A lot of restaurants are all bark and no bite. They are full of too much hype and not enough flavor. From food trucks to hole in the walls to 5 star establishments, I'm here to answer the question on everyone's mind, "Is it really that good!" I am not an Iron Chef let alone a line cook. I'm just an ordinary girl who loves to eat extraordinary food.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Max Brenner- Las Vegas

 We have been to the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas so many times. I don’t know why I’ve never heard or seen this place. On one of my social networks, I did ask if anyone has been here and a few people responded that I must try it and compared it to Serendipity. If you read a previous blog post, you’d know that I am a big fan of Serendipity so I had to try Max Brenner.

Even on a hot summer night in Las Vegas, I had to order their hot white chocolate. It’s description reads “A clean, milky flavor with a light fragrance of roses.” So of course when it was served the first thing I had to do was smell it. It was served in a cute little “hug mug” and not your typical hot chocolate/tea cup. I couldn’t smell roses. However, I did smell the prominent scent of white chocolate. At first I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t topped with whipped cream. But as soon as I took a sip, I really was very impressed with how much white chocolate you can taste. It was like drinking  melted white chocolate, except in a thinner form. I could’ve drank the whole thing. I would’ve actually, if my son hadn’t tasted it and wanted it for himself.

For starters, we ordered the Really Cheesy-Really Crunchy Mac n Cheese. It had fresh tomatoes and bacon and served with a shot of marinara sauce. The really crunchy part of the description was on point. The mac n cheese was topped with a bread crumb mixture and then broiled so it gave the dish a nice crispy texture on top. The really cheesy part, on the other hand wasn’t exactly true. The acidity of the tomatoes cut into the cheesiness of the dish and it’s juices watered down the sauce. This dish wasn’t bad, but it just is not my idea of what a mac n cheese should taste like.

For my entrée, I ordered the Black Sesame salmon. This was accompanied by a vegetable stir fry with garlic spinach and wasabi aioli. It also came with a little potion glass of soy sauce. The stir fry had really good flavor. The salmon was coated with the black sesames and was cooked well but it definitely needed the soy sauce. The black sesames gave it a little smoky taste but it did need a little salt and some acid.

Ed ordered The Brenner Burger- Pure America Kobe beef patty with “Max’s secret barbeque sauce, lettuce, tomato, cheddar and a Vidalia onion ring on top.” It was served with waffle fries dusted with chili and cocoa powder. I took a bite out of his burger and it was good. The burger was cooked medium. It was a good size burger and was cooked perfectly.

The kids ordered the cheese pizza and the mac 'n cheese.  I didn’t try it. The crust was so thin and the cheese was a little scant. My daughter said she wished she had ordered something else. The mac 'n cheese tasted like the adult version but without the tomatoes. My son normally devours mac 'n cheese, but not this one.

There were so many desserts to choose from and so many that I wanted to try. We ended up ordering  the “Max-Wich” and the Milk Chocolate Apple Caramel Crisp. The “Max-wich” is described as “decadent dark chocolate truffle ice cream and pure chocolate chunks hugged between old fashioned very rich chocolate cookies and drizzled with a boost of pure chocolate served with pure dark chocolate ganache for dipping. The portion was big enough to share. The ice cream was good but there wasn’t enough of it. The cookie was good, but was hard. We only took a couple bites out of this and were done. The Apple Crisp I did enjoy very much. It was topped with oatmeal streusel, served with toffee ice cream and a shot of caramel. I thought this was one of the best apple crisps I’ve had. The surprise in this dish was the melted chocolate at the bottom of the cast iron ramiken. I doused the dish with all the caramel. When you get that perfect bite of streusel, apples, chocolate, caramel  paired with the ice cream, it was divine. Although the ice cream didn’t taste much like toffee, it was still good combined with the crisp. I was a little disappointed that it didn’t come with more ice cream because it was such a small amount that you don’t get to have it with every bite of the apple crisp. I also thought that in comparison to the “Max-Wich” the apple crisp was such a small portion.

Our total with tax and tip was $125. Overall, the savory dishes were just okay. Nothing too different or spectacular about them. It wasn’t Serendipity caliber but I would go back just for dessert.

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