If you’ve been reading this blog, you know over the past few weeks I’ve had a craving for Friendly’s, especially for an ice cream sundae. Â While traveling out of NYC hasn’t been an option, I decided to look at Yelp for dessert recommendations and unfortunately, most Yelpers recommended heading to your local grocery store for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Still, I was determined to find the perfect sundae.
After seeing Max Brenner’sÂ Â while in Union Square on Saturday night, we decided to head back on Sunday for some afternoon treats. Â Even though it was 4 in the afternoon, the restaurant was packed. Â I ordered the Eskimo, which was supposed to be scoops of ice cream with chocolate sauce and hazelnut bits in a waffle cone. Â Unfortunately, the restaurant was out of waffle cones. Â Quickly, I asked our waiter what was the next best thing compared to the Eskimo that was like an ice cream sundae, and he replied, “the Chocolate Mess – it’s like a brownie ice cream sundae.” So, I ordered it. Â Ben on the other hand, ordered The Red Heart, which was a warm chocolate cake filled with chocolate and raspberry sauce, served with vanilla ice cream and raspberry yogurt. Â Ben also ordered the chocolate granita in dark chocolate, which was a dark chocolate truffle over ice – and no, Ben doesn’t weigh 400 pounds.
Ben’s drink came out and I wasn’t a big fan. Â While the glass and straw were pretty innovative (a silver metal straw so the granita kept cold while you sipped it), it really had a powdery aftertaste. Â
The Chocolate Mess finally arrived and it was a plate of whipped cream with sprinkles, with a side of caramel sauce and hazelnut bits. Â Underneath the whipped cream, was vanilla ice cream, toffee bananas and chocolate brownie. Â I dipped my spoon in, prepared myself for that great mix of the cold from the ice cream and warmth of the brownie – and was immediately disappointed. Â Like most brownie sundaes, you expect cold ice cream. Â Instead, this mess was infact, a mess. Â It wasn’t like the cold soupy ice cream that drips onto the brownie as it melts – instead, it was soupy, warm ice cream with bits of brownie. Â Without any thickness to the dessert, I spent more time trying to make sure I wasn’t spilling it on myself and contemplated eating it with a straw. Â The only reason I continued to eat the dessert was because 1). I was determined to find the cold ice cream in the dessert (and I only had one bite that felt like cold ice cream) and 2). the bananas in a toffee coating tasted really good. Â Once I found all the bananas in the soup – it literally was like eating all the chicken out of chicken noodle soup – I was done. Â I passed the dessert to Ben, and even he didn’t finish it.Â
I’ve been to Max Brenner’s for actual food before and it wasn’t bad. Â However, after this recent experience, if I wanted dessert, I’d head to my local C-Town to pick up some pints of Ben & Jerry’s. Â Plus, Max Brenner’s wasn’t that cheap – between the two desserts and the drink, it cost us more than $30. Â For that price, I could get at least 6 pints of much better ice cream. Â The only thing stopping me from giving it one star is that Ben really enjoyed his dessert(s), and maybe if I wasn’t determined to have a sundae, I would have enjoyed something else on the menu.The Basics Name: Max Brenner Location: 841 Broadway between 13th and 14th Who to bring: No one because you aren’t going Price: Pricey for NYC desserts. Â $$$. Overall: Give me vanilla ice cream and hot fudge from McDonald’s any day. Â 2 stars.