Mei Mei Pops Up at Shepard: Shepard and Mei Mei Team Up for Dim Sum Brunch

By Bovey Rao ‘19


What exactly is a pop-up restaurant? Most people do not know this terminology, as they are a relatively new development. Pop-up restaurants are when kitchens are lent out to other restaurants or chefs for temporary residence. While this seems like an extravagant venture, many great restaurants (Mission Chinese, NYC) have emerged from pop-ups, and many great restaurants (Aliena, Chicago) have hosted pop-up sessions. Usually, the menu is specially prepared for each individual session. Thus, when I heard that Mei Mei was hosting a pop-up at the nearby Shepard, I quickly booked a reservation.

Entering Shepard, we were greeted by the two teams and were seated after a brief wait. Glancing at the menu, I was immediately drawn to the unique fusion dishes. However, glancing at other tables, I noticed that the portions were a little small and ordered accordingly. After we ordered a long list of various dim sum dishes, I waited excitedly for our mix of buns, dumplings, and vegetables.



The dry aged lamb buns were a delicacy with complex savory notes of Chinese five-spice. While incredibly soft and moist, the order only came with three relatively small buns, which was unfortunate for my party of four individuals. Later, we would discover this applied to most dishes we ordered. The corned beef and xo dumplings similarly had rich, savory flavors, but texturally the shredded beef was not the most appealing. As the dishes continuously arrived, I enjoyed the mildly spicy beef tendon. The gelatinous texture melded perfectly with the crisp skin that garnished the dish.

Still insatiated, I salivated as stuffed chicken wings and Carolina gold rice were placed at the table. Chicken wings filled with a smooth chicken mousse with a sweet glaze proved to be one of the highlights of the brunch. While rice may seem to be a peculiar dish to order, Carolina gold rice is a specific breed that garners significant national attention for its flavor. Anson Mills, a seed restoration group, found and revived this heritage breed and distributes it to many of the United States best restaurants (notably, Husk). Thus, I was excited to see them on the menu with a soy butter. While it may not taste empirically different, I had a profound appreciation of the crop, which may have altered my perception of the dish.

After these courses, we added rounds of cabbage, leek, brined duck egg dumplings, lily shoots, and lo bok go, parsnip cakes. Dark green dumplings quickly reached the table, and we dived in. Freshly steamed, the dough was stickier than I was normally accustomed to but were appropriate to hold the looser filling. While the lo bok go were respectable, the accompanying fermented black beans were truly delicious. A light acidity complemented the natural creaminess, and I snacked on them thorough the meal. My favorite dish of the day was actually the lily shoots with fried shallots. Dark soy sauce provided the perfect salinity for the chewy but smooth shoots. I honestly was tempted to order more sets of lily shoots with rice but instead settled with the select dessert courses.


The fried sesame balls and egg custard tarts proved to be elevated versions, but nothing that truly affected me. Delicious and simple, we enjoyed them as a solid finish to the meal. Overall, I was slightly disappointed with the size of the dim sum and the unequal portions for the table. I expected that they could accommodate a table of 4, since that is a standard party number. Regardless, the dishes proved to be soundly delicious with a few notable standouts. Mei Mei is arguably one of the most important restaurants in Boston, and I am glad they decided to come nearby. Hopefully, they will return soon with yet another nuanced menu. Shepard is one of the newest restaurants in Cambridge, and I hope people will join them for dinner one day.



Location: 1 Shepard St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Reservation: OpenTable or Call (617)-714-5295


Mei Mei

Location: 506 Park Dr, Boston, MA 02215

Reservation: Reserve or Call (857)-250-4959

Stand-Out Dishes: Lily Shoots, Carolina Gold Rice, Stuffed Chicken Wings

Overall Rating: 4/5

Food: 4/5

Service: 3.5/5

Atmosphere (Shepard): 5/5


Feel free to contact the writer at with food musings, dining requests, or any restaurant advice!

