Tonight I ate meat. Now, this won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. I am not a vegetarian or anything, although generally I don’t consume huge slabs of meat. I love fruits and veggies and many of my meals consist of some sort of pasta and veggie combination.
But it was my night to pick the restaurant and I wanted something different. So I decided on the Brazilian Grill. I’ve never been to Brazil, nor have I visited any of their steakhouses. I knew they were a very meat heavy society because I once had a foreign exchange student from Brazil, and although he was in pretty darn good shape, he was astounded at how little meat we ate every day (yes, someone was surprised Americans didn’t eat more meat). The Brazilians are a bit odd though. After all, he also brought us gifts of chocolate in the shape of butts, which according to the guest speaker from his program who talked to my class, is a normal shape chocolate comes in there.
But as usual, I digress.
Anyway, if you’ve never visited a Brazilian grill/steakhouse, it’s quite impressive. The food is served Rodizio style, which is a Brazilian style of barbecue. There is an all-you-can-eat buffet that has a selection of cold veggies and salads (including cold asparagus, which is not nearly as good as the hot stuff I was expecting, and cold dilled potatoes) as well as a selection of side dishes (with broccoli in a not so creamy cheese sauce, two kinds of rice and what looked a bit like kielbasa and sauerkraut). You fill your plate with salads and sides, head back to your table, and turn the little red card at the end of your table over so it shows green.
I come from a long line of fatties, and so I’ve been to a LOT of buffets. This one, though, has a unique twist, that seems entirely American, but apparently is a tradition in Brazil (at least our waitress with the Brazilian accent claimed). Although you get your sides and salads at the buffet, the rest of the food comes to you. You don’t have to leave your table at all to enjoy the majority of your food. When the servers see the green card up, they come around with giant skewers of meat. They cut it for you right at the table and you grab what you want with little tongs. Every few minutes they bring out another round of meat. The place we went to claimed to have 13 different types of meat. Thirteen types of meat? Does that seem excessive to anyone else?
I didn’t try all 13, but the ones I had were pretty darn good. I got to try pork ribs, pork tenderloin, skirt steak, lamb, bottom sirloin, spicy sirloin, a house specialty that I’m pretty sure was beef, and two different meats wrapped in other meats: chicken wrapped in bacon and steak wrapped in bacon. The bacon was so tasty it almost gave the other meat a buttery flavor. They also brought around chicken hearts, sausages, fillet and chicken wings. Although it seems like a lot of food, I didn’t stuff myself. The portions they cut aren’t huge. Still, the foursome at the table behind us were really packing it away. They arrived before us. The waiter never once passed their table by and they were still shoveling it in after we left.
I can understand why. Every type of meat was roasted and spiced excellently. The lamb had garlic and rosemary. The house specialty had garlic and a special blend of “Brazilian seasonings.” I’m not sure what was on the bacon wrapped chicken, but it was amazing. Plus, it’s a bit pricey at $26.50 per person (I didn’t know the price before we went in), so I’m guessing they all wanted to get their monies worth. I think that is what prompted me to try that last piece of steak wrapped in bacon.
All in all, it was a good dinner. Definitely a carnivore’s dream. I have a feeling I won’t go very often though. It’s a bit pricey, and most of my friends are vegetarians…at least to some degree. Probably for the best. Buffets and my family may have a long standing tradition, but it’s also one that keeps us sitting on our butts far too much.