Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Texas de Brazil (Denver)

We had a team dinner at Texas de Brazil, which is Brazilian BBQ restaurant, or churrascaria. For those who may not have experienced it before, it is a must-try, especially if you are a meat lover! :-) Basically it's an all-you-can-eat place, where waiters walk around with a variety of different skewered grilled meats that range from top sirloin to bacon-wrapped filet mignon to sausages to chicken wings to lamb chops to pork tenderloin... the list just goes on. But before you even start on the meats, they have this amazing monstrous salad bar that of course is meant to fill you up. However, even knowing this, it was very hard to resist the fresh salads, vegetables, cold cuts, etc. They even had seared ahi which was pretty good but I controlled myself. I have to save room for the meat! :-) At Texas de Brazil, they even have a sushi bar, which is the first time I've seen that at a Brazilian steakhouse. I guess they really try to fill you up. Word of advice: the sushi is not worth it!

With serious discipline, I was ready for the meats after just one round to the salad bar - bring it on! So they give you this little card that is green on one side and red on the other. When green faces up, be ready for all the waiters to attack you offering you different cuts of meat. Once you've piled your plate full of meat, you should flip it over to red. If you don't, you may feel like you are Harry Potter sitting at the dining table at Hogwart's, where food just magically appears and your plate is constantly full. That may sound great, but the meats actually get cold pretty fast and won't taste as good. You also will have trouble telling the meats apart and may not remember which ones were your favorites that you may want to get more of. Trust me, turn your card to red once in a while so you can catch up. And not to worry, as soon as you flip it to green, the meats will magically appear on your plate again.

The house special is the picanha, which is a special cut of the rump that is very popular. For any of the beef or lamb, you can ask for pieces that range from rare to well-done. My favorite was probably the bacon-wrapped filet mignon (how can you go wrong with anything wrapped in bacon? ;-) Normally my favorite at a churrascaria is usually the lamb chop, but the ones I had at Texas de Brazil were a bit gamey. Their lamb chops just could not compare to those at Fogo de Chao, which is my gold standard for Brazilian BBQ. Fogo de Chao was my very first experience, and to this day is still the best (and I've been back many times, despite the fact that they weren't even in CA until a couple years ago). Unfortunately there isn't a comparable churrascaria in SF, but maybe that is better for my waistline anyway... Oh I almost forgot to mention my absolute favorite thing at a Brazilian restaurant - it's the cheese bread! It's another one of those items that is designed to fill you up so you eat less meat, but the Brazilian cheese bread is so good that I am willing to forgo all the meat! Once again though, I think the cheese bread at Fogo de Chao is the best of all the churrascarias that I've been to. OK, I've got to stop talking (and drooling) about Fogo de Chao since this is not a review for them. :-)

Of course, after all the salad bar items and meats, who has room for dessert, right? NO! You have to save room for dessert! Fortunately, we had a large group so we ordered a few to share. The dessert portions are big so sharing is highly recommended. My favorite was the Brazilian cheesecake, which was very rich but heavenly. We also ordered the Brazilian flan, which was quite interesting. It is served in a glass and they pour liquor all over it. Yummmm. Overall, Texas de Brazil was impressive - amazing salad bar, delicious meats, and even better desserts. It's probably my second favorite churrascaria in the country, so if you are in a city that has Texas de Brazil, go check it out! (This holds true unless that city also has Fogo de Chao, then always pick Fogo de Chao. :-)
P.S. My camera was out of batteries so my pictures didn't turn out very well. For beautiful pictures and restaurant locations, visit


Kat said...

Where is the picture of the cheese bread from here? Drool Drool Drool I LOVE CHEESE BREAD! ^_^ I found some recipes, lets try to make some when I come up to SF in April!!

Chi-Mei said...

I love this entry (it's written with so much enthusiasm and humor) - makes me want to attack a Brazilian BBQ place myself! Extra points for the HP references! :)

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