Unless youre blind (in which case you wouldnt be reading my blog), you’ve seen the signs for Max’s Wine Dive on the corner of McKinney and Lemmon for months now. The much anticipated South Texas spot has finally opened its doors in West Village and with a slogan like “Fried Chicken and Champagne? … why the hell not?”, it was clear that I needed to pay them a visit immediately. Being the kind citizen I am, I gave them a few weeks to figure their shit out iron any kinks out before setting foot inside. This past weekend my friend, Susie Drinks Dallas, and I stopped by for Sunday brunch. Let me start by saying, THANK GOD for Open Table. If I hadn’t made a reservation on there we would have had to wait (gasp) outside! We were quickly escorted to our table and although I’m not sure what I expected from the former-Border’s bookstore spot but this was not it. It is so much smaller than I would thought, but with a 24hour diner going in nextstore and a yoga studio going upstairs, my visions of the former Borders are demolished.
Straight away we ordered a mimosa after a shaky explanation by our waitress between the one for $3.75 or $6+. I’m a cheap drunk so I went for the cheap booze. It was about two sips into our drinks (served with either fresh squeezed OJ or Grapefruit jucie) that Susie and I decided that a bottle of champagne was going to need to happen. There are about 5-6 different champagne options by the bottle and they each have a discounted price during brunch service. Hell Yes. Not only that, but when you order champagne by the bottle, juice is on the house. Max’s Wine Dive clearly encourages their customers to get all P.Diddy up in their bitch. It was all Susie and I could do to not order the whole menu. Pan Barracho & Poached Egg? Creme Brulee French Toast? FUCK, Red Velvet Pancakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting? Kill me. Dear Groupon, please issue a deal for lapband surgery in Dallas. Seeing as Max’s is located in Uptown where appearance is everything, it would have probably been frowned upon for me to order the entire right side of the menu. Alas, we settled on Max’s Famous Southern Fried Chicken because..well, its famous. We also ordered the Max ‘n Cheese because we were watching our calories, clearly.
An impressive plate of Max’s Famous Southern Fried Chicken arrived at our table and I was impressed right off the bat by the generous portion for $15. Granted, $15 isn’t cheap but it usually doesn’t get you shit in this city. The chicken itself is jalapeno-buttermilk marinated and then “deep fried slow and low,” which seems to make all the difference. The chicken was plump and juicy and the crust was as crunchy as it gets, almost to a fault. I like my fried chicken to practically break my teeth off its so crunchy so I enjoyed this aspect of the dish but if you aren’t like me you may want to change that reconsider ordering this. Accompanying the chicken are collard greens, home fries and Texas toast. Maybe it’s just that the chicken is just so good that the side items seemed bland, but neither the greens, potatoes or the toast had any ounce of flavor. I would prefer that no sides be served with the chicken so that they didnt take up space as I reverted back to the caveman days and murdered this meat. The Max ‘n cheese was equally as delicious as the chicken. Pipping hot cavatappi pasta smothered in truffle cream sauce, provolone, Gruyere and parmigiano-reggiano then topped with panko bread crumbs is enough to make any non-foodie’s (ugh, thats the worst term in the world) head explode so imagine what it did to me. I am still healing. This is the kind of dish you know you should probably just nibble on but you can’t help yourself – It’s just so good. Screw chicken noodle soup, I’m getting this shit when I’m sick next time. I mean seriously, look at this beautiful thing!!
All in all, I am anxious to try what else Max’s Wine Dive has to offer and plan on checking them out for dinner this weekend. Word on the street is that their grilled cheese with tomato soup is out of this world but my jaw hit the floor when I saw “chicken fried brussel sprouts.” Hope they have a spare room in the back, because I’m moving in!