The salad bar
The salad bar
The Birthday Boy
The Birthday Boy
Bon Appetit!
Bon Appetit!
The rare and elusive meat stick.
The rare and elusive meat stick.
Gamer cake!
Gamer cake!
Kerri presents...a sweet assortment.
Kerri presents...a sweet assortment.

I attended a surprise birthday party last night for my friend Steve, a videogame producer and occasional dining companion. As per instructions, Fondy and I arrived at the Samba Brazilian Steak House at exactly 6:30 p.m., joining the other twenty or so guests. Many of you may be familiar with the concept: You pay a set price and enjoy an all-you-can-eat feast as meat-slinging gauchos wander about the room, carving out generous chunks of animal protein for your dining pleasure. Truth be told, this wasn’t the first time Fondy and I had been to Samba’s. We’d actually checked it out years ago, when it first opened – and hadn’t been back since. Far be it for me to pass judgment on the culinary practices of our South American neighbors but the experience struck me as less “All You Can Eat” and more “All You Can Eat Until You Get Fed Up Of Waiting Around For Those Guys With The Meat Sticks To Come By Your Table”.

Anyway, despite the fact that the restaurant smelled disquietingly like cheese (I prayed it was the nachos), we stuck around and were seated by the salad bar (Incidentally, I think this is a first for me. To the best of my knowledge, I have never in my life either said or written the words “we were seated by the salad bar”) that would have, if nothing else, serve as the perfect spot for all of us to hide behind and lie in wait for the birthday boy. Alas, there was no hiding. We were all out in the open when Steve and wife Jodi showed, but we did, nevertheless, yell “Surprise!”. And, to our credit, Steve did seem genuinely surprised.

They settled in and we hit the salad bar for some traditional Brazilian fare: mayo-slathered yams, couscous, sweet and sour pork, and some surprisingly tasty ox tail. Eventually, one of the meat gauchos came by and asked me if I’d like some prime roast. Would I? He sliced off a paper thin piece (the approximate table scrap size treat I tend to give my dogs after I’ve finished my meal) and moved in. Seared on the outside and medium-rare on the inside, it fell somewhere between not altogether great and not altogether terrible. The pork, on the other hand, was so dry that I cut the inside of my mouth trying to chew the first piece. The lamb had a peculiar aftertaste. One bite of the breakfast sausage was enough for me. I decided to stick with the oxtail – only to have them switch it out for a tray of room temperature cauliflower. And so, I redirected my focus back to the traveling meat and, pretty much like last time, grew tired of waiting for the gauchos to show.

Our dessert was birthday cake, appropriately enough, in the shape of a gaming console.

Well, today the production was on location so things were fairly quiet at The Bridge. Watched our very first set of dailies and the show looks awesome. Rush – Eli. Eli. Eli – Chloe. Brian (our Lieutenant Scott) dropped by the studio to send off a fax and discovered his very first piece of Stargate fan mail waiting for him. He was surprised and genuinely touched to receive such early support. I hesitate to say it only because it makes me sound like an old man, but he is a great kid. Carl predicts it will be the first of the many, MANY fan letters Brian will receive. He’s got a very likable presence both on and off-screen.

As we finished lunch, Kerry from post came by with an assortment of her own homemade truffles and madeleines. The truffles were great. The madeleines, while tasty, could have benefited from making their way over a little sooner. As with most gifts of this nature, I gave it a rating based on, among other things, taste, texture, presentation, difficulty, and sincerity on the part of the giver. A solid B+ for Kerry who lost marks for the somewhat stale madeleines and her admission that she didn’t actually make the pistachio filling in the white chocolate truffle, but delivered nicely on the truffles. For the next round, I suggested she go with a main course, something that would give me a better sense of her cooking prowess.

I think she thought I was kidding.


54 thoughts on “February 19, 2009: Why Does This Restaurant Smell Like Cheese?

  1. That 360 cake is awesome, the controller is really well done.

    Nice to hear fan-mail has already started. Anyone know of an address to send fanmail?

  2. Be careful what you ask for. Kerri may in fact take you seriously, and deliver an appropriate repast. One that will make the Samba B.S. experience look good. Your outing has renewed my interest in trying out the local equivelent of Samba. I’ve heard good reviews from my coworkers, but let’s face it, around here quantity is an acceptable for quantity.
    Which brings to mind a question that recently popped into my head. Am I the only person who has found themselves watching more and more of the Food Channel, especially shows like Iron Chef, since I began reading this blog regularly? Just wondering if you might not have discovered a new condition for the medical(or psych) books. Thanks as always for the great pics and peeks behind scenes.

