I have absolutely nothing against vegetarians or vegans.  I really don’t.  I do, however, fundamentally disagree with and fail to understand their decision to abstain from one of the top three pleasures in life (Joined by yellow cake batter and “Boy Meets World” reruns. Duh.).  So, when my boss invited me to grab dinner at, Chima’s, the fancy new Brazilian steakhouse in uptown Charlotte, I readily agreed and attempted to starve myself all day to be ready for the feast.    

Now, if you’re like me and come from a humble, Hamburger Helper raising, you’ll understand that I’d never been to a Brazilian steakhouse before, so this was a big deal.  Like unicorns and unannoying Ke$ha songs, I’d heard the rumors, but never witnessed the legends – meat delivered on sticks and piled so high the good Lord could take a nibble if he so desired.  But, I didn’t really believe it because frankly it just sounded too damned good to be true.  So, hoping against hope the legends were true, I embarked for the restaurant and prepared my little Southern soul for an adventure into the depth of Brazilian cuisine.

Overdramatic?  Absolutely.  Sadly true?  Yep.

After walking into the restaurant, I shook hands with my boss and we approached the hostess stand. 

“Two,” I said confidently as the smell of a perfectly cooked strip wafted over my one word request with mouth watering undertones.

“Do you have a reservation?” she asked politely.

“Uh, no.  Sorry, didn’t know we’d need one on a Tuesday,” I fumbled, kicking myself that two client services guys could forget to make reservations.  “How long of a wait are we looking at?”

“Hour.  Maybe an hour and a half,” she said plainly.

An hour, huh, I thought to myself, trying to remain calm.  AN HOUR!? Not only does my boss have a flight to catch, but does this woman realize all I’ve had to eat today was a granola bar and bite off my coworker’s sandwich when they looked away!? (Sorry, Hailey)  I wanted to tell her how preposterous this was and how disappointed her wait made me with…well, life, right now in such a desperate moment of hunger.

An hour and a half later, my boss and I raced the pager back up to the hostess stand with a sense of ferocity that I’m sure reminded the poor woman of a pack of rabid dogs, group of flesh eating zombies or caffeine-laced Justin Bieber fans.  She took the pager hesitantly and led us to our seats.

What transpired over the next hour absolutely freakin’ blew my mind.

There was meat everywhere. And not in a weird, Situation and Ronnie on ‘roids kinda way, but in a perfectly seasoned smorgasbord of rock-your-face-off kinda way.  From spiced fillets to glazed lamb shanks to fish so fresh I’m surprised it wasn’t still flapping, Chima’s top shelf staff brought over a new delicacy every time I turned my little token from red to green (which by the way, is super cool).  We tasted and sampled like kings (or gluttons depending on your POV) and didn’t’ stop until we’d tried literally every meat on the menu between the two of us.

chima

Rumors that I needed to purchase new dress slacks the next day can neither be confirmed nor denied.

At one point the waiter reminded us there was a salad bar.  We looked up.  Considered his offer.  And then laughed at the ridiculousness of filling one square inch of our stomachs with something that did not once moo, cluck or swim.

At this point, I’m sure you’re asking the same question you do at this point in every Southerner’s Take post (don’t kill my dream that you read this every time I write).  What’s the big, bad marketing and PR takeaway from Chima’s?

Well, as I write to you, it’s Saturday and I’m flying back to Charlotte from an event with nothing more than sleep and cold beer on my mind, so I’ll keep it really, really simple.

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  And you know what?  That’s okay.

Because if you work in PR or marketing you understand how hard and long we all work to provide our clients with best in class service and business building results.  And for that, we all deserve a break, or at least steak that don’t stop, every once in a while.

Cheers. 

Photo Credit: Chimas.cc