Americans in general often get a bad rap for gluttonous meal portions, with super-sized this and extra-large that. But for a little dose of global perspective, take a look at the photo at left and consider that this plate would be considered a completely normal restaurant meal in many South American countries.
The kingly collection of steak, sausage, chicken, shrimp, tostones, rice and beans and salsa and chimichurri (in the two tin cups) is the specialty of the house at Don Victor's Fine Latin American Restaurant, the excellent cross-cultural Latin American restaurant I reviewed this week.
It is an astounding portion, and it at $25 this platter even includes a complimentary after-dinner drink (which, oddly enough, was an Irish cream on the night I snapped this photo). But two Latin American friends I brought on different nights to eat at Don Victor's during my assessments for this review one from Buenos Aires, the other from Bogota each shrugged off the dimensions of the dish as ordinary and in line with their expectations.
It's worth noting that both of these friends are slender young women, and each seemed to have no problem finishing off her meal. The key, I'm beginning to think, is not to fill up on salad.
-- Ian McNulty