  3. That cake looks delicious! And Kerri’s assortment equally so! Man, you *do* find the good food!

  4. I like Macaroni Grill. You can draw on the tablecloths with crayons. I recall once drawing a great doggie under a tree on prom night.

  5. Dear joe,

    1.) Can we expect more brillant space ship battles for the upcoming Stargate Atlantis movie?
    2.) Will We get to see you making a Cameo appearance in the movie?
    3.) Will the Wraith still exist beyond project twilight?
    4.) What did John Sheppard mean when he told Todd the Wraith in the Enemy at the gates: “let’s make sure it won’t happen again…

  6. Did you ever discover the source of the cheesy smell? Isn’t sweet and sour pork Chinese or is here a Brazilian variety? Isn’t couscous a Middle Easter dish? Were there really no Brazilian dishes on the buffet and are you pulling my leg (and finally discovering how incredibly gullible I am)?

  7. Damn Joe, you are harsh! Poor Kerri. 🙁 And yes, I do remember your warning a few days ago about not assuming everyone is warm and fuzzy based on their love for dogs, or some such BS. But still! Remind me never to invite you to dinner, bake you cookies, or suggest a dining spot. Hell, now I’m even afraid to join in the BotM club, for fear I’ll get graded for it!

    Joe – Quick Wraithy question!!! If a Wraith feeds on a stoner, will he get the munchies, too?

    And, lastly, guess what I just bought?? THREE bags of Sahale snacks – Ksar (that’s the one you spit out), Dauphine (sweet, with a hint of lavender), and Socorro (haven’t tried it yet, but I’m sure I’ll love it just as much as I do the rest). Can’t figure out what you don’t like about these…I find them very tasty. But I like ‘dry’ things – beef jerky and overcooked meat – like the crispier outside of ham or a roast – and you really don’t care about any of this, do you? 😆

    Moving on…

    @ Perragrin – Aye, he somehow reminded me of Alan. I think it’s the shape of his head, or something. ‘Reminded me of’ does not mean ‘looks exactly like’. But both are kinda cute. 😉

    I fell in love with Chris White years back – probably when I first started watching the game. There’s something about his poise on the pitch that I like. He also has a ‘kind’ face – I just wanna pinch his cheeks like his old auntie! (Eep! I just googled him, and he’s almost to the day a year younger than me! I thought he was much older! LOL…I really forget how old I am sometimes… 😛 )

    Just re-watched the Wales v England match – wow, even better the second time around! It was a great game – very exciting! I’m spread kinda thin rugby-wise – 6 Nations AND Super 14 (the Southern Hemi teams are my favorites) – watching so many matches that they’re all blurring together now. NOT that I am complaining. 😉


  8. A clarification to my comment above…

    Upon reviewing my post, it came to my attention that the close proximity of my Wraith/stoner/munchies question and the revelation that I just bought a crapload of snacks might suggest that I am – in fact – the stoner in question. No, no, no. Believe it or not, I have never indulged in that which is affectionately known as ‘weed’. Alas…I have nothing at all to blame my weirdness on…it all comes quite naturally.



  9. Sorry to hear about your experience at the Churrascaria. I am a big fan of the concept, but it needs to be done right. Might I suggest Texas de Brazil next time? So when your next in Vegas or Denver give them a try. Two thumbs up!!!

  10. That cake looks awesome. My mom recently made me an astronaut cake for my birthday (yes I’m still a kid inside!)

    Have you ever watched on the food channel where they make those big sugar sculptures? I’ve seen it a couple times. Some of them turn out quite amazing while others fall and shatter in a quick demise.

  11. Nachos? In a Brazilian steak house?!

    Nachos? In Vancouver?!


    At both Fogo de Chao’s (Houston) and Tejas de Brazil (Orlando), I never saw nor smelled cheese (or nachos). I also got as much meat from the gacho as I wanted. I usually had to tell them to give me less.



  12. Anne Teldy wrote:

    To the Anonymous Someone(s) who Made My Day:

    The staffer woke me up this afternoon when she delivered a box with an air hole in it. It was from the Vermont Teddy Bear Company and contained my new teddy bear. She wears a white t-shirt with “Marines” in red on the front and “Major Anne Teldy” in black on the back. I sat rocking her and cried like a baby. (Of course, I cry like a baby quite often these days.) I can’t thank you enough for the gift.

