SteakHouse-'South American Style'

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mayor al
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2003/06/08 07:35:58 (permalink)

SteakHouse-'South American Style'

A couple of times on "The Best Of"... on the Food Network They have visited places in Dallas and Atlanta that serve Steak in a format they call "Gaucho Style". Chunks of Beef are roasted on spits over an open fire then brought to your table by the server who then carves slices off of the roast he is carrying around. The rest of the meal is served family style at the table, but the meat is brought around as it is completed to your taste (AYCE). In the programs I have seen there are a lot of servers wandering the place with Beef ready to fill an empty plate at the slightest nod from the customer.
Have any of you visited one of these establishments? If so can you tell us about it? ALSO, Give a name and location if you would please. I don't know if they are limited to the two cities I mentioned, or if they are around and just haven't stumbled onto them yet. ANY information will assist me with my search.
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    Sundancer7
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/08 08:10:52 (permalink)
    I have seen the establishment advertised in the Delta Magazine and I have talked with several people who have visited this restaurant in Atlanta. They really bragged on it.

    This type of restaurant is very common in Argentina and Uruaguay. I personally have been in this type of restaurant in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. They tend to do more than just prime beef cuts and use all organs available.

    When I was in Montevideo, I did not want to rent a car and I finally found a cab driver who spoke English. I let him drive me around and when it came time for lunch we stopped at this type of South American BBQ. My wife and I both got beef which they carved. I bought the cabbie's lunch and he prefered some type of organ BBQ. I did not go there.

    Mayor, I will try to research the internet for other places like that. I think they are expanding.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #2
    jpatweb
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/08 08:59:55 (permalink)
    I think the term for these restaurants is "churrascaria," and they can be found in most large U.S. cities. There's a few in the DC area, the first and most popular being Greenfields in Rockville, MD. Lunch is the way to go, when the price drops considerably from the dinner rate of about $25 per head.
    #3
    Jim Ross
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/08 09:11:15 (permalink)
    I know of 2 in the Chicago area, Fogo de Chao and Sal & Carvao Churrascaria. I have good reports on the one downtown, but haven't been able to convince the wife to go yet. She seems to think I'll over indulge. Will make it soon. In addition to beef, they also serve lamb, pork and chicken with salad and side buffets. I used to have great Parriada's in open air roadside restuarants while working in Chile 20 years ago. Huge amounts of beef, including all of the organs.
    #4
    mayor al
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/08 19:49:58 (permalink)
    Thanks for the keywords...I did a search and have found that many of the largest Metro areas have at least one of these specialized places in business. They seem to have one central theme...Priced in the $25/Lunch $40-$50/dinner range dessert and beverage extra. The main draw from the reviews I read posted for several centered on the variety of meats, 15 or so offered, a large salad selection and the ability to overindulge with an ease that amazed most of the reviewers. The closest to us here in Louisville appears to be in Chicago or Atlanta...so we may not test the place in the near future. L A has several, Dallas/FW has two, Houston 1, and the N E Corridor had a bunch listed in each of the major cities. If we ever make the splurge I will report back to the group.
    #5
    BigGlenn
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/08 22:48:48 (permalink)
    There is one here in Long Beach California as well. Nice Ad in the Local Papers Dining Out Section. I've just not have had the nerve to go there yet. It looks nice in all the photos but it does seem to be a bit pricey. Maybe someday? By the way, "JuniorBurger?" there is nothing Junior about me! LOL
    #6
    Jennifer_4
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/09 04:23:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BigGlenn

