If you turn a card from the red side to the green side, several men with large knives come rushing at you. It’s like a scene from a Tarantino film only instead of murderous villains it’s a gaggle of pleasant servers wielding weapons of culinary bliss. Fogo is cool. The place makes you feel like you’re snuggled up with your favorite blankie on a cold winter’s day; if, of course, that blankie was seasoned in the finest South American fashion and grilled to perfection. The food just. keeps. coming.
The occasion resulted from two professional colleagues asking me to lunch. The KoF doesn’t do lunch. That’s not true. The KoF luncheons with Princess Eldest and a school lunch table of third-grade girls regularly, but that’s more my speed. I don’t do lunch with adults. Unless it’s a brown bag at my office. OK so I do lunch, just not at upscale restaurants with colleagues that don’t know that personally I’m a different drummer (I stopped marching to anyone else’s beat a long time ago). But, I immensely respect the folks that extended the invitation – so I go. It was really the first time that I thought I’d have to explain in detail this whole I don’t eat at restaurants thing. No explanations needed other than the up front, I won’t be eating, but would be glad to join you. Not a word. Cool people. Fun time. And when you don’t eat at a place like that, you notice things. Things like the customer service in real time – not hungry and in a rush time, the aroma, the atmosphere, the experience or as I like to call it: the symphony of the carnivore. The whole thing was amazing.
The night before, I took a friend of mine to Teddy’s Burger Joint on Indy’s Southside. I noticed things there too. Nice people. Great looking burger. Great looking fries. They have a burger that is eight pounds. Eight. Pounds. I hadn’t eaten dinner. I was hungry. Oh so hungry. The King held strong.
These two experiences made me notice something else. I’m human. I may not be able to do this forever. Sixteen months – sure. Maybe I should think about how this thing is gonna end. Rather than go out by accident in a sleep deprived stupor on an Einstein bagel (yuck btw) at an early morning church function (that happened the first time I tried this for thirty-days (read ten actual) in 2009 – epic fail) or on a packet of Chick Fil A ketchup, wouldn’t it be better to go out big? Or at least on my own terms? The Queen Mum is taking the royal family to Disneyworld in the Fall. A good friend of mine said that it would be impossible to make it there without eating at a restaurant – so I wanna beat the mouse. But, after the mouse; and more importantly after the last check is written, the dust has settled, and the dragon is dead, I am contemplating where and how the streak should end.
Perhaps I have a score to settle with a certain Amish restaurant, maybe an eight pound burger is in order, or maybe the symphony of the carnivore. I dunno. There are two non-competing personal philosophies to keep in mind on this one: (1) always have a plan (2) go big or go home. A huge part of getting out of debt has been not letting life happen to us. So rather than let something happen to the restaurant free streak, I’d rather go out on my own terms in my own time. Disney is the only formidable foe on the horizon, but an end date might ward off the also rans. Fogo gave me some more confidence and a little more swagger, but overconfidence is dangerous. Maybe I just keep going and one day pull a Forrest Gump and just stop because I’m done. Until I figure it out, I do not plan to eat at a restaurant.