Saturday, November 21, 2009


Oh, the thriving meat culture of old Rio de Janeiro! For starters, there is the rodízio, like Porcão. The rodízio is the Brazilian version of dim sum, only with chunks of dripping meat instead of ingenious little morsels.

Servers wander the dining room brandishing knives festooned with meat. Then, taking note of an intricate code, they proffer their wares to the willing. If you want more meat, you flip your Meat Signal to the green side and its Sim Por Favor legend. If you are some kind of weirdo who doesn't want to keep eating meat, you set your coaster on its red side: Não Obrigado.

Our "favorite" aspect of this is that the pig's demeanor is not dependent upon your choice to eat him. "Yes? You want more? Excellent, sir!" "Oh, you're done eating the flesh of my family? Very good!"

He wants merely to be a part of the festivities. If you're flashing the red flag, there's always the chance you'll make room for more meat in a little while. And so, like the waiter who knows that a smile and pleasant attitude can secure a tip from even the sourest patron, the tuxedoed pig knows that his affability is his best shot at being eaten.

(Thanks to Dr. Dan for the referral, the photos, and the primer on fine Brazilian dining.)

Addendum: Our "second favorite" aspect is the cyclops pig on the sign. (Click to enlarge.) Our "third favorite" aspect? The fact that Porcão, which actually means "big pig," looks as if it should mean "poor sow."

1 comment:

Northern Lights said...

It's a shame because the really COOL option instead is a Rodizio de Pizzas, which is just as it sounds.. the waiter brings different pizzas (veg option is easy!) to the table and serves it by the slice. Lots of opportunity to try different ones, rather than the eternal issue of "what do we all agree to have on our pizza". I wish there were more of those in the US rather than the drippy meat sort.