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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

The never ending sea of meat

Posted on May 15, 2010 at 1:00 PM

A few months ago, I purchased tickets to see John Mayer in concert when he came through Charleston. I got some pretty sweet seats using AmEx Platinum Card’s concierge purchasing service, so I was pretty psyched for the show. (Despite any rumors to the contrary, my man-love for John Mayer is entirely natural, completely weird-free, and totally hetero. I just happen to love his brooding, why-did-you-hurt-me-so? music. Also, if I *did* like him-like him, you know that he’d just be a total jerk, tweeting about you the whole time, and then breaking up with you and writing songs about how YOU  really were the one that broke his heart. He’s such a little bitch that way. Also, you just know that he would be a total douche to hang out with. You’d be at dinner with him, and he’d be fiddling with like 5 different apps on his iPad and carrying on two separate conversations on his Cyborg Bluetooth earpiece. “What, yeah, no, I’m not doing anything.” “John! I’m RIGHT HERE!” If you’ve never seen the video “How I write a song” you MUST watch it. But be advised, the language can be,uhh, a little blue...)


So, anyhow... I had three tickets for this show, one for myself, my brother Adam and Dana. The night of the show arrives and we are literally getting ready to walk out the door to take Lauryn to a sitter when Lauryn has a stage 5 meltdown. She has been sick and she is just bawling, “Mommy! Puh-leeeeze! Don’t LEAVE ME! Puh-LEEEZE! I NEEEEED YOU!”  


I’m trying to be the understanding dad – sick daughter, needs her mom, diddly-bop -- but I’m also *really* understanding that $80 ticket in my pocket. Finally, Dana decides she just can’t go (“Push it in and twist the knife again. Watch my face as I pretend to feel no pain."), so I call a friend, Edmund, to see if he is available. I think the conversation went, “If you can leave right now – and I mean like RIGHT NOW, we’re in the car on our way past your house – you can come see John Mayer with us.” Edmund was on-the-trolley, so we saw the show and had a good time.


A few days later, Edmund thanked me with a gift cert for a Brazilian steakhouse called Rioz, which we used last night.


Now, Rioz is a Churrascaria, and if you’ve never experienced a Churrascaria before, it is basically a throwback to Roman times with decidedly less pasta. This GIANT dining hall is filled with “it’s really a glandular problem”-sized Americans gorging themselves with Caligula-like excess as servants wander about endlessly slicing various cuts from a near infinite parade of meats. Above the din of chewing, cutting, swallowing, and red-meat thickened blood painfully working its way through hundreds of enlarged hearts can be heard desperate shouts of things like, “You! Sirloin man! Here!” and “Bring the Pineapple man over for my little girl! And be quick about it!” (That last *might* have been me.)

After you’re seated, you are given a small disc with a red side and a green side. The green side says, “I’ll tell YOU when I’m done. Now less talking and more slicing!” The red side has a Brazilian phrase which loosely translates to, “I have eaten so much that now what I really need is an activated charcoal treatment and a thorough but gentle rose-water scented colonic. Though I reserve the right to change my mind and flip over the green side so continue to come by my table every few moments in case I either A) need more food or B) have a massive meat-fueled coronary.”  


Now, not all of the traveling meats are winners; they throw in some “fillers” so you don’t overly punish them by gorging solely on tenderloins and filet. Occasionally they will try and ply you with pieces of chicken (“Get your chicken away from me, slave, before I have you beaten!") or pork sausages. I have another friend who offered this sage bit of wisdom, “Eat what I eat; Do not eat what I do not eat.” (Apparently, the Atkins Diet permits eating 20 or so lobster tails that are synchronized swimming in tureens of melted butter, but a single slice of bread is surer death than a bullet to the heart.)


To ready myself for the great gorging and colon-punch that I knew was to come, I prepared my stomach by giving it only a single cup of coffee, a 1 ounce bag of chips and 6 gummy cola bottles (I am a powerless against gummy) all day. Now I am in tune with my stomach the way that musicians are in tune with their instruments or professional drivers with their autos. I can tell when the next *swallow* of food is going to be the one that makes me throw up. (Several are the times that I’ve spit out a mouthful of food into a napkin as even a single droplet of juice would be the only catalyst required for great unpleasantness.) And I ate and ate right up to that point, leaving that last piece of Picanha Com Alho (prime sirloin flavored with garlic) skewered on my fork, lying amidst the battlefield which was my littered plate of discarded lamb bones and giant shrimp casings.

But now, scarcely hours later, staring at my empty back of Cool Ranch chips, "m *thinking* about that last bite and how I'd really like to have it right now. Oh, steak man, where are you when I need you?


Categories: May 2010, Family, Music

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1 Comment

Reply miahrrhea
1:17 AM on May 23, 2010 
Keely and I went to a restaurant very similar to that in Memphis called Texas de Brazil. You flip your poker chip over to blue and a Caballero lookin dude with blousey lookin black pants and an even blouseyer lookin Cramer pirate shirt bring you every and any sort of animal flesh on a skewer. All that and a giant salad bar for a reasonable $60 a person all you can eat glorified Ryans buffet.