Cafe Hopping Abroad

by Hayoung Chang ’18


Over spring break, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Singapore for an HCAP conference. Obviously I was most excited about the food and especially a tradition called “cafe hopping.” Considering the fact that cafes are one of my favorite things in the world, I was eager to immerse myself in this particular foodie culture.

To explain a little bit, cafe hopping is when you take a whole morning or afternoon to visit as many cafes as possible and sample each cafe’s best dishes. So think of bar hopping, but replace the booze with brunch essentials and scrumptious desserts. I was in foodie heaven. Thrilled, I embarked on my first gustatory odyssey.


Our first stop was a brunch cafe. I ordered a classic: the salmon eggs benedict. The combination of salmon, roe, avocado, asparagus and hollandaise sauce was genius, to say the least. My taste buds were inundated by the creamy richness of the avocado and salmon, the tart explosions of the roe and the crunchy softness of the toast. Cafe hopping stop 1: 10/10.


The next stop was: you guessed it, another brunch cafe. With two brunches in one day, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. This time, I ordered poached eggs over a potato puree and hash browns with a side of roasted cherry tomatoes, asparagus and caramelized onions. As you can see from the photo, the egg was cooked to the ideal consistency for drizzly perfection. Washing it all down with a sip of coffee, I was in a stellar mood. Another jackpot brunch. Cafe hopping stop 2: 10/10.


Feeling pleasantly and smugly full, we headed to our last stop: a dessert cafe. Feeling ambitious, we ordered a cheesecake, brownie and an iced latte. The coffee was an ice cold relief to all the walking in the hot Singapore weather. The cheesecake and brownie were average. The consistency of both desserts were slightly too dense for me, but still a superb combination with the latte. Perhaps the bar had been raised after the two stellar brunches. But the hip atmosphere of the cafe made up for it. The murals added a lazy artistic vibe. The perfect spot for some light reading on a Sunday afternoon.

Overall, cafe hopping was a huge success. I would highly recommend to any foodie that is planning on traveling to Singapore!

Brunch with a Beat

by Audrey Thorne ’19


My parents and brother came down for opening weekend of my play. When asked where I wanted to go for brunch, I quickly answered Beat Brasserie. From the outside it looks hip and too fancy for a casual college student meal, but as a foodie, Beat Brasserie struck my curiosity.

Beat Brasserie is divided into booths, tables, and high tops. Upon our arrival we were seated promptly in a booth. The waiter brought us menus, then water. He came to check if we wanted anything to drink, then if we were ready to place our food order.

The menu was eclectic. I wanted to try everything. Between the four of us we ordered a Sophia’s Greek Yogurt, a mushroom soup, steak frites and eggs, oysters, and shrimp tacos. While we waited for our food to be cooked we listened to the smooth live music.
The fruit in the fruit cup was ripe, fresh. The yogurt was tart and the granola crunchy. I stole a few perfect bites from my dad.


The mushroom truffle soup was beyond description. Warm and creamy, it was a god send, especially with my side of crispy wheat toast.


My brother ate the oysters so quickly I was not able to steal one away from him. I have deduced that they were pretty good, but I hope to try them for myself next time.


The shrimp tacos were flavourful and filling, with juicy shrimp, crunchy lettuce, cheese, sauce, and a myriad of other ingredients. Honestly, I could not pick up on every individual flavour but the combination was delectable.

The steak frites and eggs came with the wheat toast, which I dipped in the mushroom soup, a nice, light mixed salad, a flavourful side of joint dressing/steak sauce, french fries, and steak. The steak was tough but flavourful, with a kick coming from its peppercorn rub. The fries were not too crispy, nor too salty, but just right to complement the well seasoned steak.


With an atmosphere that cannot be beat, Beat Brasserie is a great place for a celebratory meal with the family, or even a fancy date.

With Panera Closing, Tatte Bakery Steps In

by Bovey Rao ‘19

Oh, Panera, you never really meant that much to me… While for some students Panera is a staple, I’ve never been the biggest fan of ‘commercialized’ foods. My friends can attest to the fact that I frequently voice my distaste for chains like Chipotle, Panera, and Au Bon Pain. Ok, you might think this is all a bunch of food snobbery, but for me, the problem is not the flavor of the food, but the principle of it.

