Of all the wonderful restaurants in Portland, my ultimate favorite is Chez Maya, also known as my best friend Maya’s dining room. After every marathons and half marathons, she and her family invite me and my fiancé over to their home in the Portland suburb for a celebratory dinner of T-Bone steak and all the side dishes that will make any hungry soul swoon. It’s a ritual that has gone on for the last three years, and one I hope will continue for many years to come.
By watching the way Maya dances in the kitchen, one would never believe that this is someone who didn’t really cook all that much until about five years ago. Now, she’s one of the most amazing home cooks I know, whipping up amazing dishes and desserts you can only find in fine, gourmet restaurants. And what makes her even more amazing is that she is not afraid of butter. Not afraid at all.
This night, after completing the half marathon in Portland, was no exception. She cooked T-Bone steaks for everyone who surrounded the table – me, my fiance, Maya, her husband Shaun, their son Joe, her sister Tania, Tania’s baby boy Caden, and of course, Solomon, a pit bull with the heart of gold (though he only got a few pieces). She cooked my steak perfect medium rare, and loaded everyone’s plates with roasted carrots, potatoes, and zucchinis. She even made my favorite fried potatoes that taste 100 times better than any French fries out there. She said that the secret is in the Indonesian margarine that she uses (though I am convinced that it’s pure lard).
She even prepared us chocolate molten cake for dessert, with the center so warm and velvety, the melted chocolate just ooze out of the cake! Talk about a heavenly dessert!
I cannot thank Maya and her family for their warm hospitality and making us feel special every time we visit.
And yes, we were in food coma for the rest of the weekend. I don’t think I’m ready to go back to the real world … just not yet …