Adventures in Eating & Cooking
So I know I haven’t been posting much these days, which doesn’t mean I haven’t been eating or cooking. I’ve just been in a writing slump for a while… But after eating at Chima tonight, I feel my passion rekindled by the firey meats of this Brazilian steakhouse.
At roughly $50 per person gives full access to the salad bar buffet and rodizio meat buffet service. Rodizio not only sounds lusciously Brazilian, but also is a luscious experience as fancy Brazilian waiters run around with rungs of glistening roasted meat dripping juices in the dish. It’s incredible!!!!!
The rodizio works in that each person has a round card. One side of the card says somewhere along the line: “Yes, I would like meat buffet!” while the other side says: “No, taking a break to eat!” Once we flipped our cards, the waiters swarmed at us (like a flock of tweens at a Justin Bieber concert), offering all these different types of meat: boneless chicken, baby top sirloin, leg of lamb, pork sausage, bacon-wrapped chicken… Just all this meat!! I can’t say I’m that much of a carnivore, but I could not resist trying at least one of everything (except lamb and bacon because I’m kind of picky about that).
The unanimous vote was cast for the baby top sirloin as we kept pandering our waiter to bring it back. The baby top (medium well) was tender and juicy, coated with a savory garlic-herbed rub that permeated flavor into the meat. It was soo epic! And although I don’t particularly enjoy eating the beef fat, the lobs of attached fat was actually rather tasty in the garlic juices.
I also really enjoyed the filet mignon (medium), which tasted spectacular when freshly sliced off the skewer. It gets slightly tough if you leave it in the plate to long, so it’s best to eat it hot, letting all the fleshy rich flavor settle in your palette. The pork sausage was freaking-fantastic, and this is coming from the girl who usually gags on processed meats. Juicy, succulent, and piping hot, the sausage is tight as if trying to contain the enormous blend of meats within its oblong shape.
The salmon was great, accompanied by a caper sauce. Although I prefer my salmon softer and on the rare side, the flavoring of the meat, capers, and mustard really pulled through. I can’t say I really enjoyed the swordfish that much because the meat was somewhat tough and pasty… The boneless chicken was roasted deliciously, yielding tender white meat in a plate of reds and browns. Everything else was just okay. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not that big on meat so some of the other stuff tasted really similar and uninteresting, but hey, it was tons of fun to just flip and watch the waiters cut slabs of meat for us.
Aside from the rodizio, I really enjoyed some of the little platters of hors d’oeuvres served. They had little cheese balls stuffed with parmesan and yucca starch, which gives it a really chewy “qq” elastic consistency. The mashed potatoes were on crack: creamy, smooth, blended so well that it is almost soupy… only it’s not. It’s just delicious, and definitely flavored with some parmesan or yucca as well.
The beef balls and strange cole slaw-resembling dish were quite endearing. The beef was spicy and snazzed up with seasonings, not unlike the Indian beef balls Steff brings from home. And the cole slaw had this strange smoked taste that I couldn’t quite place my finger on. I could guess there was some type of smoked meat in it mixed with chives and some creamy cheese-like substance. I really can’t tell except that it was delicious!! Polenta are basically French fries made from corn meal, crispy and hot. There were some fried bananas too, which we laughed at Munkee chomping on.
Some of the salad bar stuff was pretty interesting too, but it was definitely the roasted rodizio that stole the show (although I clearly had a lot of fun with the appetizers too). All that heavy meat was intensely filling and totally worth it the cost, especially since it was in honor of Ninja-Kitty’s birthday!! We even had the waiters come in with a candlelit tiramisu slice, singing “Parabéns” (Portuguese Happy Birthday) to her, which was totally awesome.
This brings into the discussion of the awesome service we had too. I usually don’t care to talk about service because I am ALL ABOUT THE FOOD!! However, I must include at the end here some gushing about our wonderful server, Pedro. Pedro was not only tall, charming, and accommodating, but also really conversational, funny, and chill. There was definitely one point when Munkee just called out, “Hey Pedro! Could you take a picture for us?” (like they were best buds of something…) But he was really cool about it. I really appreciate how he didn’t look down on us for being a bunch of dorky college students pigging out at an upscale buffet (or at least didn’t show it).
The whole evening was just such a pleasant dining experience. I totally want to come to Chima again when I am no longer a poor student, or maybe on another special occasion as an excuse…