The Brazilian Steakhouse Experience

6 May

The concept of the Brazilian Steakhouse was first introduced to me last semester in anticipation of our arrival to Miami.  There are a few different Brazilian Steakhouses here and I’m not aware of anywhere else in the country where this type of restaurant exists (ETA: There are some in Houston), but that doesn’t mean they’re not out there… looming… waiting for you to come in and gorge yourself to death.

Here’s how it was first described to me a few months ago:  First, you must prepare.  The day before fast but drink lots of water to keep your stomach stretched out.  Go for lunch because the meal is the same but it costs less.  There is a salad bar that you should skip because that lettuce will just take up space in your stomach.  Then the waiters come by and bring you all you can eat meat.  It’s just meat after meat after meat.  (Please, insert your own meat joke here.)  All of the guys who told me about this said it was a big deal and made it sound as if going to this restaurant was an event in and of itself.

found via Google Image Search

So the other day my husband comes home and says we’ll be going the next day for lunch.  I didn’t give in to this whole, “You must prepare!” hype, but he did.  We went to the restaurant, Brazaviva, around 2pm for a late lunch.

First myth shattered: this kind of restaurant didn’t seem like that big of a deal to anyone else there.  There were business men having a casual lunch type of thing!  There were a couple of couples there eating, too, and no one was acting like this was a milestone… except my  pumped up husband and his friend Joe.

The waiter suggested we venture up to the salad bar, which all three of us did despite the prior suggestion that it be skipped.  To be honest, it wasn’t that great of a salad bar.  There wasn’t much lettuce salad, the cheese cubes were warm and swiss, and the crab salad tasted like it was going to give me distress later, though thankfully it did not.

There are little cards by your plate.  One side is red, the other side is green.  Green side up means, “Bring on the meat!”  Red side up means, “OMG I’m going to explode, please don’t give me more meat!  No, stop walking over here!  Please go away!  Don’t offer me that!  There’s no room in my stomach!  What?  Top sirloin?  Ok… I’ll have a little, it can chill in my trachea until the stomach empties out…”  The waiters ignore the cards, so don’t even worry about those.

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The waiter told us at the beginning of the meal there were nine meats, though I didn’t count that many.  They brought the skirt steak over at least three times.  I picked up a brochure on the way out and this is what they claim to offer:

“Top Sirloin – our most popular cut, seasoned only with salt and grilled.” – We were offered this and it was good.

“Filet Mignon – tender and juicy, slowly roasted.  Also served wrapped in bacon.” – We were offered neither, sadly.

“Sirloin – tender cut of the top sirloin grilled as it should be.” – We had this.

“Flank Steak – bottom round cut, roasted to perfection.”  – We had this.  It was not perfection.

“Sausage – seasoned and slow roasted.” – We were offered this twice.  I don’t know what kind of sausage it was; I didn’t eat it.

“Beef Ribs – cooked slowly to maintain juicy and natural flavors.” – Not offered these.

“Lamb – tasty and tender lamb chops.” – This never came by our table.

“Pork Loin – from the pork loin, sizzling with flavor.  Also served flavored with Parmesan.” – The parmesan pork never came by and I honestly can’t recall if the plain one did or not.  If it did it wasn’t memorable.

“Top Sirloin with Garlic” – Never saw this, either.

“Pork Ribs – slowly roasted to maintain juicy and natural flavors” – Should read: “dry and bland.”

“Chicken – tender chicken breast natural and wrapped in bacon, and chicken legs roasted full of flavor.”  – The chicken was amazing.  I’ve never tasted such a flavorful chicken leg in my life.

“Leg of Lamb – tasty and tender leg of lamb sliced off the bone.”  Guess what?  Didn’t see this either.

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Interestingly, the thrice offered skirt steak is not listed in their brochure, which says twelve cuts are offered for lunch but they claimed there were nine and I’m not sure how many we actually ate.

Also served with the meal: biscuits that were hollow on the inside (not that that’s a bad thing), tasted slightly of cheese, but more of old man.

I don’t want to be a complete downer on this place, though!  Lunch is $17 for all you can eat meat and sides.  The boys and I left stuffed and we didn’t eat for 24 hours after.  The dessert was amazing and they were very prompt with drink refills.  After cycling through the meat they asked us if there was anything we wanted them to bring back (chicken please!), which was great service in my opinion.

This style of restaurant is the epitome of gluttony to some of my husband’s friends, though I didn’t witness anyone else there eating themselves silly.  I stopped eating when I was comfortably full and sat for another thirty or so minutes while the guys kept going.  The meal took two hours total.  I know we’ll be back, but I won’t worry about whether or not I’ve prepared my stomach.

brazaviva.com

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One Response to “The Brazilian Steakhouse Experience”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I’m famous! (In my head). « Rosswife's Blog - May 12, 2010

    […]  So we went to the outlet mall (bor-ing!) and another Brazilian Steakhouse for lunch.  This one, Texas de Brazil, was much better than Brazaviva.  The meat was delicious, […]

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