Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Brazilian Steak House

I happened to be scrolling through some of my links this morning when I found one for this Brazilian Steak House in SF called Espetus Churrascaria. I thought it would be blog worthy considering my great experience last summer in San Diego at a similar restaurant. Last July, as Tim Jang and I traveled to San Diego to attend the 2007 Comic-Con, we had the awesome privilege of eating at a Brazilian Steak House in the Gas Lamp District of San Diego called Rei do Gado's ( I never heard of a buffet BBQ until this one. It is indeed an experience worth experiencing. Imagine a waiter bringing a giant skewer of meat to your table and cutting a portion of it for you. But it is not just any meat, this was the finest meat you can possibly dream of having. Different waiters would come around to our table offering us select meats as long as we could eat it. They gave us a colored table marker (green/red) to designate stop and go for the meat service. Of these 17 meats to choose from, I'm sorry to say we were only able to taste 7 or 8, perhaps because we spent the first part of our dinner grubbing on delicious veggies at their authentic Brazilian salad bar. I would have paid good money just for the salad bar alone...and I'm not big on salads. Here's a list of the meats we had to choose from.

1. Linguica=Brazilian Style Sausages
2. Lombo de Porco=Pork Loin
3. Costelinha de Porco=Baby back-Ribs
4. Coxa de Frango=Chicken Drumsticks with Cheese
5. Coxao Mole=Top Round
6. Filet Mignon com Bacon=Tender Loin Cubes wrapped in Bacon
7. Costela de Boi=Beef Ribs
8. Peru com Bacon=Turkey Breast Filet wrapped with Bacon
9. Maminha=Tri-Tip
10. Picanha=Top sirloin Cap
11. Picanha no alho=Top sirloin in garlic
12. Cupim=Hump of Zebus
13. Fraldinha=Skirt Steak
14. Coracao de Galinha=Chicken Heart
15. Presunto e Abacaxi=Ham and Pineapple
16. Filet Mignon=Premium aged Tender Loin
17. Pernil de Ovelha=Lamb Leg

After dinner we were offered a choice of their select desserts, but had no room at all to eat anymore. All this for around $50 ea if I recall after tip.

So now to the exciting part. We can experience the same thing right here in our backyard of SF at Espetus Churrascaria (, San Francisco's very first rodizio style restaurant. It is on 1686 Market Street. This will definitely be a stop for Becky and I and whoever is willing to join us in 2008.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blast From the Past Week 4

Feather Falls, Oroville. June 2007. Last year the COV & CORE group trekked north to Oroville, 90 miles northeast of Sacramento, near where the youth group has their annual summer camp, to chase after another water fall - Feather Falls. Check out the following sites for more information: and the Sacramento Bee article Nestled in the foothills at about 2,500 feet, the Feather Falls plunges 640 feet, making them the fourth-highest in California and the sixth-highest in the lower 48 states. The three highest falls in California are all located in Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Falls (2,425 feet), Ribbon Falls (1,612 feet) and Silver Strand Falls (1,170 feet). The two trails leading to the falls -- the "old" trail, 3.3 miles; and the "new" trail, 4.5 miles -- offer abundant flora, some interesting critters, signs of the American Indians who once lived there and gorgeous vistas of the surrounding area. We encountered one very interesting site - an infestation of lady bugs beneath a bridge crossing a creek. You could see thousands and thousands of the red and black bugs crawling on rocks and plants underneath the bridge. It was indeed a site to behold. As for the actual falls itself, it can be seen from a wooden platform deck on the side of the cliff. We had our lunch there in the intense heat of summer, as we gazed upon this awesome wonder. We were even surprised with a rainbow, as the mist of falls and the heat generated this spectacle typically beheld in places like Hawaii. Had we been daring enough, we could have hiked a little further to the top of falls, as we saw many onlookers from our vantage point enjoying the view directly above the granite rocks encompassing the waterfall. After reading about quite few deaths in the past at the falls, we dared not bring our band of risk-taking members anywhere near this potential death trap. The hike itself was moderate, being shaded most of the time within the trees, but the return trip itself was very tiring after sitting in the intense heat of the observation deck over lunch. Whatever you do, DO NOT take the newer 4.5 mile trail back. What we thought was supposed to be a somewhat easy return trip, seemed like forever to get back, with many inclines that were nowhere near moderate. Take the shorter trail always.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

To My Wife - With A Copy Of My Poems by Oscar Wilde

I can write no stately proem
As a prelude to my lay;
From a poet to a poem
I would dare to say.