    @ Anne Teldy

    Bless your heart… No, dear old thing, it wasn’t me who sent the teddy bear. I’m not that organized to have gotten up a good plan like that and sent it in the mail already. I wish! Please do thank whoever it was, because it was a wonderful idea! Bravo! Thank you so much for doing that for Anne. She really needs it right now. You’re an angel, whoever you are.

    Anne, it might have been someone who said they were glad to get your address. I don’t have a clue who it was. And there are quite a few people here in Cap’n Joe’s “livingroom” who are able to write with a Scottish air.

    Thanks to Narelle for alerting me that Major Teldy even got a gift! I hadn’t yet read all the comments for Today’s Yesterday’s blog, so I didn’t know you’d gotten something. I don’t want to take any credit for that lovely gift or the warm message that someone else sent. You have many friends, Major Anne. Probably far more than you know.

    Sending a hug to you, and teddy bear, too.

    ~ for the love of Beckett

  13. Oh yes, Kerri looks quite tasty.

    I mean, uh, her SNACKS look tasty. Yes. Hehe…heh…uhhh…yeah.

    This has been your awkward comment of the day.

  14. Glad everythings going well ^^
    Im really excited about Universe now, I didnt think I would be. I always planned to give it a go but didnt actually think I would be anticipating it. So thats a nice surprise.
    I finished my surgical rotation today holiday time YAY then more uni *sighs*

  15. Good morning.

    I’m just girding my loins for a trip to the hospital with number one son to have his broken leg looked at again, its still in a temporary cast three weeks after the accident and doesn’t feel or look right! *sigh* So much for the half term break, got sweet FA done that was on my list and now have extra added to it in the form of a broken door frame to replace and a door to rehang! Bloody temperamental teenagers!

    Looks to me like your food outing last night was on a par with the fare we’re going to be subjected to at the hospital today, I may take emergency rations as I don’t expect to see daylight again today knowing our NHS waiting times!

  16. Hey there Mr M!

    Glad to hear things have gotten off to a good start. Poor Brian, does he realise the fandom he has let himself in for? I can see it now, Creation Con 201, Vancouver : The crowd goes W-I-L-D.

    Keep meaning to ask, Mr M… what’s the latest on your short story? So, Retirement Home scene done, Brow beating hotel room scene done, what next?

    Also, any summer hols planned??

    Best to all….and tell Carl Binder to swing by the blog, we miss him!! (and any hints on the SG1 movie!!!!)


  17. Joe,
    Were you ever able to watch Disk 2 of the Tudors season 2???? My wife and I did not communicate and she came home also with a season 2 Tudors. Have 1 set to give away.

  18. I’m with you on Brazilian steak houses. I have been to several and have yet to be impressed by the experience; even if you do find some tasty ones.

    And tell the SGU cast they don’t know what’s about to hit them. (And we expect them at a con really soon. Like, say, Dragon*Con?)

  19. We have one of those restaurants here & so far I have been able to avoid it. The entire concept is just a bit beyond me, & tbh, it sounds a bit, well, gross.

    Note to self: never offer food critic with popular blog stale madeleines. Or store bought pistachio filling. But my truffles? Those I think would be enjoyed.


  20. We have Rodizio Grill in Salt Lake City …. always very good, the salad bar is huge, and the gauchos feed you until you fend them off with the stubby painted stick. We don’t go often, I can’t eat that much!

  21. We went to a restaurant like that in Palo Alto. I had a lobster tail (tasty!) while my friends eating the meat-on-sticks bribed the server to bring over some medium-rare tri-tip. Meanwhile I had to say “no thanks” to meat I wasn’t eating every 45 seconds. Not sure I’d recommend the experience either!

    PS Sci Fi is really unfathomable secrecy-wise.

  22. Hey joe, next time you see a cake like that, suggest they put 3 tiny red lines near the green light thing on the front of the machine. It means hardware failure. Something the console the cake is modelled after Is known for lol

  23. Okay, the next time you’re in NYC you have to get Marty G. to take you to the the different churrascarias we have here. I’ve been to two — I think they were both in Hell’s Kitchen? — and both times I ate like a pig (and ate pig! har har). There’s no waiting for meat to come to your table, you have to wave them away most of the time. And the one place I went to was filled with Brazilians, so I think it’s safe to say that it was a good place!

  24. Tonite I give Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse one more shot. The debut episode last week was so terrible in just about every way, the only exception being the theme song co-written by my brilliant and publicly underrated old friend Eric Bazilian.

