The Maya exhibition at the Penn Museum is a big bummer. C’mon, we don’t want to be told with scholarly guarantee that the whole end-of-the-Maya-calendar-end-of-the-world thing is an American fabrication most likely perpetuated by holy rollers who believe that kind of crap anyway. If the world’s not ending, what’s our excuse for spending the rest of this year in unabashed and debauched gluttony?
So, being a good foodie, you should skip the exhibition and just go there for lunch. As part of the exhibition, which opens Saturday and runs through Jan. 13, 2013 (there they go spoiling the surprise again), a robust offering of traditional and modern Maya food will be showcased in the Pepper Mill Café.
On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the café turns into a veritable Maya fiesta with a changing menu that spotlights a different food each month. When possible, said food will be fresh and in season. May’s menu, featuring chocolate, sounds absolutely king-like. Here’s how it reads: “Chili and Chocolate Crusted Flank Steak with Ancho Chili Sauce, Fried Tortilla Strips and Corn Relish, or Cornmeal Crusted Chiles Rellenos with Spicy Black Bean and Bittersweet Chocolate. … Specialty desserts, like Dark Chocolate and Banana Empanadas with Cinnamon Sugar Dust.” Huh? Would I lie?
Every day of the week there will be a seasonally rotating selection of items like Corn and Green Chile Soup, Pumpkin Soup, fresh fried tortilla chips or plantains with salsa and guacamole, and Yucatan Hot Chocolate. Mexican beers are sold by the bottle (not sure why they’re not selling Salva Vida, the perfectly crisp Honduran export, as it’s available in PA); a variety of special non-alcoholic drinks will make an appearance; and PM @ Penn Museum will get its own monthly cocktail every Wednesday. There’s also a kid’s menu and ridiculously affordable pricing, with entrees coming in at less than $7.
And if that still doesn’t make you believe all the Maya hype, every patron who buys a Maya entrée on a weekend gets entered into a raffle to win prizes like Maya chocolate and cookbooks. Menus are available online at http://www.penn.museum/eat-at-the-museum.html.
Penn Museum [Official Site]