Review: Boi Na Braza

I like steak. I do.  I craved it earlier this week (a hamburger did not quite fix it, but… it will tide me over).  However, I’m not a big fan of two things:

  • buffets
  • all-you-can-eat

I’m just not.  Despite writing a food blog, I don’t have a huge appetite.  Any time I go to a buffet, I feel completely and totally ripped off because there’s no way I can ever eat as much at a buffet as I’m paying for.

Terry and I went to Boi Na Braza for a friend’s birthday.  Our friend LOVES churrascaria.  That’s awesome. It’s his birthday.  We love him, and would probably go to Denny’s if that’s where he wanted to go.  We were looking forward to a meal with our friends, but not really the restaurant itself.

The restaurant itself is very pretty– lots of dark wood, very.. masculine.  This is a restaurant for MEAT, and meaty restaurants must exude manliness. It’s in some Restaurant Owner’s Manual, or something.  You have a waiter that does what a buffet waiter would normally do– bring drinks, clear plates, and talk you through the process of eating at a churrascaria. Basically, Portuguese guys in Gaucho pants (single girls: take note of this) bring out meat on metal skewers.  You have a little card that tells them when to stop with the meat, or when you want more.  You supplement it with the salad bar, and there are desserts at the end.

So, as much as I really wanted to dislike the restaurant, there were some really good things.  The pork seemed a bit on the overdone side, but their signature dish, picanha, was nicely rare and well flavored rump roast. In fact, the meat as a whole was not overdone, which was a concern of mine going in.  The lamb was also very nice.  The salad bar, to me, was just OK– the cheeses were nice (some good Parmesan, for example) and they had prosciutto and a smoked salmon preparation.  There were plenty of salad choices as well as various vegetables, including asparagus, artichokes and hearts of palm.  The side dishes were interesting– the mushrooms tasted like they had far, far too much beef boullion (I could smell it around the corner), and the mashed potatoes were pureed and not that great.  I ended up passing up most of the side dishes.

For dessert, we got some pureed strawberries mixed with vanilla ice cream, topped with creme de cassis.  Light and refreshing, it looked better than a lot of the pre-made desserts that Michelle wrote about earlier.

The overall standout?  Brazilian cheese bread, which are popovers injected with melted cheese, according to our waiter.  I would have happily made a meal of the salad bar (no sides) and that bread.

If you like meat, and you like guys with Latin accents in gaucho pants serving you meat, and you like a lot OF meat, Boi Na Braza is the place for you.  It’s not really romantic, and probably a bit expensive to take the whole family– our bill, including one beer for Terry and one soda for me, was over $130.  For that price, if it’s just the two of us, Terry and I are heading to Jeff Ruby’s– where we can get that meat fix and have some leftovers for lunch the next day!  I’m in the minority in this opinion– most everyone else seems to love it.

And no pictures for this one– I didn’t bring my camera, and wasn’t sure if I was going to write about it.  Check out Rita’s pics in the link above!

Boi Na Braza on Urbanspoon

  • http://www.clarkstreetblog.blogspot.com/ WestEnder

    I think Boi is a good place for a b-day dinner or something like that with a group. It’s a place you go for the experience/atmosphere rather than the food. The food is good but not great (I’ve only been to the Mason location).

    The only circumstance I can think of to take a date there is if you want to break up with a vegetarian.

  • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com julie

    Amor de Brazil was the same concept, but different owners. It got torn down a month or so ago and a Chick-Fil-A is being built in its place.

  • http://gourmetorgourmand.blogspot.com Lesley

    Nope, not for me. These places like Boi, Morton’s, Ruths Chris, they are all so expensive and serve mediocre food. Imagine the meal you would eat at a locally owned steak house for the same money. I pass by Boi a lot, but never once think of going in….all that meat just kind of turns my stomach. I’m sure it does well w/ businessmen.

  • vudutu

    Huge portions of meat are not my cup of tea, I feel so stuffed and guilty after. The salad bar though was fantastic when we went which was a while ago. I assume it still is, Julie do you know what the price for just the salad bar is?

  • Jaime

    I totally agree with you Julie, for the price of Boi Na Braza I could go to the Precinct which is a way better meal in my opinion. Also, I think its weird to pay that much for your food and have to get up and get it yourself. If I’m paying that kind of money I want to be waited on.

  • http://5chw4r7z.com 5chw4r7z

    A downtown friend of mine was totally pissed his wife filled up on salad and only ate one small piece of meat.
    But he had me laughing talking about how he ate so much he had to crawl home, he had to eat her share to get his moneys worth.

  • CincyCapell

    Sorry Lesley, but Morton’s does not belong on that list. Have you ever eaten there? We eat at the bar regularly and either share a larger main course or we each have a smaller main course like the petite filet. We also enjoy their oysters, lobster salad and crabmeat cocktail, all of which are beyond reproach. Morton’s steak au poivre is the best that I’ve ever had, period. Plus they have the best bar staff in the City, pour HUGE glasses of wine and can really make an artisanal cocktail too boot. Great view of Fountain Square as well.

  • Mimi

    I have never eaten at Ruth Chris, but from the people I know that I have I would not put it in the same sentence as Boi Na Braza. Completely different type of restaurant. I also would not say Morton’s is anything like it either.

    We did not enjoy Boi N Braza at all. For the price I would prefer a well cooked steak. I felt like I got one good piece of meat the whole time we were there.

  • Jcald3944

    neat experience but overpriced for what you get.