Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Texas de Brazil

Texas de Brazil, recently opened in Regency Square Mall, greeted us with a diverse trio of hostesses amid old world Spanish décor. My husband had run across a 25% coupon, and we decided to give ourselves an early Christmas treat. As it happened, my sweetie left the coupon at home, thus, I waited in the lounge area, replete with cozy sofas. The bartender never even looked my way to offer a drink or even to say Happy Holidays. Thank goodness the rest of the staff knew how to portray customer service. Texas de Brazil is a Churrascaria or a Brazilian Steakhouse and focuses on grilled meats (all you can eat) accompanied by a “salad bar.” Prices tended to be steep - $39.99 for the combined salad bar and grilled meat bonanza. Wine, drinks, and desserts were extra. There was a $29.99 option (I’m not sure for what), but our coupon was for the entire deal, so, we plunged on in. Well, we first perused the wine list. As with most upscale chain restaurants, the wine prices are beyond the pale. While we drooled over the list, we tended to gape over the more than twice retail price. We did discover a Buehler Zinfandel for $31.00 and promptly ordered it. The “salad bar” came first. But this was no ordinary salad bar. In fact, only two bowls of leafy lettuce presented itself. The rest of the bar was literally a feast itself. Listed is what I remember:

Lobster bisque

Black beans (hubby raved about these)

Jasmine rice

Sautéed carrots

Proscuitto

Sopressata

Manchego cheese

Fresh mozzarella balls

Grilled provolone

Other cheeses

Roasted red and yellow peppers

Grilled zucchini

Seared sashimi tuna

Shrimp salad

Asparagus

Caperberries (I was thrilled to see these)

Herbed green and black olives

A wide variety of olive oils and aged Balsamic vinegars

What a chore to reserve our main meal for the grilled meats! We truly enjoyed the “salad bar” with its wide variety.

But on to the meat! At our table we encountered round disks – green on one side, red on the other. The grilled meats were presented by gauchos brandishing tall sword-like skewers of succulent carnivorous heaven (the gauchos were easy on the eye as well). When our disks were green, a gaucho presented a skewer. If our disks were red, he walked on by. What an assortment – Brazilian sausage, chicken wrapped in bacon, pork loin, beef tenderloin wrapped in bacon, flank steak, sirloin, etc., etc. Every time a new item passed by we flagged down the gaucho. All of the beef was prepared medium rare, but could be cooked to our preference. Since medium rare worked for us, we did not need to make any special requests. We discovered that the beef, particularly the flank steak and the sirloin, tasted the best. And the salad bar had chimichurri sauce to accompany the beef which was delightful. We also were served side dishes of garlic mashed potatoes and grilled bananas as well as rolls. Needless to say we stuffed ourselves. One of the managers arrived at our table to inquire if we were finished. We moaned, yes. Then he asked if we had tried the beef ribs. When we replied no, he said, “Well, you are not done yet.” He whisked our old plates away and returned with carved slivers of beef ribs. Yes, they were delicious as well.

Texas de Brazil is not a place I would frequent on a regular basis, but the food was good quality and offered a wide variety. I would think twice if not for the 25% coupon, except, maybe, for a special occasion. The other disconcerting discovery was how fast we ate and waddled out of the place. While a nice dinner will generally take us two hours or more to enjoy, we were at the stuffed phase in about an hour much to our dismay. Next time, we have a coupon in hand and we slow down enough to chew our food

5 comments:

veron said...

Hmmn, this might give my local favorite Ipanema Grill a run for its money. The best churascarria I had was Fogo de Chao in Atlanta (I believe its in D.C. now too). Yikes, 39.50 is pretty steep...but if their picanha is good, then it might be worth the visit every now and then.

Sads said...

The secret to this place is signing up for their rewards program.... They offer you several 25% off coupons and apparently they give you 1 free meal for your birthday.

pjpink said...

Hey sads! Thanks for the tip. I like the free meal bit.

AtomicLush said...

Great review! I had been searching for a review that actually listed some of the salad bar items before I go and try our neighborhood Texas de Brazil, so thanks for taking the time to do that!

Anonymous said...

I tried this place and wasn't overly impressed. Ipanema Grill is only $27 for a much better setting, local owner, great food. Texas was loud and crowded, the music was loud and unfitting for the environment, the tables were too close together, it was dark and there was not enough room for the number of people trying to encirlce the salad bar.