While these businesses advertise non-GMO, pesticide and antibiotic free food, what does that really mean? Are we not falling for the same trap of the previous generation that was promised fast, convenient, and cheap food? We are becoming numb to what is out there in the world of food, and falling into the trap of buzzwords and catchphrases. I’ll be honest: when Panera closed, I smiled. When I found out what replaced it, my smile only widened.


Tatte Bakery and Café is a homegrown Boston bakery and café with numerous branches throughout the city from Kendall Square to Brookline. They serve a wide range of Middle Eastern dishes and pastries as well as the more traditional café fare. From a small stand at Boston farmer’s markets to five established and beloved bakeries, Tatte has proven to be a Boston success story. And it all started with one person, owner Tzurit Or.

Tzurit Or, from Tatte’s website


Tzurit grew up in Israel and learned traditional baking techniques from her mother. After years of working as a film producer, she realized her true calling in life was baking. She picked up her belongings and moved to Boston, where she started baking from her kitchen. Starting at local farmer’s markets, her carefully crafted pastries received rave reviews. The rest is history.

Delicious various pastries (buttery croissants, fluffy popovers, rich morning buns)

As you probably guessed, a new Tatte Bakery and Café location will be opening in the space previously occupied by Panera Bread. I could barely contain my excitement when I heard this news. A locally-operated business replacing a national chain? It was music to my ears. However, I do humbly applaud Panera for their business model and their care for the customer.

In early February, Panera Bread purchased a majority stake in Tatte Bakery and Café, but will allow them to run independently. This funding allowed Tatte Bakery to fill the Panera space and reach a new audience of (I hope at least) excited and hungry Harvard students. While construction may take some time (it opens in summer according to a manager at the Main Street Tatte Bakery and Café), it is an addition that is sorely needed. As I sip my café au lait and enjoy my pistachio-filled, baklava-esque croissant, I cannot help but think:

Goodbye Panera; Welcome home Tatte.

A selection of tasteful shots from Tatte Bakery and Café on Main Street and all the ‘yum’ that is to come:

*Note: The straight croissant is a sign that means it was made with butter. Curved croissants usually have margarine or an alternative form of fat.

Update: Eater provided exciting information with an email from Tzurit Or.


Oatmeal Peanut Butter Veritaffle

by Allison Yan ’19

Veritaffles are a staple of the Harvard student diet – there’s nothing like a warm, carbohydrate – infused start to another long day of problem sets, and club meetings, and all of the other delightful things an overbooked undergraduate has to look forward to.

But sometimes, you need to spice up your Veritaffle. A plain waffle is just not enough. That’s where the amazing oatmeal peanut butter Veritaffle comes in. It’s a quick and easy d-hall hack to make your breakfast and brunches heartier than ever.


  • 1 medium size bowl of the waffle mix
  • 2-3 scoops of oatmeal
  • 2-3 spoonfuls of peanut butter
Oatmeal, cranberries optional


These are very straightforward: all you need to do is throw in a couple extra ingredients into the pre-made waffle batter!

1. Obtain the bowl of waffle batter. (If anyone who looks at you strangely while you’re pouring the waffle mix into a bowl, just tell them that you eat your waffles nice and raw.)

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Just the right amount of peanut butter!

2. Add the oatmeal, and mix thoroughly so there are no clumps of batter or oatmeal.

3. Add the peanut butter, and mix thoroughly once more so the peanut butter is evenly mixed into the batter.

4. Pour into waffle maker, wait those anxious 2.5 minutes, and enjoy!


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Slice a banana on top for good measure.

