Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man
The focus at Max Brenner is on chocolate, but the restaurant’s menu also offers a slew of savory sandwiches, salads, and pastas, as well as brunch and kids’ options. Turn any power lunch into an awkwardly sensuous encounter with a burger selection, such as the standard, veggie, or turkey burger, all of which come with waffle fries dusted with chili and cocoa powder ($13.50–$13.95). The eclectic lineup covers everything from a southwestern caesar salad ($12.95) to fish tacos ($12.25) to the really cheesy, really crunchy mac ’n’ cheese, which oozes with marinara sauce, fresh tomatoes, and bacon ($13.95). Soothe a sweet tooth by delving into a dessert such as a chocolate-chunks pizza ($8.75 for half, $15.95 for full) bedecked with melty double-chocolate chunks and a choice of hazelnut bits, bananas, peanut butter, or roasted marshmallows—the pizza world’s number-one topping until the discovery of the pepperoni tree.