Post-gym binge at Maurepas Foods

Other than swimming, exercise and I really don’t get along. My knees and lower back are a complete mess, making any strenuous activity an effort in sheer masochism. Like Buddha, I must embrace the pain simply to tolerate a walk to the bookstore around the corner. I do adore swimming, though. It is great exercise with an absolutely no pain involved, unless you count the warm, tingling soreness I experience after an hour or so in the pool. The only problem is that unlike sweating on the elliptical, doing a weight-lifting routine or even 90 minutes of yoga, swimming makes me ravenous. Seriously…I could eat the whole gym.

Instead of crunching down on stationary bikes, Anne and I decided to have lunch at Maurepas Foods. Keep in mind, this luncheon occurred a few months ago seeing as Maurepas has recently changed their hours to include brunch and dinner and lunch no longer exists. No big deal really, it’s not like they closed (heaven forbid).

We arrived at an odd hour (around 2 pm) and the restaurant was pretty empty, but as we sat next to the window overlooking Burgundy Street, people gradually filed in for afternoon drinks, snacks and early dinners. Anne and I decided to share a couple of appetizers and the first to arrive was the Crab meat Calas with papaya and Hoisin syrup and a pile of crisp, grilled snap beans. Although the calas were savory, delicious fried balls of happiness, the snap beans really blew me away with their “fresh-from-the-garden” look and bright green flavor.

The other appetizer arrived as we were still scarfing down the first, Crowder Pea Pupusas with crowder tapenade and crowder hull syrup. This dish was so cool in that it displayed three different ways to use crowder peas, not to mention it was awfully tasty and incredibly filling. Anne and I were both a bit worried about managing our entrees after wolfing down the pupusas.

For my main dish, I chose the ever-popular Goat Tacos with pickled green tomatoes and cilantro harissa. Three piles of shredded and well-seasoned goat meat were heaped inside of house made corn tortillas and I enjoyed the rich flavor both with and without the garnishes. Anne, who was new to goat, decided to play it safe with a Roasted Pork Shoulder served with pickled squid, romesco and a mustard green vinaigrette. It seemed so strange to pair squid and pork together, but Anne thoroughly enjoyed the dish and I certainly wasn’t complaining after sampling a few bites.

In an effort to completely negate our earlier workout, we also ordered dessert. Anne desperately wanted the Pumpkin Pot de Creme with caramel, creme fraiche and popcorn ball pieces, and I wanted the Cookie Sandwiches with mint chocolate ice cream, ranger bites and chocolate syrup so instead of coming to a compromise, we each had our own dessert. I have to say, neither of us regretted our decision because both desserts were fabulous (we shared anyhow), but we probably should have headed straight back to the gym after lunch.

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