Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Em Chamas

My favorite person turned 34 this week, and we decided that the 34th birthday, of all the birthdays, should be a meat birthday. We kicked off the meat birthday with a hot dog party on Sunday and finished it off in grand fashion Monday night at Em Chamas
Brazilian Grill. It seemed, from all the stories we've heard over the past few months, the perfect place to celebrate a birth. With lots and lots of meat.

Anyone who knows me can tell you I'm not a big meat person - in fact, I used to be kind of anti-meat - but I went into this experience with a completely open mind, resolving to try just about anything that came my way. And it was easy to do here - absolutely everything about our dining experience was as pleasant as it could have been. Every aspect of our service was good - from the hostess to the young man who would not let my water glass go empty. And looking around the dining room, it was easy to see that everyone was having that kind of night. It wasn't just our server who was superb, it was all of them. The young men stopping at each table to offer one of 14-15 different types of meat were personable, generous, and charming. It was easy to ask questions and even easier to just eat and fully enjoy our evening.

For the meat-averse, Em Chamas' Gourmet Bar is a wonderful meal all by itself. We had salads with pineapple, garbanzo beans, shrimp, and chewy, spicy calamari. We had cubes of cheese, mussels, large salty olives, and beautiful slices of smoked salmon. There were smooth mashed potatoes, traditional Brazilian black beans and rice, and a tasty mushroom pasta. Our server, Christian, brought us the most wonderful provolone cheese biscuits and slices of caramelized bananas to cleanse our palates. The bananas, baked with cinnamon and sugar, melted in your mouth, and had an amazing effect on the palate.

When you're ready to face the rodizio service, flip your little circular disc on your table from the black side to the yellow and let the meat come to you. They will slice meat from the skewers to your liking - medium to medium-well done for me - and the dance will begin. Top sirloin, lamb, chicken drummettes, turkey wrapped in bacon, pork loin, filet of beef, pork sausages...the list goes on and on. On the recommendation of our server, we tried the top sirloin marinated in garlic and oil and were entranced. It's best to use your little disc as much as possible - take breaks, savor your choices, and plan on spending a couple of hours having a leisurely culinary adventure. We were promised that the desserts were superb, but couldn't even face the sweet choices they had to offer. We slowly spooned chunks of the soft caramelized bananas on to our plates and called it good. And then promptly went home and took a long walk around the neighborhood.

Em Chamas
6101 NW 63rd Terr
in the Tuileries Plaza (I-29 & 64th Street)


Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, I remember your favorite person's b-days of yore that were filled with 40-inch D'Bronx pizzas or Popeye's chicken. This year, the dogs were delicious.

Can't wait for his 35th!

- jw

Sara said...

That's a lot of meat!

Anonymous said...

I vote for a full-on pig roast.