Monday, March 30, 2009

[NYC '09: Brunch, day 5] Max Brenner: Savory or Sweet? Well, Let's do Both!

(Little Miss Pinky: a great Brunch Cocktail)

Debs and I met up with our beloved Shoe for brunch in Union Square on day 5 of our Manhattan trip. It was unreal seeing Shoe in NY! The weather was a little too gloomy and gray for brunching on farmer’s market fare outdoors so Shoe took us to Max Brenner a couple of blocks away.

Max Brenner was surprisingly uncrowded when we arrived. I could smell the rich chocolaty-ness of the place even before I stepped into the restaurant. So much for a light brunch! The brunch menu is so extensive – we took at least twenty minutes to decide on what to order. Debs was the first to close the menu after deciding on the tuna salad sandwich ($11.25). Shoe and I were both vacillating between the sweet and savory offerings so we decided to order two dishes to share. From the savory end, we got the guilt-free omelet ($14.50) and on the sweet side, we went with the spiced apple and walnut French toast ($14.50).

(Mmmm...waffle fries)

Food took a while but we didn’t really mind since we were busy catching up. I also ordered an absolutely delicious Little Miss Pinky Martini ($10) while we were waiting for our food. The cocktail – a mixture of vodka and triple sec with strawberries was a perfect balance of sweetness and tartness and with a name like that, how could I not order it??

Anyhow, the food came eventually and the portions are huge! We should’ve expected it. Shoe and I started with the omelet…which, as we had guessed, was hardly guilt free (trust me – we didn’t order it to be healthy). It was extremely well-made – the omelet was huge and fluffy and chock full of flavorful garden veggies and melted cheese. It was extremely substantial and tasted almost meaty even. The eggs came with a side of well-seasoned hash and a buttermilk biscuit. The biscuit was a shining star. It was buttery, fluffy and crumbly all at the same time. Amazing stuff!

(Delicious but DEFINITELY NOT guilt-free)

We moved onto the French toast which was plated along with two cute vials of syrup and melted white chocolate. The French toast was wonderfully eggy and fluffy. Too bad they didn’t use thicker bread (when will places learn?) to really bring out the toast’s potential custardy goodness. The spiced apple and walnut combo was perfect and everything was made even better with a generous dousing of melted white chocolate…but then again, what isn’t :) ?

(Pass the White Chocolate)

Service at Max Brenner’s is excellent. All the waitstaff are super friendly. Must be from all the endorphins from working at a place like this. The place was getting packed by the time we left so I guess, arrive fairly early if you want to try brunch here. Food was fantastic and the company was even better. It was so great seeing Shoe again. Well, hopefully, before long, we’ll be able to meet up in Manhattan again :D

FOOD: 4/5

841 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
(212) 388-0030

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