>From now on, anyone who comes to visit me in NYC will be taken to Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man. As I was walking home from my feminist reading last night (the first night of Rosh Hashanah), I noticed this restaurant and store for the first time. I have yet to eat there, but the menu looks beyond Willy Wonka and it has something like 20 locations in Australia, so how can it not be amazing? The menu for chocolate drinks (like hot chocolate with essence of orange) alone is 10 pages!!! Someone pass me a napkin, ‘cause I am salivating just thinking about it.

While I did not eat in the restaurant yet (but can’t wait to try the chocolate crepes and waffles…), I peruse the shop at the front. What struck me immediately as I looked at the little tins of chocolates were how familiar they appeared. Where had I seen something like this before? On my travels to California? Other places? No, I didn’t think so. Very odd. At any rate it all looked tasty and fattening and so I left and bought some low fat LesserEvil black and white kettle corn at Whole Foods instead. (It is supposed to fend of “snackcidents” – ha ha ha. It definitely almost saved me last night.)

I say that the popcorn almost saved me from a high cal, high fat incident because when I arrived home, I realized that I knew why I recognized the packaging at Max Brenner. Two years ago when my friend visited me from Israel, she brought me a tin of Max Brenner pralines. (The tin says NUTS, and then everything else is in Hebrew, so she kindly made a note on the label that inside were “Chinese” pralines covered with cocoa and nougat.) Shocklingly, there were three left, so I ate two of them. Delicious, even after sitting on my shelf for two years or so. This bodes well for the restaurant, I think.

There are two points to this story. One, what is wrong with me that I can’t recognize a person I’ve met at least eight times at various events, but I immediately know I’ve had a type of chocolate two years ago? (I’m sure it helps that I glance the package at least once a day, but still, I fear that lately I wouldn’t even recognize my own mother walking down the street…) The second point is that Rosh Hashanah is celebrated with something sweet. Traditionally, that something is apples and honey, but I think from now on it should be chocolate-covered pralines or other ridiculously unhealthy treats.

Happy New Year 5767! May it be as sweet, but not as sickening, as pounds of chocolate ingested in one sitting.

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