Optional Waffle Toppings:

  • Sliced banana and honey
  • Cinnamon
  • The tried-and-true whipped cream and syrup combination

Brunch Gets a Contemporary Transformation at Townsman

By Bovey Rao ’19

Let’s retake brunch and make it our own. Brunch, of all the meals, has the most posh reputation with fancy sounding dishes and cocktails. Not to say that I do not love a well-made eggs benedict with hollandaise or a perfect slice of spinach gruyere quiche. But sometimes a little adventure is needed to blow the dust off the brunch tradition. Brunch needs to be an event.

One of Boston’s best new restaurants, Townsman, on the periphery of the Financial District, makes brunch its own. Normally, Townsman is the destination for towers of fresh seafood, imaginative cocktails, and nuanced entrees. However, on the last Saturday of each month, they open their doors on Saturday morning for brunch. It is everything that brunch needs.

Loud electronic music reverberated through the restaurant as you open the door. Immediately, I felt the excitement as the warm light and tasteful decorations draw you in further. While the hostess brought my group to our table, we couldn’t help but marvel at the comfortable and expansive cocktail lounge and bar. We pass a live DJ expertly manipulating the soundboard and peer into the open kitchen for a live shot of the action.

Our last stop before being seated was the renowned cake table, which is periodically restocked with a wide array of breads, cakes, and pastries. The large windows bathed the dining room comfortably with warm light, as we excitedly sat down examined the menu.

Being a devout fan of pastry natural brought me to the cake table (AYCE for $10), as I examined the various prepared confections. The thin slices of quiche were unbelievably buttery as the crust simply melted in the mouth. The splendid puffed pastries filled with a savory mix of ingredients that I was unable to identify served as an excellent counterbalance to the sweets. Monkey, zucchini, and banana breads covered my plate as I nibbled at the thin slice of filled brioche. The overwhelming variety of pastries seemed more appropriate for a coffee shop window, but I relished the opportunity to finally reach over and help myself to whatever I so wanted. The peanut butter and chocolate trifle might have been better as a dessert, but the rich chocolate cake with light peanut mousse would help satisfy any sweet tooth.


Already feeling slightly full after spending 20 minutes at the cake table, our meals arrived. While the menu contains of the classic dishes like chicken and waffles or steel cut oatmeal, the chef playfully modifies the dishes with touches like a sweet and sour piperade or fried sprigs of rosemary. My chicken and oatmeal waffles was a misstep on my part. After the cake table, the amount of starch began to slow me down. The complex sweetness of the maple syrup absorbed deep into waffle and complemented the spicy creamy mayonnaise. The true surprise was the pickle brined fried chicken. My first bite simply melted in my mouth as the chicken was juicy beyond belief. It was truly a revelation as my chicken vanished from the plate. The unique chicken fried (chicken fried is a method of preparation) hanger steak with poached eggs and pepper gravy was a savory masterpiece. As the yolks slowly dripped over the steak and melded with gravy, it was almost an orgasmic sensation. Finally, the breakfast burger with oven roasted potatoes was a satisfactory rendition albeit slightly hard to eat. The burger fell apart after a few futile attempts but was delicious nevertheless.

Townsman delivered a memorable brunch with a unique approach to the menu. While incorporating many traditional dishes in the menu, the modifications proved to be necessary improvements and refreshed the archaic identity of brunch. After hosting only a few brunches, the level of execution and the innovative menu at Townsman are representative of a great restaurant. Perfect for a casual date or a hip business meeting, Townsman’s brunch is one of the best in the city. And there is an endless cake table.


Townsman (Brunch)

Location: 120 Kingston St, Boston, MA 02111

Reservation: Recommended (2-3 weeks in advance)

Stand out dishes*: Cake Table, Chicken Fried Hanger Steak

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Food: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Ambience: 5/5

* Note: Menu changes monthly, so menu items may not be available at each dining session.

Atlantic Fish Company: Experience Some of Boston’s Best Traditional Seafood at AFC

by Bovey Rao ’19

In Boston, each neighborhood has a distinct personality More importantly (to me at least), the neighborhoods have developed into culinary dining destinations for their own reasons. The North End’s Italian food is nationally recognized, the South End serves some of the Boston’s most inventive dishes, and the various colleges provide cheap accessible food for ravenous college students. While these sections may be the most well-known, others still provide that awesome culinary punch. Enter the Back Bay.

