At a work event over the summer my colleagues and I went out to dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse in Indy called Fogo de Chao. It’s all you can eat meat.
All. You. Can. Eat. Meat.
So we go there, and they gave me a coaster. It has a red side and a green side. The carvers come around with freshly grilled meat on skewers and, if your card is green, shave some off onto your plate. If you need a break, flip it to red.
The problem, of course, is that since you have paid for all-you-can-eat (and it’s not cheap), it actually turns into how-much-can-I-physically-stuff-into-my body-without-exploding. I did my best; no salad to pad it out.
This was what might be called a “mistake”.
So was adding dessert on top. For a few bucks extra, after you have stuffed yourself to the gills, you can have a dessert called papaya cream. The waiter entices you with the promise that, “papaya has enzymes that break down protein, so it really helps the digestion.” OK, so while it IS true that raw papaya has quite a bit of the enzyme papain, which really does digest proteins and is used in cooking as a natural meat tenderizer, I seriously doubt that a mixture of papaya puree and ice cream helps all that much in your stomach, where the enzyme is denatured by the acid. This is plausible deniability, though; we all had some.
I was already groaning by the time I got home. I felt drunk … on meat. I didn’t want a beer, I just wanted to lie down and go to sleep, so I crawled in bed.
And I lay there. I could NOT sleep because I had this massive lump of masticated beef in my guts. I felt like I’d swallowed a softball.
Then the sweats started. No blood glucose, I hadn’t had any carbs, just protein. All I could do was lie there and shiver and sweat and squirm.
Normally I sleep on my side, by every time I tried to roll over my stomach staid put like a Meat Gyroscope. I could feel the lump twisting my innards. So I flipped back over and stared at the ceiling.
Then it got worse: my stomach emptied. It suddenly churned and squeezed the meat paste into my intestines. Being a pastry bag filling a human sausage is a feeling I’ll never forget. Actually, after that I felt much better.
I didn’t eat until breakfast the day after I woke up. Just to rephrase: we went to dinner on Tuesday and I didn’t eat again until breakfast on Thursday. I am not making this up. I was sick as a dog all day Wednesday; probably in ketosis, dehydrated, no sleep, stomach and headaches.
Goddess, it was awful. I’ve never drunk enough alcohol to feel that bad.
Hunh? Oh, of course I’ll go back, the food was great.