Gluttony, Brazilian style

13
Dec
2008

My friend Elson and I went to a place last night called Angelica Grill. It is one of those places in a Brazilian tradition of all you can eat meat restaurants. Basically there is a giant salad bar where you go for heaping piles of side dishes to bring back to your table. Then you set a little rotating sign on your table to the “Yes please” (as opposed to “No thank you”) position, and wait for the meat guys to descend on you like pigeons. Every few minutes they come by to shave off a different cut of meat from a skewer, as you try to force down as much as you can without throwing up. Just about the time you are waiting to be begged to take just “one wafer thin mint“, confused as hell as to why they won’t stop coming by, you remember to set the sign to “No thank you”, and the fleishe anschluss ends. And then comes the dessert cart!

The restaurant we were in was filled with families, large groups, possible bar mitzvah parties, work parties, etc. And all of them were quite boistrous. The enormous room, which was fairly well appointed in hotel ballroom style was filled with perhaps 500 people. And a lot of these people were, how shall I put this delicately…quite a bit overweight (surprise).

It is good to know that Americans are not the only people in the world who can at times mistake quantity for quality.

Comments

  1. Gabe says:

    Stephen:

    Your last sentence is confusing. A proper Brazilian Churascaria (or Rodizio) is among the most *spectacular* and high-quality steak-eating experiences of your life. While I can’t speak to Angelica, I can highly recommend:

    -Fogo De Chao in SP
    -Boi Preto in SSA
    -Porcao in RdJ

    While the quantity is certainly there, the quality is as well. Barring a single steak in BsAs, Porcao in RdJ has delivered 3 of the best meaty meals of my life. Perhaps another Rodizio experience is in order?

    G

    PS – I love the image of chubby Brazilians. I have trouble imagining a whole room full of them, but I believe you. I do. :)

  2. Stephen says:

    The quality of the meat was in fact very good (the side dishes left something to be desired). But I have to admit I have a problem with the very concept of all you can eat, as it DOES favor quantity over quality by its very nature, at least as the measure of “value”. This appeals to and reinforces the worst aspects of our consumer culture.