Immediately across the Charles River by MIT, the Back Bay spans a wide area of Boston’s downtown. The best way to describe the Back Bay is upbeat. With Newbury and Boylston Street, the Back Bay epitomizes the concept of “hip.” With the Prudential Center, there is also the embodiment of tradition. The restaurant culture reflects that with many cheaper dining establishments as well as some of Boston’s most expensive and renowned restaurants filling the Back Bay. On Boylston Street, the Atlantic Fish Company is an upscale seafood centric restaurant that focuses on traditional preparations.


Upon entering the restaurant, you can immediately recognize the pedigree of excellence. The attentive host and hostess promptly greeted my party, and we were seated deep into the restaurant. Our seating was slightly suboptimal with poor lighting but simultaneously piqued my interest as I could glance inside the kitchen. After laboriously examining the brunch offerings (an eclectic mix of breakfast and lunch options), we placed our orders and casually talked in the subdued but still buzzing restaurant.


For the customary starter, blueberry muffins, a sweet raisin nut bread, and a crusty sourdough with a light cream butter were served. Given our appetite, we quickly tore through these loaves. The “sourdough” as described did not resemble the true soar loaves that originated in San Francisco, but the savory bread delivered a flavorful crust and crumb. The nutty raisin bread was filled with many dried fruit and a few nuts (watch out for allergens), and the blueberry muffin was passable. Appetite excited, I prepared myself for AFC’S well-regarded clam chowder and its acclaimed crab and artichoke dip.

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While I had qualms about B&G’s clam chowder last week for being too thin, AFC delivered a thick and luscious version. The soup was served in a one of their excellent bread bowls, which made for an incredible dish. I found myself somewhat saddened by the end as the fantastic bread was left hollowed out. The crab and artichoke dip had similar presentation, with the dip snugly fit in a bread bowl. The accompanying chips and crudités went spectacularly well with the steaming cheesy mess of a dip. The crab may not have been noticeably visually, but it left a faint and well appreciated reminder on the palette. However, once again, I experienced incredible remorse for the empty shell of bread.

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After quickly snapping pictures, we commenced with our meal. My seafood fra diavolo was an impeccable al dente with a plethora of fresh seafood. The rich arrabiata sauce was incredible as the essential tomato flavors filled my mouth. With the simple linguine and the tender seafood, the perfect umami was achieved. While the course gave off the vibe of extravagance, the dish truly delivered with simplicity.

My companions ate with gusto as I took a quick sampling of their courses. The blackened haddock was among the numerous daily catch options at AFC. Each day AFC receives large orders of fresh fish and customizes a dish specific for each variety. Additionally, they also can prepare the fish through a variety of other methods like grilling, broiling, or blackening. The haddock was noticeably fresh and paired well with the blackening spice, and the two sides of buttery mashed potatoes and crisp beans. The filet and lobster benedict (only on the brunch menu) was appetizing as well with a consistent but acidic hollandaise served in a traditional manner on toasted English muffin. Finally, the lobster roll was a true behemoth as it much larger than others I experienced. The crisp toasted bun served as an excellent textural balance with the tender and generous portion of lobster.


Finally, the table finished with a warm Michigan cherry cobbler. In general, the desserts are very traditional, so I was not particularly drawn to any. The meal concluded well with the tart sweetness of the cherries with the decadent ice cream. However, the cobbler aspect was difficult to define as the “biscuit” on the cobbler was difficult to break apart.

Given the traditional and phenomenally executed menu, it was clear to see why the restaurant maintained such an excellent reputation. Add on the stellar service and the superb setting, and AFC obviously cemented itself as a Boston staple. However, with that comes the caveat of being predictable, and thus nothing truly surprised me. The excellence of a restaurant is measured by their longevity, but the impact of a restaurant comes with its creativity and innovation. AFC serves exceptional seafood at a pristine location and delivered a meal that well satisfied my lofty expectations.