    So how does Blue look in drag playing Chloe’s part? Or did the green screen go well? I think its ridiculous we don’t have a full SGU cast list yet.

  25. Even though a B+ is a good rating, you should of given her a higher grade just for making it homemade. Since I am not someone who loves to bake/cook, those who do things homemade get an extra grade in my book.

  26. We’re back from the hospital and its THE SAME DAY! He has a triple whammy in that he has broken his fibula, has a posterior fracture on the tibia and broken his novicular too. Now he has a decent cast on and it feels more comfortable. Having familyover this weekend so I’m decamping down the road to a friend’s.

    @Das, sorry hun, I don’t believe you LOL.

    Have a good weekend everyone!

  27. lol they are gonna CGI the female cast instead, its cheaper. or they just got Paris Hilton and later realized what a big mistake that was.

    Eli Wallace: “oh so thats what a stargate looks like…”

    Paris Hilton: “thats hot”

    Eli Wallace: “who me?”

    Paris Hilton: “na, the starzgate”

    Eli Wallace: “the stargate?”

    Paris Hilton: “yeah, that one”

  28. Why oh why will no one tell us the names of the female actors in Universe?
    Have we been bad children and this is a punishment?

  29. Joe,

    I am doing a paper about Television and I am trying to find a good place to grab info on the ratings for the Pilot episode of Atlantis, can you help me out?



  30. lol. I don’t know how I would survive if I ate with you Joe. Being an especially picky eater, I can’t have my foods touch or be mixed.

  31. Dear Joe,

    1. I was wondering if the Alternate Nanite made Atlantis Team from this Mortal Coil were all killed at the end of the episode?

    2. In the Episode Midway, if all the wraith were eliminated would that mean that their Cruiser is still left on that barren pegasus planet that is connected to the Mckay-Carter intergalactic gate system?

    3. I was wondering after seeing Enemy at the Gate, Todd says he stole more than three ZPMS, but in Spoils of War we saw that wraith carrying a pouch containing exactly three ZPMS. We assumed three were used and destroyed in the cloning facility, one was used and destroyed on the Super Hive and two were gifted to Atlantis. This doesnt make sense can please explain

    Thanks buddy

    P.S: Will we see the travelers in project twighlight

  32. A simple yes or no for us at gateworld, has Alaina Huffman been cast stargate universe as Tamara Jon?

  33. Hey Joe

    According to a couple of sites, Alaina Huffman has been cast as Tamara Jon. Is this true?

  34. so joe theres a rumor on a couple sites that alaina huffman is playing tamara jon….is it true?

  35. The meat looks gross, but both of the sweets look tasty. And I don’t think my sweet-tooth is biasing the picture either.

  36. Several sites are reporting actress Alaina Huffman is playing Tamara Jon. Can you confirm or deny she’s on the series? I don’t think you can plead the Fifth as that’s for US folk, right?

    Thx 🙂

  37. Hmmm. Lise, you swear you weren’t the driving force for a collection to get me this bear (tiny picture here? They’re quite costly.

    Here’s the message that was included:

    Major Anne Teldy reporting for duty, Ma’am! Wishing and sending you all the get better wishes and vibrations available in the know universe. Your Joe Mallozzi blog mates can’t wait to see you back on line!!

    Lise (for the love of beckett) always calls me Major Teldy when she calls, so I suspected her.

    If not Lise, who?

    Narelle from Australia? It did say “mate”.

    dasNdanger? The website was spider free and had lots of pictures. 😛

    Or maybe, just maybe, it was……….

    PG15, mild-mannered student by day who at night turns into Super Gift-Giver Man?

    Any ideas?

    Anne Teldy

  38. quick question for anyone in the US that knows: if i do my taxes (simple form) through ‘turbo tax’, do i *have* to have a printer? mine went poopoo a few months ago and i just took it down. can i file my taxes online without having to use a printer?

    sally =)

  39. Alaina Huffnan or Alaina Kalanj as currently listed on IMDB is been on a couple of SciFi TV series of note. She play the role of Black Canary in Smallville and a regular role on the awful Painkiller Jane for half season. Hopefully she will bring some fans from Smallville if she is one of female cast on SGU..

  40. Majorsal,
    Filing on-line does not require a printer, however,
    you do need to keep a paper copy for your records.

    I do not know about the options the free online turbo tax gives you, but I do believe the shrink wrap tax package that you buy will let you save the file as PDF as well as the usual proprietary Turbo Tax format.

