Janeille and I had another lunch date! This time we ventured to Union Square to one of Janeille’s favorite restaurants, Max Brenner. This place is so pretty to look at, a chocolate store upon entry, a pastry/ coffee bar, and then a sweet little restaurant, open with high ceilings and brown detailing.
Was so excited to try the food that Janielle spoke so highly of. I ordered a chicken Panini with black olive pesto and goat cheese, while Janeille ordered in a turkey burger. Janielle was very satisfied with her turkey burger, swimming in melted cheese, while I, on the other hand was not.
I was super amped to have something other than chicken tenders from Cluck U or a falafel, or even a burger. But unfortunately, my Panini lacked all the flavors I was hoping for. Imagining the warm toastiness of paninis of the past, and the flavorful chicken, moist with careful preparation, and the melty sophistication of goat cheese. It sure was toasty (read, dry and crunchy). The bread was just crunchy and pretty flavorless, not in the sense that it was serving as a nondescript base for the delicious insides, no it was just not great tasting. The chicken was also pretty nondescript, no seasoning, no flavor just resting. I could barely taste the goat cheese, which though at times can have a strong taste and residual flavor, but I got none of that. And forget the black olive pesto, I am pretty sure the person who prepared my sandwich forgot it too. The only thing that brought life to my sandwich was the tomato and my company. I can distinctly remember what the Panini looked like, with its colors and textures, but the taste hardly left any kind of mark in my memory.
Both lunch sandwiches were accompanied by Max Brenner’s famed waffle fries, dusted with coca powder and served with a chili aioli dealie. I am a sucker for waffle fries, and make them more exotic with special seasonings and recipes, it’s a wrap. The first fry was good, but as expected, as their temperature dropped, so did their quality. I almost wish they were more heavily dusted wit the coca powder, to add another dimension, bringing them further away from the frozen food section variety of waffle fry. The dipping sauce though, was amazing (I used it to try to resuscitate my panino).
Since the very beginning of our lunch, looking at the desert and beverage menu, my heart was set on this banana split waffle. I was trying to get my lunch date to share it with me, but she politely declined, and said that it would redeem my lunch. So I ordered the over priced desert. It was a waffle topped with flambayed bananas, roasted rice crispies, chocolate sauce and some chocolate covered crispies. This was delicious, but the chocolate was unnecessary to me. I loved the hot of the bananas and the waffle mixing with the cold of the ice cream, and the disparate textures that blended so nicely on the tongue. Loved the crunch of the roasted crispies, but not necessarily their taste, but the crunch countered the soft banana and the Belgian-esque waffle.
Overall the visual aesthetics of my lunch were much more nutritious and satisfying than the actual food. I would go again to try more desserts... maybe even fondue.