Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Whirlwind Tour of the Food Capitol: Part I--Max Brenner

Several months ago, I went back to the East Coast to be a trainer for a new hire class. While being away from home for almost 2 weeks was tough, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to have a weekend in the Big Apple and reconnect with family friends I have known since I was old enough to eat my first solid food. 

One of my best friends from childhood, Betsy, and her parents, were my tour guides and had the best home-base located near the Village on Bleeker street. This is the incredible view from their 24th story apartment, which is just blocks away from Washington Square.

Betsy works for Max Brenner, which is a chocolate fantasy-land of a restaurant that has opened several restaurants in major U.S. cities. New York is their flagship store and Betsy gave me the inside scoop, telling me that many celebrities come to Max Brenner to satisfy their chocolate cravings. The week before I arrived, John Travolta had a birthday party for his daughter in the upper room. In addition to great desserts, they have an equally fabulous dinner/lunch menu that was designed by one of the Food Network Chopped judges. 

On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I took my friends to the location in Caesar's Palace and we feasted on their delicious pizza, avocado salad, and some oh-so-addicting potato skins!

 Do not adjust your TV set, this is a drink! It was a luscious creamy chocolate and caramel martini (with an extra beaker in case you weren't satisfied with one glass!). It comes with a side of spicy sweet glazed peanuts. This was a true meal in a glass; but don't think that stopped me from getting a separate dessert.

Betsy told me I could pick her drink since she wanted to be sure I got to try two different options...she was always a good friend and still knows me so well! This was a chocolate eclair martini which was just as divine as my "choctail."


We split a "tasting for two" (it would probably be adequate for at least 6, but no one REALLY needs to know that) which featured some of Max Brenner's most popular and famous desserts: a banana split waffle with fluffy chocolate sponge cake, a crispy chocolate eggroll, milk and white chocolate "bark," and chocolate fondue with market fruit and marshmallows. The beaker above is full of pure chocolate sauce which we could dip any of the above desserts in and a side of chocolate wafer balls to munch on.

I loved roasting the marshmallows over the mini-grill. The fondue came in the most practical and adorable ceramic holder, so I bought one on the way out as a way to commemorate this amazing chocolate nirvana moment in time.

Thank you Betsy for inviting me to this fabulous New York hot spot and for being my partner in crime as we tore up the city, eating and shopping until we literally dropped. More to come.
Happy Eating,

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