of white chocolate ganache is a delicious touch.
The prices are slightly more expensive than the chocolate restaurants I frequent. For instance, my waffle was USD $14.25. Now convert that to CAD, and it really hits your pocket. Since it was my first and probably last visit to Max Brenner (because there isn’t one in Toronto yet), I don’t mind the prices.
Our server quickly arrives at our table and takes our orders, likely due to the huge line up of people waiting to be seated. She is friendly and knowledgeable. Our orders come unexpectedly quick, much to our delight, and a little suspicion on the freshness of the food placed in front of us. I forget if our server returns to ask how the food was; we were so immersed in conversation, I didn’t notice.
At the end, we wait ten minutes to receive our bill. Although, when we ask for separate bills, our server appears slightly annoyed (perhaps she should’ve asked before bringing our bill?). What I found odd was the bottom of the bill where the most expensive tip option was circled. I’m unsure if this is an American thing, but it’s unlike something I’ve seen in Canada. I do usually tip, however, the amount is based on my experience with my server, the food and the overall vibe of the restaurant. However, I have heard about the low wages of American servers.
The restaurant is geared towards anyone—families and couples alike. The dining area looks crowded under the semi-bright yellow lights because it’s filled to the brim with people. It’s an intimate setting with everyone else dining at Max Brenner. The tables are placed close to each other. Once seated, there is no space to back out of my chair without bumping the person sitting at the table behind me. It’s typically noisy, which does drown out the conversations of people around you. And it looks relatively clean.
The Chocolate Shop
The New York City location has a Chocolate Shop attached to it. Here you can browse the shelves filled with Max Brenner’s chocolate-y creations. Most of the chocolate available in the Chocolate Shops are Kosher Dairy. There is a wide range of chocolate bricks, colourful bonbons, caramelized nuts and crispy wafers.
As with most restaurants that claim a certain unique-ness, Max Brenner restaurant isn’t one of them. There are good dessert options, but it’s a doppelganger of Toronto’s Cacao 70, Dunk’n Dip or any other dessert restaurant that serves ice cream, waffles, crepes and fondue, alongside a savoury menu. Despite most menu items hitting home, it’s one of those places to visit once, feel satisfied you’ve tried it and then move on to explore the next dessert restaurant. Although, if you find yourself in New York City, craving something sweet, I would recommend Max Brenner. Just make reservations beforehand.
There you have the Max Brenner review. Have you been to Max Brenner? If not, what’s your favourite dessert restaurant?