For if of these fallen petals
One to you seem fair,
Love will waft it till it settles
On your hair.

And when wind and winter harden
All the loveless land,
It will whisper of the garden,
You will understand.

In Sickness and In Health

I never knew the true meaning of those words until just recently. Becky came down with a sever case of the flu (influenza) last week from one of her students that should not have been in school, so she's been sick ever since. I decided to take a couple days off this week to help take care of her, after having to take her to the hospital late Sunday afternoon. My visits to the hospital have been pretty rare, so to find myself there with my wife was a pretty big ordeal. We spent 4 hours in the minor injury clinic at Kaiser (which was a pain to find in the first place), with Becky hooked up to an IV for dehydration. She was eventually released later that evening, but still found herself congested and nauxious and having to take meds every so often. Ever since then, she's been out of school, sick lying in bed, with minor improvements here and there. I never knew what it was like to have to take care of someone so sick until now, much my like my mom used to do when I was a kid growing up. And that's when I recalled the famous words to most marriage vows, "in sickness and in health". The weird part for me, however, is trying to understand how she could be sick this whole time, yet I have shown no signs of being in any way infected. The humorous side of me would say it was because on Friday I was wearing my Superman tshirt and Superman track jacket that Becky gave me. But in all seriousness, I see God's sovereignty in all this because by keeping me healthy, he as allowed me to minister to my wife in her time of need. There is no other way to explain it. Indeed, it is only God who gets all the glory even amidst this time of "sickness". And what better way to prepare a man for taking care of future sick children than to take care of his sick wife.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Monthiversary

Yesterday, the 16th of April, Becks and I got to celebrate our 2nd wedding monthiversary. While some couples celebrate annually, we've been celebrating monthly since we first started dating. It was always the 8th of every month when we were dating, and now it is always the 16th of every month now that we are married. The number 16 holds more meaning to me now than just Joe Montana's jersey number. We have a couple of newly married friends who do the same thing as well. We usually exchange cards (she's a better at giving cards than I am), and I give her flowers. I made this time extra special by getting her 2 different bunches of flowers (pink tulips and something else I don't know the name of-it had really long stems with a somewhat green spikey head with red flowers in mid bloom along the sides-almost bromeliad like) and making dinner (alfredo pasta with breaded chicken stuffed with broccoli and cheese) and getting some tasty Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream...Chubby Hubby was the flavor I believe.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blast From the Past Week 3

Alamere Falls, Point Reyes. May 2005. This was the first of the two trips I've taken to the hidden secret known as Alamere Falls in the Point Reyes National Seashore near the small town of Bolinas. It's not everyday that you find such wonders in CA outside of Yosemite, let alone a waterfall that flows directly into the ocean. It's about a moderate 7.5-8.5 mile round trip hike from the parking lot. The only difficult part of the hike was the short scramble off the main trail to the falls, where you have to hike through a narrow path between bushes, shrubs, and perhaps even poison oak and then climb down between some rocks to the head of the falls. There are about 5-6 drops on the falls, with the last drop into the ocean being the highest. We enjoyed a nice lunch along the cliff, and even tried to sit along some rocks with our feet wading in a calm portion of the flow of water until we no longer could stand the ice cold stings to our feet. A few of us weren't satisfied with just getting to the cliff edge, so we scrambled down the steep trail to the beach, which was for the most part stable except for some areas of loose gravel. I highly recommend climbing down to the beach and catching the mist of the falls. Luckily for us it wasn't high tide. The key to climbing down safely amidst the loose gravel was to keep your center of gravity as close to the ground as possible. That meant getting dirt on all fours, if necessary. If you would like further information on how to get here, just do a search on Alamere Falls. The following site also has great information on how to get this waterfall wonder: Becks and I may be paying the falls a visit in the very near future to get our waterfall fix. So everything that TLC said to do about "Don't go chasing waterfalls"...completely ignore if you would like to experience this hidden secret right here in the Bay Area.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Husband Dinner

Today I get to make my lovely wife dinner for the just the 2nd time since we've been married. It's not too often that I get to dabble in the art of cooking, but after my first attempt at making a pork roast a month ago (it did turn out good, considering all I had to do was throw all the ingredients in the crock pot before work), I am attempting to make Chimichurri mushroom chicken with stuffing and green salad. Becky and have been watching a lot Food Network shows, but I wouldn't call myself Bobby Flay's protege just yet. Rightfully so, Becky should be the one entering those Food Network contests with her tasty desserts...mmm her pear pie and lemon bars are killer. Since we've been married, my stomach has been graced by her delectable dinners such as corned beef (the real one, not canned), chicken fajitas, american chopped-suey, homemade macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, etc. That's a far cry from my days of eggs, sandwiches, fishsticks, and cereal for dinner. I have indeed been blessed with a gem of a wife...and it's not only because of her cooking.