A Recap of Passover and Easter Eating

Whether you went home this weekend for the holidays, or stayed on campus, we’re sure you ate some delicious food.  The Crimson Crave has compiled a collection of pictures of meals that several members of the Harvard community enjoyed over the Easter/Passover holiday.  Bring on the food porn!

Orlea Miller ’16

Charoset is one of the foods traditionally eaten during the Passover Seder, and many families have their own special way of making it. The basic recipe includes chopped fruit, nuts, grape juice or wine, and spices. Its burnt red color and nutty texture symbolize the mortar used by the ancient Israelites to assemble bricks when they were enslaved in Egypt.

everything mixed

Rachel Talamo ’18

Dessert, dinner and brunch from Passover in Montreal!

A scrumptious dessert called “il flotant”


Stuffed cornish game hen, asparagus, sweet potato, apple, chestnuts, cranberries, and fruit sauce



Hard-boiled eggs with avocado and greens; smoked salmon with asparagus, butter lettuce, onions, avocado, and cream sauce; greek yogurt with berries and maple syrup

Annelie Hermann ’18

These are “sunflower cupcakes,” garnished with an Oreo, green frosting, and orange/yellow frosting applied with a ziploc bag. Very spring-like, indeed!

Sunflower Cupcake

Caroline Gentile ’17

Every Easter brunch, my mom makes french toast, and she recently just found a delicious recipe for overnight french toast with raspberries and orange in Ina Garten’s new cookbook, Foolproof.  The sweet tartness of the raspberries and orange perfectly cut the rich egg-y taste of the challah bread and custard.

Raspberry-Orange Overnight French Toast
Raspberry-Orange Overnight French Toast

For dessert, we had coconut cupcakes with coconut buttercream frosting, garnished with egg-shaped M&Ms.  The recipe can be found on!

Coconut Cupcakes




The Friendly Toast: A Perfect Place for Pancake-Lovers

by Caroline Gentile ’17

Whenever I talk to strangers about food (which happens more often than you’d think), my favorite question to ask is, “Where’s your favorite place to have brunch?” Brunch is, after all, the most important meal of the day—nay, week. Over the past year and a half I’ve been in Boston, the most frequent answer to my question has been the Friendly Toast.


Located in the heart of Kendall square—a 30-minute walk from campus, or a 5-minute walk from the Kendall/MIT T-stop—this old-timey-but-still-modern diner is a gem.   Most of the decorations are typical of a classic diner (think old ads for Dr. Scholls and figurines of Barbie from the 60s), but the bright green walls give the place a more modern feel. Overall, the Friendly toast has a very fun and lively atmosphere, especially on a dreary Sunday morning.


Now, for the reason we came: the food. The menu offers both breakfast and lunch options, and many stood out. The oatmeal raisin pancakes with berries and homemade whipped cream and the Rob Roy, a burrito stuffed with chicken, corn salsa, black olives, brown rice, jalapeno jack cheese drizzled with chipotle and Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, both looked tempting. However, my friend and I ultimately settled for the King Cakes—creamy peanut butter sauce sandwiched between two banana chocolate chip pancakes and topped with bacon and homemade whipped cream—and the smoked salmon eggs benedict. I also opted to try the coconut-flavored hot cocoas, and my friend ordered orange juice.

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict

The orange juice was not fresh-squeezed, the cocoa was obviously made with syrup, and my friend described the eggs benedict as “good but not great”; the toast was too thick and the hollandaise sauce not creamy enough.

However, we both agreed that the pancakes were out of this world. The sinfully rich peanut butter sauce soaked into the fluffy pancakes, giving them the perfect consistency. The pancakes themselves were stuffed with perfectly ripe bananas and chocolate chips, but their sweetness was offset by the crispy bacon. Elvis would be proud to have these pancakes named for him.

