Monday, November 29, 2010

Brazil Grill

There are few things more scrumptious than an all-you-can -eat Brazilian Churrascaria-style meat-fest. What is Churrascaria (shoo-rah-sko) style you ask? It’s a Brazilian type of rotisserie BBQ, that is served to you tableside by wandering gaúchos bearing large skewers of Chili-Lime Pork Loin, Beef Tri-Tip, Marinated Lamb and much more.

I must be a true carnivore, because just thinking about this meat parade gets my mouth watering! When I went to the Brazil Grill in Portland, OR I was in protein heaven. I began by eating some mixed greens (for good measure), but quickly made come-hither-eyes at a strong and tan man holding a sword of bacon wrapped beef medallions. That was just the beginning of the feast.

Juicy prawns, delicious sausage, and the tri-tip steak satisfied my palate for hours, the tri-tip being my favorite of all. Even though I was completely fulfilled and absolutely stuffed, I was still able to make room for the icing on the cake: the Roasted Pineapple Covered in Cinnamon. All the sweet, spiced juices only made the pineapple more perfect. If you get a chance to experience this restaurant, or one like it, come prepared* and experience an Adult Meat amusement park!

Preparation Check List:
  • Do not eat at least 8 hours before being seated.
  • Drink plenty of water, brackish meat may parch the dehydrated.
  • Come with your wallet, this dinner runs at $32 per person.
  • Bring a note pad to keep track of your favorites when seconds roll around.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hell’s Kitchen Café

During my trip into New York City, I stopped in to the Hell’s Kitchen Café hoping for a heavenly lunch. I enjoyed the modern, almost industrial look of the restaurant that was offset by single flowers resting in tall shot glasses on each table. One whole wall had the seasonal option to open up for fresh city air, similar to a three-car garage. It had a smoothie bar, in addition to a full bar, which always sweetens the deal in my book. The lunch menu was pretty approachable with some distinctive sandwiches that seemed to have a little extra class. I went with the Turkey, Brie and apple sandwich because of a fond memory I had of a small country cafe in Oregon that served it. I treated myself and chose the side of fries over the salad. I couldn’t resist having some “Liquid Passion”, a champagne cocktail with a bright, bitter kick of passion fruit.

The food came out and looked great, but after my first few bites I was disappointed, the food was decent, but by no means great. That cute little country store had made up a more flavorful version of the same sandwich, but on sourdough with crisp contrasting apples. What I got here was a sandwich loaded with turkey, two or so globs of brie and long thin strands of apple that sadly tasted like more turkey. It was cozy for a rainy day, but really could have been improved with better harmony of the ingredients. I could have skipped the fries which seemed to come from the bottom of the fryer. They were more like fry crumbs that were a little too far on the soft side. A salad would have been a better call. The cocktail was decent, I’d say I’m a passionate woman, but it would have taken four more “Liquid Passions” to bring it out at 1pm.

The wait staff was friendly and hip. They added to the atmosphere, which over all I did enjoy. It was trendy, while still being comfortable, which is hard to find. It wasn’t terrible; it just didn’t do anything out of the ordinary for me. I probably went in with too high of expectations to this little sister of Hell’s Kitchen. I wanted it to wow me, something I hope for in Hell. One thing I do hear is that they have unlimited Mimosas during brunch. I think that would have changed the tone of this whole review.