Idol Gives Back Ends With "Shout to the Lord"

It's rare that I would comment on back to back nights after watching American Idol, but I would have to say that I was rather surprised to hear "Shout to the Lord" close out the 2.5 hour marathon Idol Gives Back yesterday night. I wasn't sure how to feel hearing it, considering that most of those contestants singing it didn't even know the true meaning behind that song. I did find it rather odd that they made a subtle change to the song beginning, by replacing "My Jesus my savior" with "My Shepherd my savior". But as I think about it, I'm not surprised, as the show tried to be more "politically correct" by removing the name of Christ from the song.

I was reminded of Isaiah 53:3 3, where it says of Christ, "He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not." If Christ was rejected by men when he was alive, should it shock you that men would reject Christ now? I only found it fitting that after singing this song about Jesus Christ, that they would end the show by a comedical profanity laced tirade by Ben stiller. Would you expect anything more?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Did You Know?

That the closest city to the equator that has hosted the Olympics was Mexico City? A little trivia for you courtesy of last night's final Jeopardy, which I got correct I might add. Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are our favorite shows to watch together as we have dinner and unwind.

American Idol 4-8-08

This season I haven't been too big on watching American Idol because of some of the boring themes for the week such as Beetles and Dolly Pardon weeks. Last night, however, with the theme being inspirational songs, Becky and I (more me) were thrilled to hear Jason Castro bust out with the ukulele and do the Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (Braddah Iz) rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". It was indeed an awesome performance on his part, adding his own twist to the song. Check it out on Youtube. You won't be disappointed. You could say that we're partial to that version since it was one of our songs we played for our slideshow at our wedding a couple months ago.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Blast From the Past Week 2

Pismo Beach. July 2005. This was our guys trip (myself, Anthony, Jason, Marcos, Dean, and Nelson) to my old stomping grounds near Cal Poly. I remember this was one of those fly by the seat of your pants kind of trips because we drove down there not having any camping reservations. The 4th of July was just winding down so we had to fight the crowds of campers who were already there for the festivities earlier in the week. We must have stopped by 5-6 different campgrounds in the Pismo area only to be denied. Our last resort would have been to drive to Cal Poly and secretly setup our tents on one of the lawns near the dorms. We made one last stop at Avila Hot Springs before heading to SLO. The sign at the entrance said full, but we decided to ask anyways, and by the grace of God, they had one camp site opening. The kicker however was the really CHEAP price. It ended up costing only $30/night for the site (divided by 6 people) and $5 per person for hot springs and pool use. What a steal! After our days at the beach we would come back to our campground to shower off and relax in the sulfur hot springs. We spent a couple days playing volleyball (nets were already setup courtesy of Pismo Beach) on the soft white hot Pismo sand (and I literally mean hot because we had to constantly soak our feet in the water to cool off), swimming at the beach, roaming the boardwalk, eating bbq and burgers, cruising SLO, etc. Second only to Hawaii, the SLO area is one of my favorite places to go and relax on the beach.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

So not long on the heals of Aloha Airlines going bankrupt and cancelling all flights as of March 31, ATA, another major Hawaiian airline provider, has gone bankrupt and cancelled all its flights. My only reason for blogging on this is as a frequenter of Hawaii, my options for flights to Hawaii has now dwindled down to Hawaiian Airlines. Although my favorite airlines is Hawaiian, it is sad to see the 2 other airlines I've used in the past go under. It would just seem weird to have to fly American or United to get to the islands. Did I mention how expensive these major airlines are to get to Hawaii? And what about the interisland flights...will it no longer be $39 to go from Maui to Oahu? I hope Hawaiian doesn't tank it too with the rising gas prices. I just found out that a few of my friends and a coworker had ATA flights for upcoming Hawaiian vacations that they will now have to first try to recoup their money and then reschedule with another airline most likely at a premium. A sad day for Hawaiian vacationers alike...San Diego may have to be the next best thing to Hawaii if airlines keep dropping like flies. And if gas becomes more expensive even for driving, then say hello to Blue Rock Springs and Dan Foley Park...reachable by bike.