To celebrate my DIL's birthday, we took her to a Brazilian steakhouse that she likes. Having not been to one before, I was looking forward to it.
"Churrasco" is "BBQ" to the girl from Ipanema (so I had put on the dinner invitation), from the Portuguese style of cooking popular in Southern Brazil, and also Argentina. Various meats are skewered and grilled over charcoal and wood fires. A traditional cut of sirloin, called "picanha," (pi-ca-nya), was particularly tasty, even though I don't eat much meat, and the little lamb chops were to die for. "Gauchos" porting their skewers arrived at the table to slice whatever you wanted to try. With 15 varieties of meats, including beef, chicken, pork and lamb, it's easy to go a little overboard.
The prix fixe meal included their style of mashed potatoes, grilled polenta with parmesan, plantains that tasted like Bananas Foster, and a wonderful salad bar that included hearts of palm, whole marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and a dish that closely resembled tabouli (sans bulgur). I ordered a lovely Brazilian merlot to accompany the meal.
Dessert is also included, but I had brought the birthday girl's favorite cake, a German Chocolate, that our waitperson served with as much panache as he had given the rest of our meal. It was the only item on our table that was not "real food!"
Similar to the chain, Fogo de Chao, this type of restaurant is gaining popularity in our corner of beef cattle and BBQ.
"Life is like a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death." Auntie Mame
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