on November 13, 2004
This is the restaurant where you can't say "no" -- at least, until you cannot manage another mouthful. You put your hand up weakly and say, "No! I can't take anymore! Please do not give me any more food..." And then another waiter walks by with a skewer of beef. The beef is still sizzling and juicy. The smell wafts through the air and activates your saliva glands. "Oh, all right then....just one more piece..."There are many great things about Brazil, but near the top has to be the Rodzio. This is a continent which likes its meat. Its wide-open spaces are used to farm millions of cattle. All are specially prepared and fattened to be sent to the cities to appear in the kilo restaurants and Rodzios. What is a Rodzio? In simple terms, it is a restaurant where the meat is cooked in front of you. For a set fee, you can eat as much as you like, and the waiters will not stop bringing the meat until you unconditionally surrender. Hell for vegetarians, but heaven for us carnivores.Monchique is one of the better ones. It is situated on Copacabana's main street, not far from Sequeiro Campos. Its popularity is legendary, and it is always busy. It houses about 100 tables, spread over a large area. When you enter, a young lady shows you to your table and gives you a slip. Then you take a plate and fill up with vegetables, sushi, salad, rice, fruit, fejoida, etc, from the counter. Drinks are cheap, and wine and beer are served. But the real fun begins when the waiters pass the meat around.Whole haunches of lamb, beef, and pork are grilled on a skewer. The waiter then takes the skewer and roams around the tables. Upon request, he will slice of pieces of meat onto your plate. Not only the usual meat, but also chicken hearts, sausages, swordfish, bacon and steak. The waiter will keep coming back and back until you have had enough. Each slice is written down on your slip, and at the end, you pay at the till for the amount you have eaten. Most meals do not come to more then 15 reals. An all-meat diet? Ummm....Dr Atkins would certainly approve...
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