    So one option is save the tax file as a PDF (turbo gives you this option) file on a flash drive/memory stick; then go to a place where you can print it using their printer.

    UPS stores may have this service, Office Max, etc.
    Or, perhaps a friend with a printer.

  41. sylvia said:

    Filing on-line does not require a printer, however,
    you do need to keep a paper copy for your records.

    I do not know about the options the free online turbo tax gives you, but I do believe the shrink wrap tax package that you buy will let you save the file as PDF as well as the usual proprietary Turbo Tax format.

    So one option is save the tax file as a PDF (turbo gives you this option) file on a flash drive/memory stick; then go to a place where you can print it using their printer.

    UPS stores may have this service, Office Max, etc.
    Or, perhaps a friend with a printer.

    Don’t forget the library. You could always print it there.

    Cheers, Chev

  42. thanks, sylvia, 🙂

    i asked my brother a few days ago and he said he’d get back with me. i’m too impatient. 😛

    so i went ahead and did it. just saved each page i’d have printed using ‘print screen’ and then transferring over the image to windows paint. hope that’s good enough! 😛

    *sighs with relief that taxes are over*

  43. Anne Teldy wrote:

    Hmmm. Lise, you swear you weren’t the driving force for a collection to get me this bear (tiny picture here? They’re quite costly.

    Here’s the message that was included: Major Anne Teldy reporting for duty, Ma’am! Wishing and sending you all the get better wishes and vibrations available in the know universe. Your Joe Mallozzi blog mates can’t wait to see you back on line!!

    Yes, Anne, I swear it wasn’t me who sent you the adorable teddy bear. (Had to go check out the web site and see for myself.) Nor did I have anything to do with a collection to procure said bear.

    While I have called you by your screen name, Major Teldy, I also call you by your real name, too. But Joe, I almost always refer to him as Cap’n Joe, Cap’n Mallozzi, or Doggie Daddy, but never “Joe Mallozzi.” If it were me, I would have called him “Cap’n” for sure. Also, did you notice the word “universe” and references to better vibrations? Who else do we know who’s been talking about the universe and the state thereof a lot since New Years? Yep, it could be Narelle! That’s my guess, now that I’ve seen the note that came with the bear.

    ‘Relle? Are you going to cop to it? Or could it be Das/Deirdre, since the teddy bear company is on the east coast and she would be more familiar with it than the rest of us?

    If I’m wrong, my apologies to the angel who did send it. It still was/is a wonderful thing to do.

    Kelly/Anne Teldy, you may have to ask for a roll call of “Not me!”(s). So far, you’ve heard from Airelle and I.


  44. I ate at a Brazillian Steakhouse in Iguazu, Brazil, one of the most gorgeous natural places on earth with over 200 waterfalls. We were allowed to cut off our own piece of meat off the stick. We were seated at a long table,like 30 people on each side, no matter how big your party, and then two guys held the stick and walked down the side of the table for us to cut our own piece. I found the meat to be overcooked for my taste and very, very dry. They cooked it right there on site, you could even watch it cooking. It smelled good, but didn’t taste good. No salad bar, we just had bowls of things they passed down the table. It was fun, but not that healthy or tasty, in my opinion. But a fun experience, so something good came out of it.

  45. hello joe….
    i just have a quick question which ironically seems to be the only time i seem to post here……well anyway with limited rambling onto the question……i’m looking for any insight that you can give on why in the later seasons of sg-1 in the title sequence it said michael shanks as daniel jackson and for the others it just listed the actors names……i have made my husband rewatch so many episodes and he just now seems to have noticed this and is like a dog who won’t let go of a bone and i can’t seem to find anything anywhere to answer him so any help you can give would be greatly appreciated…..thanks…..also very excited to hear work moving along on universe…..even though we still have quite a wait……

  46. Just a fan question(maybe you have never thought about this 🙂 ):
    1.What kind of powersource does a Daedalus-class ship have. Is it powered by a bigger version of the naquadah generator?

    And a question about SGU:
    As I know, the expedition won’t be planned, so they won’t have many supplies on the ship:
    How do they get ammunition, food-water(yeah I know they can find it on habitable planets) and other important equipment?

  47. Eating in a churrascarria in Brazil was my best culinary experience: truly ‘all can eat’ (the waiters were coming at our table every thirty seconds, no kidding) and the best meat I’ve ever tasted.
    I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. Maybe you could go to Brazil to try a true churrascarria, it’s a such beautiful country!

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