I was excited about my recent visit to Brasserie Max & Julie for two reasons. First, my husband and I visited Paris for the first time last winter, and I've been missing the food. Second, Katharine Shilcutt's piece on Houston's best "vacation patios" had me in the mood to dine al fresco.
When we arrived at Max & Julie, my husband and I had just missed the lunch service, so we were limited to the appetizer and entrée menus, which posed a problem for me if I wanted to eat light enough for an evening yoga class. I ordered the Salade Max & Julie from the appetizer menu, and the results -- for me -- were as mixed as my salad.
On the plus side, this salad is large and very, very fresh, combining greens with shaved celeriac (celery root), toasted fennel, hazelnuts and orange slices, all tossed in an orange vinaigrette.
But while everything was fresh and delicious, with flavors that blended nicely, I was just sort of underwhelmed. I am a fan of all of the individual elements of the salad, but I still felt sort of "meh" about it. Generally I like some zing or bite to my salads, but the Salade Max & Julie didn't deliver on that front.
Perhaps it paled in comparison to the Paté Maison (house-made paté served over greens) my husband and I split as an appetizer, or maybe I was salivating over the pork chop he had chosen as his main course. Either way, the Salade Max & Julie, while quite nice, did not scratch my French food itch. Next time I need French food pre-yoga, I'll throw caution to the wind, order the Foie Gras Maison and let the chips fall where they may.