    There is one here in Long Beach California as well. Nice Ad in the Local Papers Dining Out Section. I've just not have had the nerve to go there yet. It looks nice in all the photos but it does seem to be a bit pricey. Maybe someday? By the way, "JuniorBurger?" there is nothing Junior about me! LOL


    heheh Glenn, you sound like many of us here, who got that way either by DNA or eating too much roadfood! I keep hoping they will put one here in Fresno.. although my stomach capacity is small (even though I'm a large gal) I would go simply for the sheer variety , the same reason I go to buffets.. I try to get a little taste of everything.
    #7
    mayor al
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/09 07:55:48 (permalink)
    Jennifer,
    I believe the spread of these places may be 'just another fad', but time will tell. I did note that they had developed only in MAJOR metro areas and not anywhere in the 'less than top 10 city areas. The Long Beach location is counted in the L A group...with another of the same chain in West Covina. None in the Pacific NorthWest or Mid-America til you get to Chicago.
    Regarding the girth issue, I posted a photo of "US" with a large BBQ rig a short time back...that should give you the image needed to understand why sturdy furniture is one of the criteria I use for judging the comfort of a dinner stop.
    #8
    kland01s
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/09 11:12:22 (permalink)
    I haven't been to the two Chicago area ones but I have a friend from Argentina who says they are nowhere near as good as the ones at home but isn't that true of anything!
    #9
    Lone Star
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/09 12:03:25 (permalink)
    There is a Fogo de Chao (sp?) here in Houston as well as Churrascos. I have not been yet, but hear lots of talk about them.

    I believe Churrascos is more of a traditional restaurant featuring South American food, while Fogo de Chao is a true Brazil Gaucho theme as you described.

    One of my bosses had to travel to Brazil last year and told me that it was just like all the restaurants she went to in Brazil. They give you a little disc with red and green on either side. Green up if you are requesting more, red up if you are ok for the time.

    It is pricey, but something nice for a special occasion.
    #10
    Bushie
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/09 14:59:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Lone Star

    There is a Fogo de Chao (sp?) here in Houston as well as Churrascos. I have not been yet, but hear lots of talk about them.


    I highly recommend Fogo de Chao. Go hungry, though. burp.
    #11
    EdSails
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/09 15:28:23 (permalink)
    BigGlenn: I've been going to the Greenfields on PCH since they opened. My company even had our Xmas party there (everyone loved it). The comment I usually get after bringing a newbie there is "how can they do it for such a small price". Lunch is a good dea. Dinner is more, but dinner meats may include duck, quail, filet mignon or tenderloin of beef and salmon. To me, the seafood salad alone is worth it and the all you can peel and eat shrimp. I think it's a must go----let me know what you think!
    #12
    dbear
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/09 18:21:38 (permalink)
    For those 'not in the largest cities', one tip is to look at menu's from Brazilian places generally. Some near where I live have chiarrascuria (sp?) one or two nights a week and a regular Brazilian menu all the time. Another Brazilian dish that seems to follow the same pattern of being served on certain days is feijoada, which is sort of the national dish, black bean stew with pork. I love Brazilian cuisine and have yet to order anything I didn't like. The chicken and beef hearts part of chiarrascuria takes a little work, though. In Brazil, the bbq places are often just a big tent with tables next to a ton of bbq pits; the ones I've been to did use the green/red card system mentioned above by Lone Star. To find out more about Brazilian food generally, try the following link:

    http://www.cookbrazil.com/
    #13
    Sundancer7
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/09 18:36:47 (permalink)
    The BBQ's I saw in Buenos Aires, Argentina tended to be very nice. The ones that I saw and ate at were very nice, the bbq unit was behind glass displaying all the different types of means/organs, etc. I alwasy had them with the Argentina red wine and their special potatoes which tended to be more like the frites of Europe. That sort of makes sense since it seem to me that most of Buenos Aires was all Italian, German or Swiss. The whole city is very European except for the beautiful tango shows.

    Also in my opinion, Argentine beef is the best in the world. The beef tends not to be topped off with grain and instead the are fed constant diets of the most nutricious grass in the world which is the Argentina Blue Stem. Very high protein.

