Restaurant Review: Brazil Grill
I know what you’re asking yourself; Why the fuck would you eat at this place? There are tons of great restaurants in Portland, and you chose a Brazilian restaurant? Let me explain myself. I am currently attempting to eat Paleo for the next month. This means that my diet consists only of meat and vegetables with a few additional limitations. I figured that this place would be right up my alley.
Let me explain the concept of this place before I begin my review. They call themselves a traditional Brazilian Churrascaria. It is basically a Brazilian steakhouse based around a large charcoal grill. There is a condiment/salad bar for you to try upon being seated, and the rest of the meal is spent choosing from various meats on swords that are presented at your table. It is kind of like a meat-centric version of dim sum.
Upon arrival we were seated at nice, comfortable booth in what seemed like a dining room straight out of a circa 1990’s Carnival Cruise Ship. The walls were decorated with paintings of wine bottles and corkscrews, which made no sense because they only had 20 or so choices on their wine list. The Mrs. chose a glass of Malbec, which turned out to be less than decent and I chose a cocktail. It was time to eat, and we were ready.
The salad/condiment bar turned out to be some limp dick lettuce and various salad condiments along with a few types of chilled pasta and vegetable salads. They also had a small section of hot items in chafers to choose from. I chose a green salad, some hard boiled eggs and few meatballs I found bubbling away in tomato sauce. The lettuce on the salad was old and oxidized and the eggs were hard and flavorless. I figured after being underwhelmed, the meatballs would be a saving grace. After all, how hard is it to fuck up meatballs in tomato sauce? I guess frozen meatballs floating in Prego are popular in Brazil. Huh, I never would have guessed.
After being unimpressed, I came to the conclusion that this place was all about the meat. I thought the salad bar was just put out there to fill people up so that they would eat less meat. I looked past the start to the meal and prepared my self for the carnivorous feast ahead of me.
Our waiter, who was nothing but helpful and informative, approached our table with the first meat sword. Hr explained to us it was bacon wrapped chicken and proceeded to give us each a portion. The chicken was both dry and flavorless, but that wasn’t the worst part. The bacon around the exterior of the chicken was, to put it kindly, not crispy. It was still white and a bit raw in most places. First rule of bacon wrapping, make sure the bacon is crisp.
After being underwhelmed by our first selection, we looked ahead to the next waiter and his meat offering. What came next was bright red linguica sausage. It actually wasn’t bad. It was well seasoned and slightly spicy. We felt like the meal might be saved and we were back on the right track.
What followed were more and more grilled meats being sliced and put on our plates. Tri-tip, Sirloin, Pork Loin, Chicken Legs and Lamb were all marinated, grilled and offered to us. They all pretty much tasted equally average. Over cooking and over seasoning seemed to be a requirement for every dish. Plate of meat after plate of meat was either too salty or overly spiced. After we had made sure we had tried everything that they had to offer we looked at each other without speaking a word and knew what each other was thinking. We knew we would not be back for another round, ever.
Food = D
Service = B
Overall = D
Extra Credit = Service was definitely the strongest aspect of this place, we were well taken care of and received all around good service.