Hot Chocolate at Max Brenner Is the Perfect Cold Weather Cure
This restaurant offers all the justification you need to eat dessert for dinner.
I am a temperature-sensitive person. I am finicky and high-maintenance—generally “problematic” between the months of December and February, or so I have been told. To combat the cold, I need a hot drink. But I have a Goldilocks complex about it. The drink must have that butterbeer ability to warm me from the inside, without burning my tongue.
The hot chocolate at the Max Brenner chocolate restaurant and shop on Boylston Street in Boston is consistently the perfect temperature: never too hot, never too cold, always Goldilocks-approved juuust right. Velvety and indulgent but never cloying, it hovers a scant degree below searing, warming you from the inside on even the chilliest of days.
Max Brenner’s offers eight varieties of hot chocolate, most of which are available with milk, dark or white chocolate. The restaurant removed my favorite hot chocolate option with little chocolate-coated crispy bits (BOOOOO!), but the other options on the menu still rock. The “Italian thick” features a thicker blend with vanilla cream; the “peanut butter” adds a peanut butter milk infusion; the hazelnut option combines milk chocolate, chocolate syrup and creamy hazelnut for a liquid Nutella. Nowadays, I typically opt for the classic milk chocolate with marshmallows.
Max Brenner is a chain based out of Israel with locations in Australia, Russia, Singapore, Japan and now a small handful in the U.S. Of course, humans can’t subsist on hot chocolate alone—goodness knows that I’ve tried during finals—so the restaurant offers actual food as well. There are two menus: savory and dessert. The savory items are solid, including burgers with chili-and-cocoa dusted waffle fries, sandwiches with rosemary-infused waffles for bread, and a B.A.L.T. with crispy bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato.
However, I tend to opt for the sweets. Chocolate desserts are Max Brenner’s specialty, not many other sit-down restaurants focus on dessert, and whoever passed up an opportunity to justify dessert for dinner?
For instance, the chocolate pizza is exactly what you would imagine: thick, doughy crust topped with half-melted milk and white chocolate chunks, crunchy hazelnut bits, bananas, peanut butter and roasted marshmallows. Even with just a half pizza, I can never finish it on my own.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, largely because it works as an excuse to eat dishes that belongs at the top of the food pyramid. Max Brenner’s “crêpe brûlée” fits that bill perfectly. I opt for the peanut butter and banana chocolate crêpe with sliced bananas, chocolate chunks, milk chocolate ganache, molten peanut butter and sweet dulce de leche ice cream.
The menu is almost overwhelming, including every chocolate-related variant of dessert you can think of—chocolate fondue! chocolate mud cake! chocolate waffles! ribbons of chocolate crêpe "pasta" with a chunk of white chocolate to grate on top!—but the endless possibilities are exciting.
Every child who has read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has dreamt of a Max Brenner-type sweet wonderland. This real life version delivers, consistently.
Snow storms, school finals—even three little bears couldn't keep me from that cocoa.
Max Brenner -745 Boylston Street, Boston, 617.274.1741, maxbrenner.com
Follow Nicole on Twitter @GirlEatsBoston.