April 26, 2006

What, me? Worry? Only about dessert.

The ordinary fear that motivates me to work my ass off when it's this close to finals is conspicuously missing. I'm having trouble motivating for 10 minute chunks of time. Just two hours of IP tomorrow and the classroom component of my law school experience is over. I'm giddy about the prospect of never sitting through another law school class again.

But, I'm also bored. And antsy. I don't want to learn. I'm so desperate to avoid making another flashcard about corporate securities that I've resorted to blogging at school, something I NEVER do. Whatever. If you see me from across the room, and know that I'm posting and figure out who I am, keep it to yourself please.

So, instead of studying, I present a review of San Francisco's only full-time churrascaria.

Espetus's wine list is 3 pages long and impressive -- lots of spanish & south american offerings. But, I have no idea how any of 'em taste because their caipirinha is the best I've ever had (granted I've only had 7 or so different preparations of the drink in my life, but these easily beat out Cafe Do Brasil's, as well as various offerings I've had in tapas bars, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.)

The mini bread ball/roll things that they bring to the table as well as the deep fried plaintain appetizers are amazing. I was grumpy to be the first one at the table, alone, waiting for the rest of the party, but then I received a cup of delicious red sangria, and a plate with the small dense roll/balls and plantains. My dinner companions have no idea how much they owe their safety to that plate and glass.

See, Espetus is an all-you-can-eat Churrascaria. So I arrived prepared. I ran in the morning, had a light lunch and was anxiously awaiting making the most of the orgy of meat. This is not the best state for BT to be waiting for other people, alone, in the restaurant. But, like I said, the lovely little gaucho servers knew how to solve the problem, so all was well.

The meal officially started with a trip to the buffet in the back to get our plates. We tried to pick through the delicious offerings while still saving room for the meat. It was tough to maintain focus. I skipped all of the salads, but was distracted by the mango salsa, the green olives, the chimichurri, the beans, and the rice. And, let's not forget the eggplant. I think I could have made an entire meal of their vinegar-marinated eggplant. I'm going to have to find a recipe for that amazing dish.

When we returned to the table, we turned the indicator to green and the gauchos started coming with the meat on the swords (no, it's not a metaphor). We never really turned the indicator to red, so I celebrated my last late night in the city by eating delicious sirloin steak, filet mignon, pork tenderloin, chicken wrapped in bacon, sausage, beef ribs, shrimp, and more sirloin steak. It was gluttonous heaven. It was also, probably too much. Each cut was very high quality and correctly cooked to slightly over rare. Random bits of portuguese conversation surrounded us as we ate. All in all, it was probably as perfect as an experience can be for churrasco in San Francisco.

But, E said it best, "San Francisco just isn't a churrasco kind of town." Chicago, New York, even Boston (G informed us), those are towns where you could go out and eat yourself sick on meat with abandon. But in San Francisco, on a Tuesday, well, we stopped short of excess. It was good. But it was not the end-all, be-all. I was slightly disappointed in us.

Thankfully, there was a dessert menu. And they had a dessert titled, "Peanut Butter Thing." God bless you, whoever came up with this dessert. I may return to Espetus solely to feast upon the huge slice of what appeared to be an ice-cream pie of sorts. It was 2.5 inches tall. It was at least 2.5 inches wide at the base. And it was easily 4 inches long. This triangle of pleasure was peanut butter mixed with vanilla ice cream, sitting in two layers covered on all sides by oreo cookie crumbles, with tiny chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough interspersed throughout. Damn.

I never thought I'd leave an all-you-can-eat high quality meat establishment and claim the best thing was the dessert. But life's about change. And here I am.

So, truth be told, I'm disappointed that Espetus doesn't have a menu where you can order a more reasonable (read: reasonably priced and healthful) dinner of side dishes, a little bit of meat and the peanut butter thing instead of all-you-can-eat meat. Wait a minute. No I'm not. If they did, I'd be there once a month. I'd be the size of China. Maybe it's a good thing that it's expensive and an overly indulgent experience. It's probably okay that it's a once in 3-4 years thing. So, yeah, I hope it's there the next time we get the craving or have something to celebrate near my school.

Okay, procrastination successful. I now have 30 minutes to focus before I can leave this infernal place for my second to last day. I can do 30 minutes of work. I swear...

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