Sunday, April 6, 2008

My 30th Birthday / Meatfest 2008: A retrospective

I think, finally, the meat coma is over. It took almost 24 hours. Let me start from the beginning.

Yesterday was my 30th birthday. I woke up at 6:30 a.m., did a weight training and toning workout, then ate a leftover turkey burger patty from the previous night's dinner. I then went for a 4 mile run to my parents' house, where I ate 2 Hershey's Kisses and drank 2 cups of coffee.

Angie and the dog picked me up at the folks', then we headed home. Angie said she was really anxious to give me my birthday card. She went into another room and came back with a sealed envelope, postmarked, and addresses to me. I flipped the envelope over and the return address said: "Hem, Brooklyn."

Let me explain. Hem is my favorite band. I've been in love with their beautiful music for a little over 4 years now. We've traveled to see them play in St. Louis and Chicago, and have been fortunate enough to meet them in person both times. They are talented, nice, personable people. Take a listen and go buy/download their music!

Angie somehow managed to get their lead singer to write me a birthday greeting and send it to me in the mail! I was floored and honored that Sally Ellyson, the lead singer, took the time out of her day to be so nice to me. The hand-written note reads:

Happy Birthday!! Life begins at 30 Morgan. I'm 38, so I know. Hem got word you liked our music and so we wanted to thank you and send you a birthday greeting. All the best, Sally Ellyson (+ Hem)

Can you believe that?! I can't. Amazing. Angie worked so hard to make my birthday special. She's awesome.

Now, onto the Meatfest retrospective.


1. habitual eating to excess
2. eating to excess (personified as one of the deadly sins)

We arrived at Em Chamas at 6:00 p.m. and were seated right away. Upon walking through the door, we could immediately smell the meaty goodness that awaited us. Our server came over and rattled off her memorized lines about the "rodizo dining experience." I really didn't hear a word. "Bring Mongo meat" was all I could think.

They give you a little paper coin to flip over to signal the meat-bringers that you either want more meat or you don't. We flipped it to the "no" side so we could enjoy some of the items on the gourmet bar. I was advised by some Meatfest afficionados at work to stay really light on the gourmet bar, as the meat is the main event and you don't want to fill up too soon. I got some steamed vegetables, a small cube of cheese, some crawfish salad, spicy shrimp, ravioli (just one) and some traditional Brazilian black beans and rice. It all tasted great.

By this point, they had served us a Brazilian sugar cane cocktail that was so strong I was mildly buzzed after consuming just half of it. Woot! They also brought some cheesy bread bites, as well as some baked bananas, which are used as a palate cleanser between meats. I hadn't even tasted the meat yet, and I was already getting full!

We flipped over our little coins and the gauchos (meat-bringers) were on us immediately. It was like a clown car let out. Total insanity. Most of them were very good-looking and had very exotic accents. They would come over, lay down their big skewers of meat, and say "Excuse me madam. Would you like some filet Mignon wrapped in bacon? Is very good..." It was totally food porn. Those of you who watch Giada de Laurentiis on the Food Network know what I mean.

I do believe I tried at least one bite of every one of their offerings. My favorite by far was the picanha, which was like filet Mignon to the millionth power. It was one of the best things I've ever tasted in my life. I'm 30 now, so I've tasted a lot of things. Everything was good.

By this point, I was drunk. Drunk on meat. The cocktail had something to do with it, I'm sure, but I was seriously buzzed by all the meaty goodness. Our server came over and actually tried to serve us dessert. We looked at her with meat-stoned eyes and said "Thanks, but we're too full," a refrain I'm sure she's all too familiar with.

We were then rolled out on dollies to the car, where the gauchos lifted us with their manly Brazilian muscles and strapped on our seatbelts.

Okay, maybe that last part didn't happen. Thankfully, I didn't let myself go to the dark side with the eating. I didn't eat until I was so full I was going to burst. Don't get me wrong- I was really, really full- but I didn't need my elastic pants, if you know what I mean.

Later on, I opened my presents from Angie. Yup, she threw me a surprise party, got my favorite band to send me a letter, and still got me presents. She's pretty awesome, huh? She got me some sporty headphones and an armband for my iPod, as well as some very cute workout gear. I was convinced the medium workout pants she got me would be too small, but I tried them on and they fit perfectly.

Tomorrow things will get back to normal as far as my eating is concerned. It's been a nice break to eat pretty much whatever I want, but my body is screaming for healthy stuff again.

Whew! Sorry for the long post, but there was a lot to tell. It's been another whirlwind weekend. Angie's birthday is today, so we're about to go celebrate that now. Bye!


Jaime said...

hahahahaha, picanha!!!! What did I say. The legend of the Picanha cannot be over-hyped.

mongolove said...

Picanha goooooooood