Saturday, June 26, 2010

Eating Out - Brazilian

Making sure to eat my green vegetables.

Fogo de Chao (Brazilian Steakhouse)

Brazilian steakhouses or churrascarias have been one of the big culinary crazes of the last few years. It seems like every time I talk to someone about international cuisines, they eventually say "have you been to one of these Brazilian steak places?" My response, until just a few days ago, was always "No, but I really really really want to go."

For the five of you who I actually beat to the churrascaria, the restaurant has two courses: salad and meat. And by "salad" or "salad bar" they mean stuff that isn't hot cuts of meat. But a big portion of the salad bar is also meat (salamis, chicken salad, strips of bacon, etc). The rest of the time dudes walk around with swords! with giant chunks of meat that they serve at your table - 15 kinds in all.

The point everyone always makes is that you get this little card you can flip over. Green means "I want more meat." Red means "I'm cool for now." This is only a formality. They will try to serve you meat no matter what signal you're trying to send.

  • This is the perfect place to celebrate a big occasion like a graduation (for my buddy Todd) or a wedding anniversary (for Kathryn and me).
  • The caipirinhas will get you absolutely black out drunk (also available in strawberry flavor). I'm not sure if this makes it easier or harder to consume Conehead portions of grilled meats.
  • Todd got cut off by the waitress. Not from booze, but from steak.
  • There were 15 kinds of grilled meats. I tried almost all of them. Worst - lamb chop, Best - chicken leg (...or maybe the fillet)
  • Kathryn and I played a rare strategy and each got our own desert. She got the chocolate lava cake, and I went with the creme brulee. Because it was our anniversary, I let her break the melted sugar on my creme brulee even though she didn't eat any of it.
  • My stomach hurt for three days - not exaggerating, and I spent more money than I have ever spent on one meal. However, I'm ready to go back first chance I get. Kathryn may or may not want to go. She's still trying to work her way through the powerful roller coaster of emotions that is the churrascaria.

Barely hanging in there.

Kathryn and I just before my evening turned south. (Bonus: I was really tempted to swipe one of those bottles of wine, but I think it was just the pork ribs making me delusional. Also, I don't really like wine.)

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