The Unvegan

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Cafe Brasil

My steak has been buried under onions...
My steak has been buried under onions…

Cafe Brasil is one of those restaurants that has always been elusive to me. I have driven or walked past it in Palms countless times, but never gotten up the courage to step inside.

Never more.

I finally took the plunge and stepped into the Cafe. At first I was confused by the place. There are three different seating areas. One is inside, one is semi-outside, and one is for real outside. I found a table in the semi-outside, but then realized I had to order at a counter. Ordering at a counter always puts a lot of pressure on the consumer, especially if they don’t know what they are going to order. Under this deep pressure, I went with every unvegan’s default choice, steak.

The steak was said to come with rice, salsa, black beans, fried plantains and a choice of soup or salad. Ah yes, soup or salad, the unvegan ethical dilemma. Both have roots deep in the heart of vegetables (unless it’s something like chicken soup or egg salad), yet how can someone turn down food if they are paying for it? This is the unvegan catch-22 and there is no right answer.

My number was eventually called and I went to pick up my steak at the counter. On top of the steak, I found a disappointing surprise. Onions! The menu had said nothing about onions, yet there they were, right before my eyes, suffocating my steak. If you’re going to violate my steak with onions, at least have the decency to warn me ahead of time. I angrily scraped them all off and finally began eating. It was a good size and was pretty tasty, as were the rice and beans. The plantains were a little dry, but good nonetheless. All that was left was the salsa, which was pretty much just a sad-looking dump of tomatoes, onions and green things. The “salsa” would remain untouched as I neatly cleaned up the rest of my plate.