Friday, August 10, 2012

CapTex 2012 Pre and Post Race Meals

CapTex racers readying for the swim portion of the three part event
Summer fun for my friends and family means more than just BBQ’s and pool time, it
also means looking forward to race season. Over the last few years, cheering my brother
in law on at Austin’s CapTex Triathlon has become a Memorial Day tradition. More excitedly, several of my close friends have joined the swim-bike-run phenomenon, which has made my tri spectating even more fun. This year was extra special for me since having started my own personal running journey. Along with the bonding we have all shared cheering one another on, we have also developed eating traditions which we look forward to almost as much as the excitement of the race itself.

There are two meals that are most important to any competitive race, the pre-race meal the night before and the post-race celebratory lunch.

Our tradition the night before the race has been to partake in a traditional Italian meal, as a means for our athletes to “carb up” prior to expending all their energy the following day. Fueling their bodies prior to such a long race is essential to a good performance, and necessary to keep their energy levels high. 

One of my favorite restaurants in Austin is Taverna, which happens to serve
up some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had. My choice for the evening was the Risotto ai Frutti di Mare, a mixed seafood risotto that never disappoints.
Taverna's savory risotto featuring Carnaroli Rice
The rice used in Taverna’s risotto (Carnaroli Rice) is deliciously creamy texture and the taste rich, as a great risotto should be. Saffron adds to the savoriness, with a variety of seafood adorning the dish, including mussels, clams, calamari and shrimp. Diced tomatoes are a final garnish, adding color and flavor to one of my favorite meals to enjoy in Austin.

For the post-race run, we went total indulgence. Experts say that long runs should be followed by a carb and protein meal. You need to refuel fast and we knew just the place. Every year we schedule the most amazing meal into our CapTex weekend in Austin: Chicken and Waffles. Kia also confessed to me on a wine skype that this was one of her favorite indulgent meals when she heads down south. 
24 Diner is our definitively Austin choice.  It's eclectic, delicious and cool.

Fluffy waffles and crispy boneless chicken

The interior has a retro feel, with a staff that adds to the charm and modern diner experience. For the past few years, the Chicken and Waffles has been the athlete and spectator’s meal of choice. After expending energy and calories at such an event, such a splurge is certainly in order. A large order boasts a full waffle and two generous portions of chicken. 

The waffle - soft, with just the right amount of sweetness, is the perfect accompaniment to the perfectly crisped chicken. Despite the crispy exterior, the boneless and skinless fried chicken is cooked in a way that maintains the meat’s juiciness. Bite by bite, the combination of 24’s chicken and waffles will satisfy down to the very last morsel. The freshness of the food is not surprising, considering that 24 serves local, farm-to-table and organic produce to it’s patrons whenever possible.