Mike turned 30 on October 10th of this year, and to celebrate, we consumed much meat, and partook of a hockey game!
The festivities began at Gaucho's Brazilian Steakhouse, which had been described to me as "the place where they bring meats around on skewers." That's all I needed to hear to know this was the perfect place to celebrate Mike's birthday.
The deal is that when you arrive, they give you a little circular card. One side is red, the other is green (think stop lights, people). It starts off on the red side, when you can feast on their expansive salad bar. Then, when you're ready (oh the excitement!) you turn the card over to the green side, and Brazilian waiters who only speak the language of meat start bringing around... yes, TWELVE DIFFERENT KINDS OF MEAT on skewers.
They plop the end of the skewer down next to you and say "Prime rib???" in their wonderful Brazilian accents, and you eagerly nod "YES!!!" and they actually cut you a piece based on how you like it cooked! It's AMAZING.
Doug told Mike he should just wear a sign saying "The answer is YES" because nobody bearing meat was turned away from our table. We had prime rib, sausage, chicken, bacon-wrapped steak, ribs, filet, salmon, sirloin... Oh and there was also a couple of pork things, and veal, which I did not eat, but Mike did. :D It was SO GOOD. We stuffed ourselves silly!
And then it was time for dessert! And oh what glorious desserts we had! But alas, Mike is diabetic and cannot eat sugar. No worries—Brandie convinced the waitress to bring a piece of meat with a birthday candle on it for Mike! It was awesome!!! :D
After dinner, we somehow managed to squeeze ourselves into my car and made our way down the street to the Manchester Monarchs/Providence Bruins hockey game.
Much thanks to Jason Bergeron at the Monarchs for hooking us up with super awesome seats, and for posting Mike's name on the jumbo screen in a list of birthdays...
...sponsored by Bugaboo! Mike was like "Everything about my birthday has to do with meat!" Yes Mike, yes it does. :D
There were two fights during the game, this was actually the more lame of the two. The really good one was at the end after the Monarchs lost, and one of the guys wasn't such a good sport about it, and seriously kicked the crap out of one of the Bruins for about five minutes (no joke). The crowd cheered louder then than at any other moment during the whole game! :D Ah, the joys of hockey!
Highlights of the game included these little buggers, the pee wee hockey league from Manchester, who played a mini-game between first and second period. Just imagine tiny hockey players moving very slowly in a bunch and then all falling over. It was so cute and so hilarious!
This was definitely another highlight: the family who sat in front of us. The older gentleman knew all the names of the hockey players and refs and yelled at them loudly by name every time they fucked up. It ruled. The little boy next to him I assume is his grandson, and he is in training to be just like his grandfather. He yelled "SHOOT THE PUCK! NO, THIS WAY!!!" through the whole game, and played with his airplane like a champ. It was adorable!
This whole "CHUCK-A-PUCK" nonsense is pretty messed up. Picture four-year-olds on the balcony trying to throw foam pucks onto the rink. And you're sitting WAY BENEATH THEM. I feared for my life as thousands of orange pucks fell from stories above me, threatening to land on my head. But hey, the kids love it! :D
Another highlight was when Doug came back to his seat at one point with a pizza. We were all shocked because of how much meat had just been consumed. But hey, he had also had quite a few martinis and was not in a sane frame of mind. And he expected Randy to help him eat the pizza! Randy laughed at him. :D
All in all, I think the evening went splendidly and Mike seemed to enjoy it. Happy birthday Mike!
Side note: I'm going to try to update more often during the next few months with shorter posts, so check back often! :)