Friday, March 28, 2014

Grub Club: Bonito Brazilian Barbecue


Engrish: weirded out by what passes for "sausage"
So, it's my pick again this week.  Last week Wallflower chose a restaurant that wasn't open at the moment, and we ended up eating at Mexikhan again - hence no blog. I once wanted to take us to a place that had closed: Bonito Brazilian Barbecue.  When we stopped by as we were going to Bluefin earlier this year and it had reopened, I looked at the menu and thought, "Well, maybe not."

But then again, maybe so.  I wasn't really ready to choose this week.  I have been distracted by things like yearbook and art shows and other fun (read: exhausting) stuff, and before I knew it, it was yesterday morning and I hadn't picked a restaurant...so I panicked.  EVERY restaurant I've heard about but never eaten at flashed through my head then promptly disappeared (they did go through my head, at least, because I later remembered which one I had decided on in that brief instant).  I considered Bangkok, but they've changed locations and now I don't know where they are, and I almost sent an email saying we'd go to The Bull for hotpot and maybe even try the penis this time (since I'm gearing up for Kanamara Matsuri next Sunday!) but in the end, I remembered that Bonito had reopened, and that it would be completely new and unusual (at least compared to what we've done for Grub Club thus far), so I picked it.

I didn't remember much from the menu when we were there, quite possibly because it was in Mongolian, but I remembered that there were different meat options.  I was afraid it was going to be just meat, so I was heartened when we figured out that it included a buffet, and the buffet had tons of vegetables.  There were several nice salads - I was a fan of the one in the bottom right-hand corner with the tomatoes, although Blondie prefered the one with ALL the shredded carrots.  They had soups, some nice bread, rice, a kind of bland spaghetti, and even some little dessert-ish things.  It kept me from starving while I was waiting for my meat to be cooked.  Blondie, Wallflower, Champ, and Engrish made it to the restaurant before me and ordered some of the exact same things that were on the buffet, which didn't impress them too much, but at least they weren't starving waiting for me or their food.

However, the meat was what we came for.  We were a little confused - Engrish has some mad Mongolian skills, but she's no protocol droid, and her understanding of what the waitress said was that the meat was all-you-can-eat, too.  It wasn't, and it's too bad we didn't figure that out earlier - I would have gotten more chicken when I had the chance!  Most of us went for the three meat option - sausage, chicken, and lamb - but Engrish thought somebody should try the five meat and see what the pork and beef rib was like.  The pork was fatty, as you can see.  The beef was...gamey?  Farmy???  It had a much more farmish taste to it than you expect from beef, even in Mongolia, and for a change, we all agreed that the "sheep," as our waitress called it, had a nicer flavor, even if it was much fattier.  The chicken was heavenly, and the "sausages?"  They were hot dogs.  It was such a disappointment.
If you've got Rio on your mind, Bonito will not satisfy that need, but if you're stuck in UB it may be as close as you get.  Sit so that you face the wall with the mural of the showgirl, Christ the Redeemer, and the soccer ball, and you might feel a little more like it - the Christmas trees on top of the AC unit really didn't do it for me!  It's just south of the Kempinsky on the east side of the street.

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