Mmm…chocolate. Who doesn’t love it? White, dark, milk, German, Belgian, we all have our favorite kind, but it’s all still chocolate. Have you ever dreamed of an all-chocolate restaurant? While it’s not all chocolate, Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man comes pretty darn close. Before my last trip to Vegas, I scored a $24 Groupon for Max Brenner for just $12, which made it a “must do”. I went at lunchtime, which in retrospect was not the best idea I’ve ever had. I’ll explain why in a minute.
Max Brenner is a 9,000+ square foot restaurant that seats around 200 people upstairs and downstairs. It is a bit of a hike from the Strip entrance, located as it is in the Forum Shops near where the FAO Schwarz store used to be. By the time I got to the restaurant, I was famished. I chose to sit at the bar downstairs, where I watched a football game on a flat panel TV behind the bar. (I don’t give two figs about football, but when you’re dining alone, most anything on a TV screen is a welcome diversion.) My server/bartender was a friendly and down-to-earth young woman who made a mean cocktail.
Speaking of the cocktail. . .I knew I probably wouldn’t have room for dessert (I rarely do), so I figured I’d better get my chocolate fix via an adult beverage. My cocktail of choice was called The Berry Nutty Professor, which contained a peanut liqueur, frangelico, chambord, and milk chocolate served over ice. As a garnish, it had a skewered strawberry that had been dipped in chocolate and rolled in crushed nuts. In terms of flavor, it definitely lived up to its name. I highly recommend it
For food, I went with Brenner’s Burger. It was a very good burger, but the bun was a tad too big. I had to set it aside and focus on the sandwich’s innards in order to finish it. But here’s the thing: The burger comes with waffle fries on the side that are dusted with chili and cocoa powder (everyone should make them this way!). They came with a delicious, zesty dipping sauce (no it wasn’t chocolate). The waffle fries were absolutely the highlight of this meal. Do not eat here without ordering the waffle fries. The total cost of my meal came to $32 (with tip), so it was just $8 out of pocket on top of the Groupon. (The drink drove the price up, of course.) But I’ll admit that as I was leaving the restaurant, I was a little pissed at myself that I went for lunch instead of breakfast or brunch. Why?
Because I could have gotten a burger anywhere! But you should see the breakfast and brunch menus here. They are packed with mouth-watering items. I’m definitely going to have to go back a few times for breakfast and brunch to sample everything (for research purposes, of course). I’m already drooling over items like:
- The After Party Belgian Waffle (“fresh strawberries, whipped cream, strawberry honey, melted white chocolate”);
- The WOW Chocolate and Granola Surprise (“layers of dark and white chocolate truffle cream, creamy yogurt, toasted granola, caramelized rice krispies, sugar dusted macadamia nuts, fresh berries, bananas, pure clover honey drizzle”);
- The Black & Tan Beer Battered Vidalia Rings with Dark Chocolate Ranch Dressing; and
- The Cinnamon Apple & White Chocolate Truffle Cream French Toast.
So many tempting choices, so little time.
So take my advice and check this place out, but do yourself a favor and go for breakfast or brunch. (Brunch is the best-looking menu of the three.) Don’t forget to stop by the chocolate shop in the restaurant on your way out. Why leave with just a full stomach, when you can leave with fistfuls of chocolate as well?