One advantage of the delay to my parents escape was that I could continue milking them for free food. My father wanted to return to Churrascaria Palace, a restaurant in Copacabana, Rio. For those unfamiliar with the concept, the churrascaria is an all you can eat style of dining where the waiters bring various meats to your table, slice them and place them on your plate as directed. Like all all you can eat dining, there is an element of competition. Can you get your money’s worth? Can you beat the restaurant and eat more than you pay? When a restauranteur offers an all you can eat experience, they are essentially laying a bet that they can fill you up before you eat away their profits.
Churrascaria Palace is set up as a fancy dining sort of venue. This distracts from the competition element, but it’s still there, no matter how fancy the tablecloths. The meat is very good. Heavily salted though. Bit too much for my father’s taste. They gave us a menu showing the various cuts they were serving. We learned a new part of the cow, cupim – the hump. Covered in fat, but soft and delicious, I never even realised cows have humps before.
Sat next to us was a morbidly obese man and his wife. They were celebrating her birthday, though the restaurant seemed more suited to him. There was a man who could eat away the profits of any all you can eat offer, the rest of us subsidising his efforts.
After the meal, I said my goodbye to my father, who left and, along with my mother, actually made his flight out of the country. Remaining were myself, my sister, and her boyfriend.