Mac & cheese, big brownies and more!

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by mponto

khou.com

Posted on November 16, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 16 at 2:12 PM

Max's Wine Dive on Washington Ave.Mashed potatoes, chocolate, bread pudding, peanut butter sandwiches...everyone has their own form of comfort food. Mine is usually chewy brownies, but since I moved to Houston, I've been craving good old fashioned macaroni and cheese.

Good thing Max's Wine Dive on Washington Avenue had exactly what I was looking for...and a little bit more. But let me warn you, if you show up at Max's 8:30 on a Saturday night like I did, chances of getting a seat will be pretty slim. It was packed and it didn't look like it was going to slow down.

Thankfully, Julius, the place's coolest wine-guy, was able to squeeze me in at the bar. I swear, sometimes being a party of one does have its advantages.

MAX & CHEESE TO DIE FOR
My yummy bowl of Max & Cheese.Naturally, I ordered the Max & Cheese from their appetizer list as that was why I was there. Their version of the cheesy dish was not exactly the same as my mom used to make - it was actually better. Sorry Mom, but it was. Max's tosses the pasta in truffle cream with a mozzarella, Texas gruyere and grana padano cheese blend. It's mmm....mmm...good.

Now, one of the cool things about Max's is that you can ask to taste different wines before committing to a full glass. I didn't take advantage of this as I'm not really a wine connoisseur. Instead I asked Julius to pick something out that would go with the meal, and I wasn't disappointed. He picked out a Pinot Gris from Oregon that complimented my pasta perfectly.

But while the Max & Cheese was incredible, the Nacho Mama's Oysters are out of this world. They are deep fried and placed on top of fried wontons. And no, I didn't order them. The Venezuela group sitting beside me did and I tried one of theirs (yes, it's true, you can't take me anywhere).

I swear the oyster literally melted in my mouth. It was fabulous and I will be getting them next time I'm at Max's. The people who actually did order them, agreed. They were a party of three, and they had almost ordered every appetizer off the menu. They tried the buffalo meat sliders, the rib basket, Max & Jack's frites, and finally the oysters. All of the food looked good, but they said the oysters were the best.

BUT WAIT...THERE'S MORE
This was the BigAss brownie before we devoured it.You would think I would be done after eating a big bowl of pasta and someone else's oysters, but no, I had to have dessert. However, I knew that something called "The Big*** Brownie" would not be something I could handle on my own - but it could be something six girls could handle.

Seated on the other side of me at the bar were five girls from Houston. Let me just say, that after a couple of glasses of wine and conversation about food (they ordered the wild boar pasta), we decided to share the brownie dessert. And I think it was the best decision of the night.

This was all that was left.The "Big*** Brownie" was gigantic and if I did eat alone, I would definitely have a much bigger butt today. It's also completely addictive and not overly sweet. Instead, it's slightly spicy. That's because it has ancho chili in it.

Of course, Julius, my wine-guy, didn't let me down. He recommended an Australian Moscato to go with the brownie and again it was perfect.

Overall, my night at Max's was a hit. While it's a little on the expensive side (my mac and cheese was $15.00 and the average glass of wine is going to run you $12.00), it's a place where you can go and spend the evening having a great conversation with friends -- or in my case, complete strangers.

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