Carnivore’s Carving


Texas de Brazil is a new Midtown Churrascaria.

by Jan Walsh     

Photography by Beau Gustafson

 

Texas de Brazil is a Brazilian-American Churrascaria (a term referring to the way the meat is prepared). Cuisine from Southern Brazil combines with the Texas spirit in this new Birmingham eatery.

 

The Place 

Texas de Brazil is located in Midtown across from the Westin Hotel. The restaurant has a patio with sofas and tables for those waiting to be seated. And today the restaurant is quite full, with many people staying in town for the Talladega Race. Tables covered in white tablecloths dot the high-ceilinged interior, surrounding the expansive salad bar with its spectacular floral arrangement rising from the center of the station.

 

The Concept

Texas de Brazil is family owned and operated. The Brazilian steakhouse restaurants were the vision of the Texas de Brazil partners, who were living in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and decided to bring this culture to the United States. The first destination was Texas, and the restaurant has opened many other locations across the country—and others in places like Mexico, South Korea, and Aruba—since.

 

Favorite Fare 

Texas de Brazil has a fixed price menu, which includes salad bar, meats, and side items. Desserts, taxes, beverages, and gratuity are additional. Vegetarians can also do a fixed price for the salad bar without the meats.

Tonight, we are seated and order pre-dinner cocktails: the Sweet Strawberry Caipirinha and Ipanema Margarita. The server brings a basket of hot, chewy cheese bread. And he explains the plan for dinner, which begins with the serve-yourself salad bar. He also instructs us to turn over a cardboard disk on the table, from its red side to its green, when we are ready to have our meats brought to the table. (Later, we can turn it back to red to signal that we are finished.) The salad area includes appetizers, gourmet vegetables, soups, and salads. Tonight’s soup is a creamy lobster bisque. We both enjoy a cup of it along with an array of breads, crackers, pineapple, mushrooms, peppers, olives, cheeses, and a delightful couscous salad. We pair a lovely Brazilian sparkling Moscato, Terra Andina, with our salad course. Afterward, we turn the disk over, and the gauchos (the waiters) begin coming to the table one after another with enormous skewers of uncarved beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and Brazilian sausage. Garlic mashed potatoes, sweet fried bananas—for cleansing the palate between meats—and four house-made specialty sauces accompany the meats.

Once we finish our meat, we turn over the disk, and the table is cleared for dessert service. Our server brings two trays, one with artificial models of each dessert and one with bottles of after-dinner drinks. We select carrot cake, Brazilian papaya cream, and Taylor Fladgate 10-year-old vintage port. Surprisingly, the dessert course is our favorite. The moist carrot cake is three layers high, chock full of nuts and carrots, and is topped with a creamy icing. And the lovely papaya cream arrives in a tall soda-fountain-style glass. Dark red crème de cassis is poured over the top and floats down the inside of the glass. This light dessert makes a perfect ending to this meaty meal.

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