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:
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!