Arts restaurant review

Cambridge’s meat Mecca

Midwest Grill sparks some savory thoughts of carnivorism

Midwest Grill

1124 Cambridge St., Cambridge

Lunch: Daily, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

I’m not bigoted against vegetarians. On the contrary, I have many vegetarian friends. I talk and joke and laugh with them as if they were real people. I am a big enough person to tolerate them, even if they have not been enlightened by that most divine truth: the Maillard reaction is proof that God loves us and wants us to eat meat.

Still, I pity vegetarians and look forward to the day when the wretched creatures realize their error and come to me begging for absolution from their immoral ways. And when that time comes, I know where I shall bring them. When they are ready for conversion, we shall take a pilgrimage to the Mecca of meat, Midwest Grill. I shall welcome them into the fold and count them among the saved.

In a sentence: Midwest Grill is a Brazilian barbecue near Inman Square that, for $25 a head, offers its customers an unending supply of a wide variety of succulent barbecue. From chicken hearts, to sirloin, to pork, to garlic-infused-bacon-wrapped-you-name-it, Midwest Grill delivers. Men with great skewers of meat come right to your table and carve off slices of the latest offering, fresh from the grilling pits. There is a regular menu, and the buffet offers one or two non-meat options, but these are merely afterthoughts; there is no doubt what Midwest Grill’s true purpose on this earth is.

At $25-a-pop, the Midwest Grill is not meant to be an every-Sunday style of worship. It’s more like a sort of special rite in a life of meat observance, like a baptism — a baptism by meat. At very least, it is the sort of place a value-minded person might wish to fast for a day or two before visiting. Whether you are the sort of person who believes in fasting as a part of religious ritual is not for me to judge: I am non-sectarian in my meat worship, and all faiths are welcome at Midwest Grill. I’m just saying that, for the sake of one’s wallet and arteries, you might not want to make Midwest Grill part of your regular gustatory routine.

Similarly, Midwest Grill probably does not deserve a place in your rotation of first date locations. If the idea of having a first date at a church sounds off, then why would you bring a date to another house of worship? The Midwest Grill is not a place of romance. It is a place for reflection upon the divine.

There is little else to say about Midwest Grill beyond its barbecue buffet nature. Service is good, seating is a little cramped, and the location is somewhat inconvenient. Being a buffet, the quality is not as good or consistent as what one could get by ordering smaller portions at a standard steak house. But these are unimportant details, mere theological curiosities, like wondering how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. If your mind gets hung up on these diversions, then you are missing the true message of meatism — that the salvation of man lies in faith in meat. So long as you hold that key tenet, and have faith that more meat equals more salvation, then your time at the Midwest Grill should prove sacred.