Little Brown Chocolate Bakery and Coffee, New on the Upper East Side
The Bald Man, aka Max Brenner, aka irl Oded Brenner, first brought his chocolate-mad ways over to New York City some five years ago, with his eponymous insta-hit near Union Square. We went to that Max Brenner a few times when it first opened, and gorged on the likes of Chocolate Chunks Pizza, Banana Split Waffles and Popsicle Chocolate Fondue. It was all festive and fun but, you know… a little much. Anyway, the place is always mobbed with out-of-towners and packs of teenagers, so it's been awhile since Max has worked his magic on us.
Enter Max Brenner's Little Brown Chocolate Bakery and Coffee, spanking new on the Upper East Side, a friendly, sunny, neighborhood snack spot that's perfect for a sugary and/or caffeinated pick-me-up (or take-it-home) any time of day. Located on a heavily-trafficked corner of 85th and Lex, and laden with baked goodies of all description, chocolate bars and tins and such by the basket- and shelf-full AND an enormous assortment of cold and hot beverages, Little Brown Bakery seems guaranteed to pack in the shoppers, the after-school crowd, and the locals looking for dessert.
We popped in to Max Brenner's Little Brown Chocolate Bakery and Coffee last week and sampled up and down the menu, with mixed results. There are literally dozens of beverage options, but we went the milkshake-y route with a Sticky Caramel Milk Chocolate Frappe, which unfortunately didn't really satisfy on either a deep-cocoa or a total sugar-bomb level. Just sort of thick and bland and not worth the calories.
Better were Little Brown's baked goods, especially the Butterscotch Pecan Chocolate Chip Coconut bar (or whatever it was called), appropriately rich and chewy, though as far as we're concerned it could have used even MORE butterscotch. The gooey Nutella Rice Krispie treat was also a hit with some of our snackers, but not because it tasted like Nutella, because it didn't. And for all of us calorie-conscious midday dessert-ers, Max Brenner's Little Brown Chocolate Bakery and Coffee offers a variety of 100-calorie or less treats, such as the Strawberry White Chocolate mini cupcake.
But even though we weren't totally won over by the treats at Little Brown Bakery–by the way, there are savory, breakfast and lunch-y items on the menu, too–Max's enormous enthusiasm for all things chocolate is welcome and contagious. We chatted a bit with a friend of the owner, who told us that "Max is a genius at making chocolate". Maybe, maybe not… but he definitely IS a genius at marketing it. We'll be back, because how can you resist?
Little Brown Chocolate Bakery and Coffee Details
The Little Brown Chocolate Bakery and Coffee is located on the northeast corner of 85th Street and Lexington Avenue, and is open on weekdays from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., and on weekends from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. For more information and look at some of the menu, please see the Little Brown Chocolate Bakery and Coffee website.