Friday, September 28, 2012

Area Code 55 Churrascaria

Brazilian style churrascarias have become quite famous in the USA as of late, basically due to the success of the Fogo do Chao and Texas de Brazil chains. A few other restaurants of the type have appeared all over the country, in cities where probably no Brazilian individual has ever set foot.

I suppose they are filling up with non-Brazilians as well. Americans love them churrascarias.

The only problem is that although they are "All you can eat" affairs, Churrascarias have become awfully expensive for what they are. 50 bucks a pop to eat beef dressed only by kosher salt seems a tad out of the realm of reasonableness.

Sure, they have wonderful salad bars (most of them do, anyway), and some even offer sushi. However, if you eat too much from the salad bar, there goes the room for the beef. And you end up paying 50 bucks to eat salad!!!

There are people that can put away huge quantities of food, of course. That is why here in the good ole USA we have the largest number of fat people on the world. Really obese. Pros!

If you do not put away industrial loads of food normally, you end up over-eating at the the churrascaria, to compensate the huge tab, and if the meal has taken place at night, you will definitely need about 10 omeprazoles. Or sleep sitting down.

If you have a couple of drinks, a dessert, and coffee, the bill can easily border 100 bucks a head, after taxes, tips and whatever.

I am not an attorney, doctor, entertainer, CEO or professional athlete, so I basically cannot afford dinners at  Fogo do Chao and Texas de Brazil anymore.

Area Code 55 actually offers a good option, which is reasonably priced meals for about 20 bucks for lunch, including on Saturdays until 4 PM. The old owners ran the house down, at one point serving copious amounts of bread on skewer, instead of  meat, but Area Code 55's owners have restored the place.

I still find Brazilian churrasco better than the Argentine, multiple cut all you can eat equivalent like The Knife (the one at Bayside is terrible), and of you take the day time offer, much less expensive. Plus, you will be able to sleep at night, without the 10 omeprazoles.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Unreliability of internet tools

It is a bit frustrating that internet tools, which purport to be reliable, robot, real time driven, are so flawed.

Take Alexa, for instance, which ranks sites according to popularity. The information there is basically all bogus. Either that, or it gets updated every six months. Which makes one wonder about the efficacy of such a tool, given the internet world is supposed to be ever changing.

One thing is for sure. People believe Facebook is such a wonderful place to make blogs and such popular. This is also bogus. I have over the limit of 5000 friends in FB, and whenever I post a new blog entry, I might get 2 or 3 visits, tops!

Plus, links in Facebook do not do anything at all for one's google ranking. The system is closed, so whatever you get from there, that is it.

There is so much baloney going on the internet (and it has been so since day one), that it gets disheartening sometimes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Street owners

The streets are supposed to be public places, and the rules should apply to everybody.

Yet, here in Miami Beach, it seems some people think they own the street.

Owning a business, no matter how big it is, should not entitle one to privileges. Any type of regulation concerning public areas should look after the public good. Yet, some people think because they own a street level business in Miami Beach, that entitles them to special favors.

Worse yet, they seem to get the special favors!

A few business owners simply park their cars in front of their establishments for hours on end, in spite of yellow lines, and clear signs indicating LOADING ZONE, TOW AWAY ZONE.

The repetition of the misdeed is outrageous, for this is often done all the time, day after day.

LOADING ZONES do not belong to the business owner, and should not be used for parking of any type. That much is clear to me.

The arrogance is such that some of these business owners go as far as parking their cars with logos splashed all over, sure of impunity.

Adding insult to injury, MB PARKING ENFORCEMENT, which is always so eager to dispense tickets in public parking, a few minutes after expiration of meters, or calling TREMONT or BEACH TOWING to tow vehicles that are in clear (or unclear) violation of parking rules, does take this type of LOADING ZONE violation very lightly. Extremely lightly.

Food for thought.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


There are things that look nice, as if the government is thinking and taking care of us, but once you analyze it deeply, you can see it was (or is) just a waste of time and money.

The problem is not always the government, but the poor mentality of the users. For instance, the people that live or cut across Miami Beach everyday.

I suppose drawing bike lanes on 71 Street did not cost millions of dollars, however, I bet it has cost more than a person's yearly salary, considering the high price of public contracts. I remember the street being closed, trucks here and there, tons of possibly highly paid slow workers, police, inconvenience and all that. This deployment of equipment and people does cost money, taxpayer's money.

The idea is excellent, however, most of the people that do use bikes as a mode of transportation in Miami Beach do not use such lanes. They continue to ride their bikes at full speed, on the sidewalk.

When the sidewalk is wide, as in front of the theater, I reckon sharing it with a racing bike is not a problem. The trouble arises when you are leisurely walking on the bridge after Bay Road. The sidewalk there is narrow, and cyclists seem to love startling passersby. They will certainly curse and wave their hands at you (or give you the finger) if you point out there is a bike lane.

Maybe they have not been properly educated, or they fear being hit by a car. However, I have walked on that bridge many times, and have seem elderly folks, often carrying groceries, working through the bridge. Plus small children and small animals. One of these days, a raging Lance Armstrong wannabe will definitely hit an old lady and throw her down the bay. Then what?

Is the use of these bike lanes optional? If not, I suppose the police should start looking into these bikers, lest the city be hit with onerous lawsuits from injured pedestrians. Because that is what is going to happen

Talking about the elderly,  small children, and small animals...There is a gym on 71s Street, a cross fit gym near Collins Avenue, which uses the sidewalks as its private race track. Part of the training, I suppose, is racing around the block once.

This is another accident waiting to happen. These people run, sometimes carrying weights, with no regard whatsoever for the people who are walking on the street. At the corner of Harding and Seventy First, they race very close to the wall when making the turn (see the picture below, taken from their own site!), and I have nearly been hit a few times. Some of these dudes are huge, and getting hit by one of them at full speed, carrying weight, is similar to being run over by a small truck!

Additional trouble is, there is a store at that corner, and I can surely envision another elderly lady carrying groceries being stampeded by people who care much for their bodies, little for anything (or anybody) else.

The restaurants at Collins Avenue, which, by the way, pay an arm and a leg for rental, must also love the sweaty, high speed people almost crashing into their patrons.

I could understand if this were a neighborhood without parks, or proper venues to practice sport. But the fact is, one short block away from the gym, there is a wonderfully wide  promenade built for running, which could be used by these folks without endangering the lives of old folks, small children or just regular adults.

Will anything be done?