    When I was in Germany, all the finer restaurants advertised the serve "Argentina Beef"

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    tamandmik
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/06/26 10:59:15 (permalink)
    Living in Northern NJ most of my life, I am privy to some of the best rodizio style restuarants in both NYC and Newark. For this kind of fare, might I suggest the Plataforma Resturant, in the theatre district, and also, Iberia Peninsula, in Newark NJ. The latter of which has been around for as long as I can remember. You pay one price, 17 bucks the last time I was there, and the skewers of pork, chicken, ribs, several forms of steak, just continue to come, until you wave your hands in surrender. I believe sincerely the last time I visited that restaurant, I consumed over 5000 calories of meat. The key to this kind of eating experience: don't eat for a while, maybe a day, if you can stand it. Then, don't have any of the appetizers they try to blunt your appetite on, just focus on the meat.
    #15
    Wiseguy
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/07/25 03:15:15 (permalink)

    We have been to a really good place called Rodizio Grill with the Brazillian style of food in of all places,Salt Lake City,Utah
    The food was very good.If you like meat,A LOT
    here's a link
    http://utah.citysearch.com/review/10373823/editorial/?cslink=cs_profile_tabs_editorial_review
    #16
    EliseT
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/07/25 04:38:17 (permalink)
    I went to my first churrascaria in the early 80s. It was a tiny place in old Torrance. The only people there were Brazilians and many of the servers only spoke Portuguese, and man, were they cute! Now bigger, shiny places are proliferating, probably because of Atkins. There is one in the Farmer's market, and downtown Burbank now. I think the "fad" may die down, but there will always be some of the older places around. I LOVE Brazilian black beans and rice!!!
    #17
    lleechef
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/07/25 08:23:05 (permalink)
    I spent two weeks in Brazil recently and the best churrasco I had was in a restaurant called Cio do Biu in Belo Horizonte. The skewers of meats were unending....at least 8 different cuts of beef, sausages, pork, chicken hearts, lamb, it was amazing. We were also served a chicken dish with the local cheese that was divine. Another good Brazilian style of eating is tirra guosto, where you order small amounts of grilled food...steak, sausage, cheese....and just sit outside on a hot night and "pick". This is served with toothpicks and no utensils. A cold Brahma beer washes it all down!
    #18
    Oneiron339
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/07/25 09:44:40 (permalink)
    Fogo de Chao is in Buckhead in Atlanta, along with at least 2 more churrasco places. Fogos is good, but expensive. I think, as others that it's a fad. Unless you just want a noisy meal and a good amount of meat of all kinds. Think, Joe's Crab House only with meat. I avoid the AYCE places because I try to eat my money's worth and end up feeling bad afterwards. It's probably a good experience if you take the out of town visitors to the big city sights. The girls (and some guys) will like the gaucho waiters. It's definitely not road food and not cheap. Save your money for a pleasant dining experience.
    #19
    Texicana
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/07/25 09:53:16 (permalink)
    I've been to one while in Mexico City, and it's basically as others have described except I distinctly remember they gave everyone at the table little colored cards that you can put on a stand in front of you (everyone has their own) in which red means "keep all the meats coming and coming OFTEN", the pink meant "whoa, I gotta slow down a little", and yellow meant "I'm stuffed to gills, please stop." It was a lot of fun, but some of the skewered meats were a bit challenging (bbqed heart, anyone?)
    #20
    EliseT
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/07/25 13:34:34 (permalink)
    Oh, by the way, which are your favorite meats? Mine are the Polish sausage, filet mignon and garlic beef. Mmmmmm, garlic beef.

    It can get pretty darn expensive. Some of the churrascarias here have different pricing, with weekday lunch being half the price of weekend dinner, but with all the same meaty goodness.
    #21
    EdSails
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/07/28 13:41:55 (permalink)
    When I go to Greenfields my favorites are the skirt steak (definitely the most delicious meat in MHO), the duck, the tenderloin and the Portuguese sausage. I temper that withand their spicy seafood salad (mussels, squid, shrimp etc. with chilis).
    #22
    tamandmik
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/07/29 10:41:14 (permalink)
    My favorite, I agree with EdSails, is the Brazilian sausage (linginca sp?) and additionally, the Brazilian sirloin, Pinchana, sp again? However, every churrascaria I have been to, and granted, I've only been to 4 of them, had a pay one price menu.
    #23
    Rick F.
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/07/29 14:46:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BigGlenn
    By the way, "JuniorBurger?" there is nothing Junior about me! LOL
    We ain't fat, we's fluffy!
    #24
    tamandmik
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/07/29 16:27:30 (permalink)
    I weigh only 140, and I'm 37. I guess I am lucky! That, and I run quite a bit, particularly the next day after enjoying a rodizio!!
    #25
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/07/30 18:09:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

