Archive for August 10th, 2006

are you hungry?

smores keyboard
s’mores keyboard

what about now?

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Me: let’s have dinner tomorrow
Irene: okay!
Me: Don’t you want to know where we’re going?
Irene: okay, where are we going?
Me: Max Brenner’s!
Irene: [dead air]
Me: that chocolate shop by Union Square! It’s opened!
Irene: OhH!!!! Yes!  Let’s go there!

And that is how we decided to go to Max Brenner’s Chocolate Shoppe in Union Square yesterday- after a call to invite Eva, of course.  Only, on the day of… there was a little incident with Eva & her tummy.

her: i feel so sick … nooo
me: does this mean ure going to cancel?
pinkbunni: no
me: but u cant come and not eat!
pinkbunni: i will!
i don’t care
if i barf it
at least i got to try it
and some of it gets absorbed!!

 And that is why we are friends.  Anyways, onto stuff about the actually eatery.

max brenner

Max Brenner’s is reminiscent of Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco- only, it’s in New York and it serves regular food in addition to chocolate stuffs.  I always wondered why Ghiradelli has never invested in a NYC shop – it’s because they probably had a deal with Mr. Brenner!  Maybe not really but my love goes out to them both.  I am so going to dig out some Ghiradelli pix when I get home today!

max brenner inside  walls of max brenner
inside w/ the chocolate factory feel  //  walls lined with shelves of stuff [spices / marshmallows, candies, etc]

The hostess gave us a really good seat in a corner where we had views of a large part of the restaurant, but none of us were feeling the tiny round table for 3.  We asked to move [right next to the walls of shelves so we were sitting in a type of platformed area] b/c we knew we were going to be ordering tons of stuff.  The hostess was very accommodating- she even told us we could push two little tables together if we wanted.  The waitress we had was also really sweet.  She kept coming by to check up on us, giving a plus to the level of service.  It was totally unexpected b/c I thought a place like that would be more of a “just focus on the food” type place. 

We decided it’d be best if we got two orders of real-food things to share to save room for the sweets.  We ended up with 2 entrees, 2 sweets, and a drink each.  [we became obsessed with their drinkware- hey, presentation rules us].  Ispent about an hour of billable firm time combing through the menu earlier yesterday, so I already knew what I would eat.  We decided on the melted smoked mozzarella sandwich with hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, and mushrooms; it comes with a side of greens in what seems to be caesar dressing and baby pickles.  We also ordered the antipasti salad with romaine and mesclun [yea- i wanted to get rid of the romaines]; the salad had roasted red peppers, roasted sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and pepperoni.  Irene and I enjoyed the bread of the sandwich b/c it was soft and lighted toasted [read: warm]; we also thought that they could’ve cooked the mushrooms for better flavor.  Eva wasn’t too happy with egg, so she mainly worked on the antipasti.  The greens for the side salad were probably made in a big batch at the beginning of the day because it was limp and a bit on the soggy side- also the dressing was bleh.  Yes, bleh.  I can use that to describe food.  I really liked the baby pickles, so kudos for that on Brenner’s part.  The antipasti has some type of vinaigrette dressing and it was really good- it didn’t overpower the salad at all.  I really liked the sweet potatoes, even though I’m not sure why someone would include that in a salad- though I would totally do that myself now- given i had roasted sweet potatoes .. and salad.. and vinaigrette…  It was a unanimous decision- the antipasti was a hit.

max sandwich    antipasti
maxwich & antipasti

Originally, we were going to skip the drinks b/c we thought water would be a good balance for all the chocolate we’d be inhaling.  But there’s this cup- they call it the Alice, it was just too cool- it looks like a grown up ceramic version of what could be a milk container.  Then, there’s the hug mug– okay- how can you go wrong with a cup that is ergonomically designed to be hugged by your hands?  We just had to do it.  Eva ordered the Dark Chocolat[chocolat meaning the chocolate cappucino], made from Crillo cocoa beans from Venezuela.  I got the Milk Chocolat, with vanilla- also from Venezuela.  Both came in hug mugs.  Irene got a  Chocolate Granita, a dark chocolate frap.  The drinks were fab.  I was definitely pleasantly surprised because mine was not overly sweet.  Irene’s frap wasn’t like a regular frap either.  It didn’t taste as creamy as I thought it would; but more refreshing- like a chocolate ice [but better than the frozen hot chocolate from serendipz].

hug mug / alice    milk chocolat
alice cups and hug mugs // my frothy milk chocolat

We got 2 deserts; the  melting marshmallow crepe and the fondue [we wanted the two person one but I think we got the four person one].  The crepe had “melted chocolate chunks and marshmallows, vanilla ice cream [with a hard chocolate top], gummi bears, warm chocolate sauce [for “pouring all over the crepe” says the waitress], white chocolate chunks.”  We got two dipping sauces for the fondue; dark chocolate and white chocolate; the dippers were: strawberries, marshmallows, bananas, and banana bread. 

crepe sauce fondue
crepe / chocolate sauces / stuff to be dipped by sauces

The crepe’s insides were yummy and gooey, but we didn’t enjoy the actual crepe.  Eva says it’s rubbery and I agree.  I think they need to re-evaluate their batter.  The vanilla ice cream was unbelievably good and none of us knew why.  I am a vanilla freak, but I don’t know what was up with this ice cream!  Eva says that maybe it’s because I had too much chocolate so the vanilla’s the perfect counterbalance for me.  The dipping sauces were both really good.  The banana bread was… weird.  It had a uniform consistency that real banana bread usually doesn’t, and I didn’t enjoy its texture.  Bananas and strawberries were fresh and there was no way you could mess up marshmallows so that was good too.

After all that eating, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves.  There was soo much sugar going through our veins that we had to go walk it off.  I don’t even eat chocolate regularly- I thought I was giong to die.  I really just wanted to try Max Brenner’s cuz it was so pretty and I’m glad I did. 

The check came in a really cool tin; it would fit a huge bar of chocolate perfectly [coincidence? I think not].  I would rather be forced to eat more chocolate than to pay the bill, but I wasn’t given that choice.  It cost us $65 for all the food we got- which could be considered as expensive, but we didn’t even think twice before plopping out money now.  

Money for life / chocolate for the soul

We walked around the shop afterwards and this lady offered us more chocolate.  Yea, even though I don’t like chocolate, I couldn’t turn out free food so I ate it anyways.  Damn, was it sweet.  Chocolate caramel pecan something or other. 

A friend at the firm pointed out chocolate cake to me today.  Ugh.  No more.  Please!


i heart vanilla. 

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