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Posts Tagged ‘salad bar’

Alright, finally my last Restaurant Week experience. Yuki and I took advantage of the Art Institute’s free month in February this past Sunday. Afterwords we had planned on meeting up with a couple of friends, one in from Japan, for dinner downtown. We walked by Texas de Brazil and it looked damn tasty. So, I asked the hostess if they were participating in restaurant week, and when she said yes I made a reservation for us. What they normally charge for $50, we got for $32. Not a bad deal at all, not bad. Those of you have been to a Churrascaria before know what I’m talking about.

Again, the pics were taken with my cell, so they’re not the best quality. Also, if you’re a vegetarian or a little squeemish, don’t look any further. There are chunks of bloody animal carcass on my plate. Consider yourself warned.

We started off with a round of caipirinha’s. While the bartender whipped those up we headed over to the sushi and salad bars.

I apologize, I ate the sushi and most of my first run to the salad bar before snapping a pic. I have to say, the sushi was quite good. There were three different maki rolls, tuna and avocado, california, and salmon. The salad bar was outrageous! Check out their website for a complete list of items. My favorites were the tuna tataki, pomegranate quinoa, and the cheeses. Everything was top quality. They did not skimp at all. The soup was lobster bisque, which for some reason none of us tried. Why is that?

Once we finished the first round at the salad bar the meat-a-thon began! Flip the token to green and meat just started flying everywhere! Highlights were the garlic beef (of course), bacon-wrapped filet (of course), and the sausages (of course). I asked the gaucho what the sausage was spiced with and his answer was brilliant, “Brazillian spices”. Great, now I know how to make them at home. Other tasty bits were the lamb chops, leg of lamb, and flank steak. Just like the salad bar the meat was all top quality. They definitely did not buy their meats from Jewel! While mauling the meat we were served mashed potatoes, little cheese puffs, and fried plantians as well.

After ingesting about two and three fifths of large farm animals I thought it would be best to get some leafy greens in my stomach. I made another run to the salad bar and just grabbed some mixed greens and topped them with what they call “Brazillian Dressing”, just some small diced tomatoes and peppers in lime juice. Had I not gone for the salad I don’t even want to think about what would have happened to my intestines.

Dessert was also offered with our meal. We had our choice of a banana’s foster cheese cake or key lime pie. So, we got two of each.

I tell ya, as much fun as Churrascarias are and as delicious as they are, I don’t think I can go to one again. I always end up eating so much meat it’s not even funny. Don’t get me wrong, I love meat, it’s my favorite vegetable. Let’s be honest though, a 150 pound man should not swallow 207 pounds of dead animal in one sitting! It’s just not right! I almost couldn’t get up from the chair after the night’s festivities came to a halt. It also ruined my normal cycles for a few days, but that’s a whole different story in itself.

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My buddy Tony over at Gimme A Bite! recently wrote about an experience he and his wife had over at Zed451. While I’ve never been there, it brought up hunger pangs craving Fogo de Chao, a gluttony full of meat-eating sin I have had the pleasure of enjoying.

 

I went for a buddy’s bachelor party and there were 20 of us meeting up there. If you knew my buddy Mark, you’d know that there really is no other place to start his bachelor party. I think he got more aroused from all of the skewers of food than from watching the strippers later. We waited at the bar for everyone to show up. Nothing wrong with meeting new people while enjoying a few caparhinas with old friends who are all about to partake of the ancient rituals of carnal devouring with you. I gotta say, keep those caparhinas coming, Fogo makes a mean drink!

 

With a nice buzz kicking in we were seated at our table and were explained the rules of turning the card over from red (no meat at this particular moment in time) to green (get that sumptuous skewer of dead animal flesh over here!). We placed our drink orders, more caparhinas and some Argentinean Malbec, not typically my favorite style of vino, but, when in Fogo…stick with South America.

 

They immediately brought out a bunch of side dishes. Some of the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever consumed, fried plantains and cheese bread. I had to make a stop at the salad bar before turning my card to green because I knew that once the meat started falling on my plate I wouldn’t get up any time soon. Best to have my vegetables sitting there ready and waiting to help my kitchen sink bits push all of the meat through safe and sound.

 

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What a salad bar! I think any vegetarian would be satisfied perusing this thing. There were all kinds of crudités, greens, salad condiments, sliced salamis (even vegetarians would have to admit that they looked damn tasty!), etc. Really, it was quite a spread. I chose to keep it simple with some greens and raw veggies for I knew what lay ahead.

 

Now comes the part I’ve been waiting for, my carnivorous dreams are about to become a reality. I just need to be careful of what I wish for. Ok, take a deep breath……GREEN!

 

Skewers seemingly start coming out of the woodwork. I haven’t seen this much meat since a Russ Myers film (thanks for the analogy Seinfeld). Animals from all walks of life grilled to perfect bliss. Lamb chops, pork ribs, beef ribs, chicken wrapped in bacon (I usually don’t order chicken, but hey, it was wrapped in bacon, I was clearly given an offer I can’t refuse), about 5 different cuts of beef…..it was truly heaven on a stick!

 

The star of the show was hands down the Picanha, a cut of sirloin with a layer of fat about a half inch thick along the meat. All it’s flavored with is salt and garlic, very simple. However, and I don’t quite know how they’re so successful at this, but that strip of fat absorbed every last molecule of flavor that garlic once possessed. Emeril would crap his pants instantly with that garlic flavor. I must have eaten three or four chunks of that stuff throughout my gorging. I used it much like pickled ginger at a sushi bar, to cleanse my palette between other flavors.

 

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I ate myself sick. There was clearly no way I would be able to stomach any dessert unless it came wrapped in garlic fat bacon on skewer. I morphed into my grandpa after a Passover Seder, my belt unfastened and the top button undone in a complete meat coma. Good thing my natural laxatives (fibrous veggies) were sitting in front of me or I’d have some serious problems lying ahead.

 

At $50 a pop (not including drinks) for that unbelievable parade of grilled flesh it’s definitely not the kind of place that I will frequent often. It is, however, a great spot for the rare occasion when all you want is to be naughty. Just be sure not to drag your anti-animal cruelty vegetarian who denies him/herself one of life’s most innate desires as it will surely end all relations. I, myself, am clearly not one of those veggies and will definitely be back at some point in my life.

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