Thursday, November 10, 2011

Team Carnivore! Or really, just a trip to Cowboy.

My birthday was a few weeks ago.  So was my friend G's.  In fact, our birthdays are a day apart, though he's a year older than I am.  We've been celebrating together for about eight years.  This year, as G's birthday fell on a Thursday, which in Hungry Lady land means Game Night with my group of friends, we decided that we would all go out for dinner.  There's a newish Brazilian Steak House in town, so we figured that two birthdays were a great reason to splurge and put ourselves into a meat coma.  G's wife made a reservation for 10 for 7:30 on a Thursday night at Cowboy.  I'm pretty sure we were all super excited about this as a) we love meat and b) all-you-can-eat meat makes it even better.

We all gathered at G & L's house for a few pre-dinner celebratory drinks.  While we were hanging in the living room, laughing and chatting like normal, the restaurant called to confirm our reservation and the number in our party - a very nice touch.  About an hour later, we loaded up the cars (definitely car pool, as parking in downtown is awful, though Cowboy does offer valet service) and headed downtown.

When we got there, we were told that it would be a short wait.  No big deal, we were a little early for our reservation anyway.  So all 10 of us headed to the bar to pass the time.  And that short wait?  Turned out to be  almost an hour.  I get it.  It's an all-you-can-eat restaurant, so it has to be hard to gauge turnover time, thus a short wait should be expected.  But when you have a large party with a reservation, AND you have called to confirm the time and number of guests, as a restaurant, you should probably make sure you have a table ready. And you most assuredly should not seat parties without a reservation instead of pushing tables together to seat the bigger party.  What's the point of encouraging people to make a reservation if you're not going to honor it?  It's not like we were a party of 4 who could easily be seated anywhere.  We were a group of 10.  If we had walked in off the street and asked for a table, I could understand the long wait.  But again.  Honor the reservation.  We were given a free round of drinks to help make up for the ridiculous wait, but when you've basically fasted all day in preparation for a huge meal, and then all you put in your stomach is booze,'s a wonder that any of us could actually walk to the table.

These are our "Yay we finally got seated and got to put some food in our stomachs!" faces.
So we finally get seated around 8:20ish.  We were all ravenous by this point, so we pretty much deposited our purses and jackets and headed to the buffet to see what we wanted to accompany our meat.  I didn't grab much, but the green beans and asparagus were awesome.  After getting back to the table, the gauchos turned out in full force.  I hardly knew where to begin, but I gave my best shot to trying a little bit of everything.  I think the garlic steak was my favorite, followed closely by the parmesan pork.  And the house special.  And the bacon wrapped filet.  It was awesome, though I thought the lamb could have been a little less done.  The choices were excellent, and I can only imagine how much slower-paced our meal would have been if we had been able to be seated at 7:30 instead of 8:30.  As it was, I felt like every time I had a piece of meat on my plate, I couldn't even cut it before something else was being added.  Is that normal at a Brazilian Steak House? Cowboy was my first experience at one, so I don't know.

As much as I loved the meats, for me the absolute best thing that was brought to the table was the pineapple.  It was sweet and juicy and seasoned with cinnamon.  I wish I could have eaten more of it.

Slicing off some pineapple - plain on top and cinnamon on the bottom.
Our table was relatively quiet while we were stuffing our faces, which, if you knew my friends, you would understand that this is a rare occurrence.  Either we were that hungry, or the food was that good.  I think it was a little bit of both.

J was the last one standing.  He was making a valiant effort to eat his weight in meat.
We really had a great time at Cowboy.  Once we got through our exceptionally long wait, our crankiness levels diminished as we devoured some nicely prepared meats with great seasonings and a decent selection of veggies and salads to balance things out.  G and I even got sung to in Portuguese for our birthdays.  That was a little embarrassing, but the dessert was tasty.  Too bad I was so full, I couldn't really eat it.  I'll go back to Cowboy again, but maybe at lunch, when it's not quite so busy.  Or maybe on a night during the week when I know I have time to wait.

Final Rating

You can find Cowboy on Facebook or on the web

Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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