King Cakes
King Cakes

If for no other reason, make the trek to Kendall Square to try these pancakes, but be sure to beat the morning rush. We got there at about 9am and barely had to wait, but by 11am, it was packed! That said, those pancakes are worth the wait.









“Chocolate by the Bald Man”

Orlea Miller ‘16

As I walk into the renowned Max Brenner, revered by chocolate lovers like myself, I can’t help but be pleasantly taken aback by all of the wall paintings and decor, bringing me into some alternative Willie Wonka-esque world. As I glance from wall to wall, I immediately notice the chocolate concoctions filling the shelves, both of the restaurant and the chocolate bar that greets you as you enter.


In 1996, Max Fichtman and Oded Brenner combined their names and opened their first shop together in Israel, selling homemade chocolates. Within four years, the first Max Brenner Chocolate Bar opened in Australia, home to the majority of the company’s 50 locations today. By 2006, Max Brenner opened in the United States as a restaurant, offering sweet and savory menu options. The wildly popular concept continues to expand annually, opening locations in Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, and Russia.

After hearing about the international sensation, I knew Max Brenner was a restaurant I had to visit. I was warned of the irresistible Chocolate Bar that sells every type of chocolate truffle you can think of, chocolate covered nuts, and even holiday-themed bonbon collections. The edible options are endless, and that isn’t even taking into account the Max Brenner mugs, recipe books, and clothing that line the small store.

But I was there for more than the world famous chocolate bar. The Restaurant. Indulging in a meal centered around dessert. Needless to say, I did my research before arriving. I know that in order to fully enjoy the treasured final course, I have to select a light option for lunch.

When we sit down, I immediately open the menu (the “drinks & sweets” menu that is), and spend a good 20 minutes selecting the perfect dessert to share with my lunch partner. Starting with smaller treats, the menu first describes the hot chocolate creations and milkshakes—both good choices, but not enough to satisfy our dessert palates.

Next are descriptions of the waffles, which come in banana split, tutti frutti, and “munchies” (your choice of two ice cream flavors, whipped cream, milk chocolate ganache, and their signature “Choco-Pops”). Then, the crepes: banana hazelnut, strawberry hazelnut, peanut butter and banana, and s’mores. Quite the selection, and quite the challenge. There are plenty of other options too—the menu is over 20 pages long, and includes sundaes, dessert pizzas, ice cream bars for dipping, and a variety of fondue options…


Since we were dining over the weekend, we both selected eggs from the brunch menu to start. I chose one of their “outrageous omelets,” stuffed with mushroom, spinach, onion, peppers, tomato and swiss cheese. But savory isn’t enough at Max Brenner; my omelet comes with fruit and a “diamond-dusted sugar buttermilk biscuit,” as if to ensure I am getting my sweet fix in each course. While the restaurant isn’t necessarily known for its food, I am satisfied in this department, and quickly finish my breakfast selection.  


As we let our food digest, we contemplate the dessert menu for a few more minutes, trying to decide between our final two choices: the s’mores crepe and the chocolate chunks pizza. We hold out as long as we can, extending our experience and making sure we have made the best choice on the menu.

Once we can’t wait to taste the first bites of the treat we truly came for, we select the s’mores crepe: a warm, smooth crepe filled to the brim with crunchy graham crackers, milk chocolate chunks, hazelnut spread, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, and served with milk chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream.


I can’t confirm all of the items listed are included, because the crepe somehow disappears before I know it. I did my best to savor each bite, trying to refrain from swallowing the crepe whole. As if the buttery outer layer isn’t enough, it’s filled with the perfect amount of each ingredient, allowing me to enjoy the true “s’more” flavor in every bite.


Everything about the experience was perfect, from the ambiance to the glorious scent wafting through the air to every last morsel of the crepe (and its accompaniments). And if you’re not quite ready to foot the bill, your waiter leaves it enclosed in a tin container reminding you of the importance of chocolate, in case you somehow forgot.


As Max Brenner explains, “chocolate is not just about taste. It’s a symbol of different aspects in our lives – of romance, of sensuality, of decadence.”