There are too many more fun things to do. Travel, being outdoors, and just playing generally. While I don’t officially get “summer vacations” any more, I really do like when circumstances conspire to make it feel like I do.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a churrascaria fan. The Brazilian-themed all-you-can-eat restaurants are a big favorite of mine. Visits to such restaurants in D.C., San Francisco, and New York have helped us hone our sense of the best.
Until tonight, that was Fogo de Chao in Los Angeles. Chicago’s Texas de Brazil, although part of a chain (like Fogo), may have unseated Fogo as the best churrascaria. I say “may have” because we’ve only been there once, and thus can’t say much about the consistency of service or dining experience, but the meat is excellent, the salad bar (which we don’t ever really bother with, had chimichurri and cheeses to think twice about) is good, and the service is impeccable (thanks to Eric who knew a lot about Malbecs). Other things to note:
- They have a wine rack that’s two stories high and encased in glass. That lets you watch the wine-getter, a woman who’s suspended in a harness and who does elevated backflips, twirls, and generally dances around in mid-air, as she awaits the order to retrieve your wine;
- The ambiance is diverse. In addition to a packed restaurant of locals, we saw an Amish family enjoying the salad bar and a guy wearing a t-shirt that read “Got GPS?” dining with his ate-like-a-vegetarian partner;
- While the picanha and flank steak disappoint at other places, they were perfectly done here. They tasted as good as I always hoped they did at the other places.
Sorry for the lack of photos, but tonight was all about the dinner. I had no interest in picture-taking.
I’m not one of those people who has plans while on vacation. I don’t buy tour books and then develop a detailed schedule ensuring that I see everything in the books. My vacation plans get developed more like this:
The first weekend of my vacation had me visiting my college roommate in Normal, Illinois. A few fun facts and a few observations:
- In Normal, a wrong turn leaves you smack dab in the middle of a corn field (and dealing with “Children of the Corn,” “Signs,” and “Field of Dreams” flashbacks);
- The Beer Nuts factory is not open on Saturdays;
- Illinois State University used to be a teachers’ college, with The Fighting Teachers as its mascot. I want a retro t-shirt with that on it; and
- When you wake up really late on a Sunday morning, it is completely appropriate for a not even three-year-old to mock you with a bright “Good Morning.” You just have to laugh when she looks like this.