Sinning at Max Brenner


On our last night in Philly we stopped by one of our favorite haunts, Monk’s Café, for dinner and a few pints. In case you’re wondering, we will review Monk’s at some point but not yet; we like to keep a few places to ourselves once in a while. We were actually walking back to the hotel from that previously mentioned beer bar with awesome pub grub (FYI) and wanted dessert. We were in search of a coffee shop, bakery, or pretty much anywhere that served something tooth rotting sweet and then Rob stopped in his tracks, looked up, and said, “Guys, we have to go to Max Brenner.”
Max Brenner is heaven for chocolate lovers. This is the grown up, sophisticated version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in a restaurant setting. Max Brenner specializes in handmade Israeli chocolates but they also serve food, cocktails (some of which are chocolate inspired), and the exact reason we were there…DESSERT!
Max Brenner has a delicious gift shop that’s worth a visit.

If no one else will say it, I will. “I’d stick my face in there.”

Truffles for sale! Of course I bought some!
I could immediately see the attraction to Brenner’s, it’s great for dates, groups, drinks, coffee, and it’s a cool enough scene where teens can hang out there and feel older. Plus there is chocolate store and a spinning vat of liquid chocolate and now it’s even better. We decided to have a seat at Max Brenner’s famous Chocolate Bar and it is exactly what you might think it is, a bar where you have dessert and drinks. Our “easy on the eyes” bartender tossed us a few menus and our decision came so slow that we actually reversed time. Not that a certain dessert didn’t stand out and like most guys we had commitment issues. 
Our really nice bartender.
After a good 15 minutes of flip-flopping between milkshakes, crêpes, dessert waffles, hot and cold chocolate drinks, and everything on their signature “Sweet Icons” menu, I went with The Melting Chocolate Truffle Heart Cake & Shake, a warm milk and white chocolate cake with chocolate sauce in a strainer, vanilla ice cream, strawberries, and an ice cold milk chocolate shot with whipped cream. This was the right move to satisfy my sweet tooth. The cake with the chocolate sauce was rich, the ice cream was a nice break from the chocolate, but I was partial to the chocolate milk shot. It was so good and so cold! Save it for the end to wash everything down, trust me. The coolest part about all our desserts was the playful presentation, you really get to put as much sauce as you want on a particular item or you can mix stuff up if you feel the creative genius taking over. 
My dessert as described above.

Damion ordered The S’more Concoction: marshmallow fluff, milk chocolate mousse, graham crackers, and caramelized bananas.

Chocolate overload. He washed it down with a chocolate stout.

Rob’s giant cookie. The O.M.G. Chocolate Chunk Cookie: a dark chocolate chunk cookie with with whipped cream, berries, and pure melted chocolate.
Here’s the part where I could lie to you and say, “Sure. It’s all good for you.” But I’m certain you’re smarter than that. If you come across a Max Brenner; follow the Nike advice, just do it. It was totally worth the self-imposed death sentence at the gym the following day and I’m not ashamed to admit I spent more money at their chocolate shop on my way out.
Max Brenner
1500 Walnut Street (15th St. between Walnut and Locust)
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 344-8150
Other locations in the U.S.:  Boston, Vegas, NYC.

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