Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man

Max Brenner, the bald man, is creating a new chocolate culture.

There is a wide variety of good looking food on the menu at Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man and the restaurant is very unique, but there were some things that made me think it is some kind of chain. There's Max Brenner wallpaper and Max Brenner floor tiles, and the "hug mug" (which I'm surprised didn't have a tiny TM on the side). As it turns out, yes, there are numerous Max Brenner locations: two in New York City, 11 in Australia, and more in the Philippines, Singapore, and Israel — of course! I knew I'd seen it before.

The real surprise for me at Max Brenner was the diversity and uniqueness of the cuisine. You'd expect a chocolate restaurant to have some really good chocolate dishes and everything else to be secondary. What I found while dining here was a delicious brunch that really made me think about breakfast food differently.

Who's ever had mustard on a waffle? And mustard from a beaker no less! I tried the Croque Madame Waffles, served with two eggs sunny side up with melted cheddar cheese and smoked ham, as well as the Bavarian Waffles which come with smoked kielbasa sausage cooked with onions and melted cheddar, both served over waffles with a mustard sauce on the side. Both were very good but I preferred the croque madame. The egg yolk and cheese made a nice sauce and were very flavorful, and the mustard sauce added a nice little spice that wasn't overwhelming.

I suppose I should also comment on the chocolate. One Max Brenner specialty is the hot chocolate, of which I had the dark, in the "hug mug." Quite good, very rich and chocolatey. I tried a sip of the white hot chocolate which I found to be too sweet for my tastes, but if you like white chocolate, I'd say it was great. They also serve an Italian hot chocolate which is much thicker than the standard but tastes the same. There are a million other chocolate treats too, of which I had none, but they look very tempting, I'll be back some day I'm sure. Especially next time I'm in Singapore.

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