2017 Summer Restaurant Weeks: Week Two, Day Six
And now for something a little different…
Texas de Brazil is a chain of Churrascaria restaurants with branches in 18 states and a half-dozen foreign countries, from Aruba to Saudi Arabia. “Churrasco” is Portuguese for “barbecue,” and churrasco-style grilled meats are a staple in Brazil.
At Texas de Brazil, guests pay a fixed price, which entitles them to all they choose to eat. The meal starts with a visit to the salad bar.
From the salad bar
That’s where the first rule of churrascaria dining comes into play: Tempting though some of those 50 items at the salad bar might be, don’t overdo it. You’re here for the grilled meat, and if you fill up on potato salad and Imported artisan cheeses, you won’t be hungry when the herb-marinated pork loin comes around.
I tried, with moderate success, to limit my selection to only those things that were irresistible: Grilled red peppers with capers, artichoke hearts, salmon, heart of palm, and roasted garlic. And bacon. Who can resist bacon?
With the starter out of the way, I was ready for the main event.
Here’s how it works: At the beginning of the meal, you’re given a coaster-sized disk. One side is green, to let the passadores—the “meat waiters”—know that you’re ready to have a look at what’s available. The other side is red, indicating that your plate is already overflowing, or that you’re resting between nibbles, or that you’re waiting for your cholesterol level to drop out of the red zone before taking another bite. You can start and stop service as often as you want.
The passadores constantly navigate the room, each with a different selection, which is speared on a big skewer. The selections are things like leg of lamb, chicken breast wrapped in bacon, pork ribs, garlic picanha, and Brazilian sausage.
Over the falls we go…
From that point on, it’s a hedonistic feast, which only ends when you decide you’ve had enough.
It’s not haute cuisine, but it’s helluva fun.
The Washington branch of Texas de Brazil is huge. I went on a Sunday afternoon, and the crowd was a typical Washington mix: Millennials in casual clothes sitting next to a group of about 20 people who looked like they were coming from a church service, gay couples and extended Latinx families, and the inevitable tourists.
Here are a couple of pictures of the interior: