Dinner Reviews and Updates

I went to Brazil Grill in Portland on Saturday. I was really excited because I heard rave reviews from friends and family and for $31.95 a person I expected it to be high-class and fancy and the food to be astounding. We left my home 45 minutes earlier than anticipated because it was Civil War day here in Oregon. We didn’t really hit any traffic (though we found out that the Oregon Ducks won the Civil War game and beat the Beavers by a decent margin. I don’t know, I don’t follow American Football much), but we still had to find the place. We ended up arriving 30 minutes early and sat in the car for about 25 minutes, where my little sister met my husband and me. We walked into the restaurant and were seated. We tried a bit of the food from the salad bar. I tried a taboula for the first time, it was okay. The garlic bread was tasty.

For those who don’t know how it works, you can visit the website or read on. You have a puck that is red on one side and green on the other. When you want the people with sword-like skewers to come over and offer you food you put it on green, when you don’t you put it on red. My sister, husband and myself sat for 45 minutes waiting for the rest of the guests to arrive. They did, but traffic was fierce, so it slowed them waaay down. I guess my hubby and I missed the bad traffic by about half an hour or so.

We decided just before the rest of the family to arrive to start trying the food. We turned the puck green and waited.. and a few skewers went by and we waited… we finally got offered some sausages, then about five minutes went by and the family arrived and we waited.. then some chicken arrived, and bacon-wrapped chicken and fillet Mignon.  There was a bad theme of bacon-wrapped things or pork things. It was rather upsetting since I don’t eat bacon because of an old allergy that flares up sometimes. I don’t eat any pork, really. The beef finally arrived. There were three beef options that didn’t have bacon: mustard-glazed sirloin, tri-tip, and steak. The steak was my favourite. But, alas, these three didn’t come very often. Nor did the praised cinnamon-roasted pineapple.

The servers were attentive and very nice, even joked with us a bunch. They kept the mood light during dinner and while we waited. They deserved their cut of the 18% mandatory gratuity fee (we kind of had 13 people there), but the people with the skewers did not. We were completely walked-by a number of times, and our section of the restaurant skipped. That is kind of hard to do when we have the biggest table there and take up about 1/4-1/5 of the restaurant. We weren’t given much of anything and I ended up really hungry still at the end. Oh, there was some shrimp, but it wasn’t really good so I only tried it once.

I was really tempted to take the gratuity away, but it was kind of mandatory. They also didn’t ask how old the kids were. My two youngest siblings have a different dad than the older four of us, so they are taller than we were. My little sister is 11 years old, wears size 8-8.5 shoes, and is almost as tall as me (I am 5’3.5″). My brother is just a little shorter, one year younger, and all boy. My little sister was charged as an adult at first and that was almost another $20!

I was rather disappointed. Dad said that they were usually more attentive and had about ten of the people with the skewers running around during dinner than the four that we were seeing. Three sometimes! I didn’t think it was worth the money per person for that kind of service! Had we gone to another restaurant we could have eaten better and saved money! Needless to say I was very annoyed and I don’t think I will be throwing my money away there again anytime in the near future.

After dinner we went to my sister’s concert. Well, it was more her choir teacher’s concert that she was in three songs. I liked the start: they turned off all the lights and the choir was arranged all around us on an upper tier. They sang a version of “Ubi Carritas” and it was really pretty. The conductor had to conduct with a glow-stick, which was kind of funny to watch. The director had quite the powerful voice that was generally a thrill to listen to. I wasn’t fond of the stylistic prolonging of songs with other vocals (mostly incoherent sounds or doo-op type things)… to me it is kind of annoying. She had some really cool guest singers including an all-male a Capella group. They cracked me up by opening with a Folger’s commercial. The dancer that was featured was really cool, too. She was, I think, a modern dancer and moved so fluidly and well that it took me over half the routine to realize she had only one hand! Even so, she was so expressive. (Disclaimer: I do not find people who are differently- abled to be “disabled” and say they cannot do anything…)

After the concert my husband and I came back home. It took a little longer than expected since we needed to stop and get gas partway there. It was pretty uneventful. Except the 5-block walk back to the car after the concert. We didn’t want to argue with parking downtown, so we just left the car by the restaurant and walked down and back. My poor little sick nephew didn’t like the walk. He has had a cold an can’t even cry! It is a prolonged squeaking sound and when we breathes you can really hear the mucous. Poor dear.

Still looking for work. I have stupidly lost an opportunity recently due to getting sick again… I really need to move because I am getting sick in this house A LOT. I am thinking it has to do with the mold in the ceiling and under the carpets, or the fact that these apartments aren’t sealed and therefore other people’s airborne crud gets into my apartment, from cigarette smoke to marijuana to possibly illnesses. I am working on getting another job. So far I have applied to many, many places but no one is looking to hire me. 😦

Still on the hunt, though. I won’t let a lost opportunity get to me, even if most of it was beyound my control. I will continue to work hard, work when I am sick (from home, but due to sickies I haven’t actually been IN the office as much as of this cold season, hence the lost opportunity), and keep optimistic. Hard to do sometimes, but I think I can do it!

In closing, I don’t think I will recommend Brazil Grill. It is not a lot for its price, no matter how cool it is to be served so many options. I left hungry after having the puck on green for over an hour! Geh.

One final note: we have our Christmas tree! It is 15″ tall and is sitting on my desk right now. It has the tree skirt that has been passed down to me. It has blue LED lights that are battery-operated. There are lots of little ornaments on it and some ornaments have special meaning! There is a gold “Madonna and Child” ornament for my mother’s parents, who passed in 2004. There is also a ladybug ornament for my daddy’s mother, who passed away Christmas eve 2008. There are also two turtledoves, making their first appearance on our tree! They were given to us as a wedding gift and are the first to go on the tree (after the lights and tree-toppers) and the last to come off the tree (again before lights and tree-toppers). We have no tree topper right now, but that is okay.  We are planning to keep this tree for a long time, since it is in a pot. Our hope is to keep it and let it grow as our family grows together and grows in size (sorry, not this year!). I doubt it will be as big as the “standard tree” but it is a good size for us for now. The cats are interested in it, but know better than to mess with the tree.


See? It is almost too bright when it is plugged in, but we do love it so.


About N B

Artist, critic, friend, and rambly-ponderer.
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