    I believe the spread of these places may be 'just another fad', but time will tell. I did note that they had developed only in MAJOR metro areas and not anywhere in the 'less than top 10 city areas. The Long Beach location is counted in the L A group...with another of the same chain in West Covina. None in the Pacific NorthWest or Mid-America til you get to Chicago.


    Tain't so, I'm afraid. There's one of these in downtown Albuquerque, which is hardly a "top 10 city area." It's called Tucanos and it's on Central Avenue next to the Century Theatre. Excellent black beans and rice.
    #26
    Taniko
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/10/01 17:12:32 (permalink)
    Hi. Just to try and answer a few questions. I lived in Brasil for over 10 years, and the "Churrascaria" is the barbecue system that they use of marinating the meats for sometimes several days,(often in a paper wrap to keep the moisture in), and then rolling them in salts and seasonings and grilling them over a wood charcoal fire. "Rodizio" is the serving method of the waiters coming around to the tables with skewers of meats to carve off the exact piece that "tickles your fancy" at that moment.

    My husband and I love them so much that we have made it, almost, a quest to find as many that are here in the U. S. as is possible on our budget. In our opinion, the two best ones (so far) are in Dallas. They are Boi Na Braza, and Fogo de Chao. We have not been to Plataforma in NY yet, but can't wait! We were just in the L.A. area and found out that there are about 11 there now, the best in our opinionn being the "Amazonas". There was also a pretty good one in Redondo Beach on the water. Very romantic! We are next headed to two in Chicago, called, again "Fogo De Chao" and "Sal e Carvao". There is even one in Phoenix but it is not too large. There is also a reasonably priced one in Las Vegas. (Or there was about 4 years ago). Orlando has one too that just opened called something like "Crazy Charlies". Wasn't too bad at all.

    In most of the Brazilian ones, the only organ meats are chicken hearts and we definitely did develope a taste for them, they are highly seasoned bits of a flavor burst. There is, also, a good "Churrascaria" in Boston, even with a Brazilian guitarist and smooth music to sooth that ever expanding "tummy".

    We just went back to Brazil for a visit and they still have the very best ones of all, and the whole meal was for the grand price of about $10.00.

    If you go to one of these, do yourself a favor and have the national drink called a "caipirinha" (ki-peer-een-ya). It is a lemon-lime ground with a mortar and pestal and then alot of sugar is added, and ice and any liquor that you like. The most popular ones are with vodka or rum. Yummmmm! :)

    Here's to a great time...."saude" (sah-oo-gee, Brazilian for to your health.)

    Cheers,
    Taniko
    #27
    Poverty Pete
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/10/01 18:32:20 (permalink)
    Rodizio is a chain in several cities. I first saw it in Denver around 1997. If you go to Las Vegas, there is one in Mandalay Bay called the Rum Jungle. After the dinner hour, it becomes one of the hottest nightclubs in town.
    #28
    lleechef
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/10/01 19:18:45 (permalink)
    Taniko, caipirinha made with cachaca is the best! The best Churrascaria in my opinion are located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, also there are several good ones in Rio.
    #29
    Taniko
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    RE: SteakHouse-'South American Style' 2003/10/01 19:30:11 (permalink)
    Hehe! Yeah, a Caipirinha is best with cachaca but I didn't think many would be familiar with that. We lived in Sao Paulo and Rio too. Marios and Porcao come to mind, but there were so many good ones. Our favorite one was called "Lagiado", and was on the Rodo Viaria and was basically a truck stop. These were great 'cause you could stop in and get a great meal really quick. Awesome spots!!!

    Did you live in Belo? I hear they are really awesome there too.

    Thanks,
    Taniko
    #30
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