First the Israeli equivalent of Starbucks opened in Bethesda. Now "Startup Nation" is bringing us the Israeli equivalent of Willy Wonka.
When you hear that Max Brenner started in 1986 in Ra'anana, Israel, your first thought might be, "so this is the Godiva of Israel." But Godiva's staid mall outposts have not prepared you for the chocolate experience of Max Brenner.
Co-founder Oded Brenner embraces the Wonka comparison, saying that he wants customers to experience a "3-D" world of chocolate. Brenner has been quoted saying, "I have freed chocolate from its cage."
Your chocolate addiction may reach new extremes when you purchase a chocolate-filled "syringe," made to squirt into your mouth, from the restaurant's gift shop.
What can you expect to find on Max Brenner's chocoholic menu?
* Waffle fries dusted with chili powder and cocoa powder
* Chocolate burger
* Chocolate pizza
* A romantic chocolate fondue menu for two
* Max's White Russian (the restaurant's signature cocktail, made with Absolut Vodka, Kahlua, and white chocolate, served on the rocks)
* Illegal Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Pancakes
* The Brenner Burger (with secret BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese and Vidalia onion)
* Really Cheesy - Really Crunchy Mac & Cheese
* Crepe Brulée & Sugar Waffle
* Urban S'mores
* The Melting Chocolate Truffle Heart Cake and Shake (Milk and white chocolate heart-shaped cake served with vanilla ice cream, berries and an iced milk chocolate "shot")
* Chocolate Chunk Pizza (choice of toppings includes hazelnut, peanut butter and/or marshmallow)
* O.M.G. Chocolate Chunk Cookies (served with whipped cream, berries and melted chocolate)
The pizza was featured on Food Network's Best Thing I Ever Ate.
This decadent menu arrives in a Bethesda Row-appropriate package: Brenner not only learned chocolate-making in Paris, but says Max Brenner is ultimately a fusion of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory and a Parisian café. Which fits the Row's faux-European atmosphere perfectly.
Of course, each Max Brenner restaurant features location-specific menu items, so some surprises are in store.
Save Metro fare to Coco Sala in the District, as Max Brenner may satisfy your chocolate addiction closer to home.