When I want to make my husband the happiest about our choice of what to eat for dinner, I need only say Brasil BBQ and he is smiling from ear to ear. If eating lots of protein for lunch or dinner is what sparks your interest, look no further than the Rodizio ($36) at Brasil BBQ. Rodizio is like an unending meat buffet that comes to you.
There is a small buffet of cold items such as salads, as well as homemade soups and great black beans available to start your meal. While everything on the buffet is well made, especially the homemade soups, we almost always skip over this course and get right to the main event, the meat.
Every meat is cooked on a skewer over an open flame, turned often to cook it to just the perfect degree while keeping in the juices, and then rushed to your table by the gaucho (carver) who slices off as much as you desire from the skewer. Each diner has their own set of tongs, and you are expected to take your tongs and transfer your portion of meat to your plate as it is carved.
The choices of meats generally include beef top sirloin, garlic sirloin, chicken breast wrapped in bacon, Italian sausages, boneless skinless chicken thighs with garlic, and Parmesan pork loin. Sometimes there are other meats than these listed, so be sure to save room as you rotate through the different choices. They will keep coming back until you say “uncle,” and often seem disappointed when you are too full to accept just one more carve. Towards the end of your meal they usually bring pineapple cooked on the skewer in the same manner, to be carved tableside.
Do not let the term BBQ dissuade you from trying the rodizio. There is nothing associated with it that we would think of for a barbecue. It really is simply grilled meat on a skewer, turned and cooked over an open flame. They do serve two different sauces on the side, one is a kind of housemade barbecue sauce and the other is a fresh green chimichurri sauce. The tables also have a few bottles of their made-on-the-premises hot sauces, so if you happen to like heat, they will provide all you need.
When you order the rodizio you get to order as many sides as you wish. The list included Brazilian cheese bread that is not to be missed. These are small puffs, made with manioc flour so they are naturally gluten-free, and served freshly baked and piping hot.
If you have never had roasted okra, this is the place to try it. It is served with a few sliced cherry tomatoes for color, and there is definitely some garlic in this delicious dish. Another vegetable that is very traditional as a side with Brazilian food is shaved collard greens. They are quickly sautéed in olive oil with a bit of garlic, and are crunchy and addictive, even if you think you don’t like green things.
One caveat is that since rodizio is an all-you-can-eat affair, you are not allowed to share with others at your table that might not be having the rodizio, and you may not take leftovers home, so you should only order what you can eat.