“Does anyone else feel dizzy?” I ask as I force another piece of tender beef into my mouth.
“Good to know it’s not just me” responds Neil with a faint smile and glazed-over eyes. He may be the only one at the table who has sampled more varieties of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and fish than yours truly.
Our group of 10 is having our last dinner together in Brazil, after just arriving at our final tour destination: Rio de Janeiro.
Over the past two weeks, we had slept among bats, fished for pirhanas, snorkeled in the rivers of Bonito, explored the majestic Iguassu falls from both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides, swam and battled the waves on the beautiful beaches of Ilha Grande, and much more.
To make the occasion special, our guide, Geraldine, decided we head to a traditional Brazilian rodizio restaurant, in particular, a rodizio of the churrascaria variety, which specializes in barbequed meat.
A rodizio is basically an all-you-can-eat affair, but in contrast to its North American version, in Brazil, you don’t even have to leave your seat.
Once again, a waiter has come to the side of our table presenting another cut of juicy meat on a skewer.
“I really don’t think I can…” I mumble staring blankly down at my plate which has a backlog of at least 3 different types of meat needing to be consumed.
“What is it?” inquires Marina.
Geraldine asks the waiter in Portuguese.
After a brief exchange, we get a verdict:
We’ve heard these very words half a dozen times and yet in each instance the taste of the beef has been very distinct depending on the cut and the method of preparation.
Against my better judgment I motion with my personal meat-grabbing tongs to get a cut of “the beef.”
As the beef is falling on my plate, another waiter walks past our table showcasing a novelty.
“WHAT!? They also serve fish!?” I exclaim, as the waiter carrying the platter of pan-seared white fish stops in his tracks, looks back at our table and begins to walk towards us.
Before long, I am facing a backlog of 4 types of beef and an unnamed piece of fish.
With my eyes half open and my glistening face (on account of the “meat sweats”), I look over at Martyn, who’s currently enjoying a plate of fresh and light veggies.
“Salad, eh? Good idea…” I manage to say in his direction.
I really am feeling rather intoxicated.
Martyn looks over at me and smiles.
Suddenly, I become insanely thirsty and crave fresh fruit.
Marina and I quickly order a pitcher of freshly squeezed suco de naranja.
A few minutes after guzzling back the orange juice, I begin to regain my alertness.
Just as this happens, yet another waiter starts approaching our table.
“ Please! I can’t…”
“So much meat…”
After two hours, we have all exceeded our capacity for consuming meat.
Geraldine politely tells the waiter to stop presenting our table with meat, as we all begin to relax in our seats.
Of course, there is still dessert.
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