Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Texas de Brazil

Eversince the demise of Carmen's Brazilian Grill, we've been hankering for churrasco-style BBQ. J and I have even contemplated having swords of meat at our wedding, no lie. We've since taken another approach on catering for our upcoming nuptials but the lure of all-you-can-eat meat was ignited again with the opening of Texas de Brazil.

Yes it's a chain, and yes it's in Crossgates Mall but the experience was surprisingly pleasant. It's unique and there's nothing like it around here. At $42.99 per person, it's more of a special occasion treat for us but it's AYCE meat plus side salads and appetizers. Stop by before 7pm and treat yourself to a $5 Happy Hour Caipirinha. Say it with me---ky-pee-ree-nyah. It's a deliciously addicting and refreshing cocktail made with lime and Brazilian cachaca, a sugar cane spirit. 

You can easily make a meal out of the salad bar but all you can eat is about balance right? You'll find a full spread of sides and salads: various charcuterie, marinated artichokes, olives, cheeses, and vegetables and even poached salmon and spicy crab sushi rolls. Why sushi? I have no idea.

Some bites were misses, like the bland out-of-season tomatoes, but others were pretty tasty. My favorites includes the grilled pineapple carpaccio, gorgonzola grape salad, and hearts of palm. In addition to the salad bar, your meal comes with sides of garlic mashed potatoes (the real stuff!), sweet fried bananas which was explained to us as a palate cleanser, and an addictive chewy popover-like Brazilian cheese bread called pao de queijo. 

The fun part is stalking the troop of carvers so see what kinds of meats are out there. Flip the green button to let the carvers know to keep it coming or red for a break to let things digest. Meat options ranged from top sirloin, flank steak, to leg of lamb, bacon wrapped and parmesan encrusted pork and chicken, and Brazilian sausage. All the meats are carved to order and thankfully cooked to medium rare, with the option for more cooking if that's not your style. Some cuts were super salty from grilling on salt blocks but the vinegary chimichurri sauce and various marinated vegetable sides help balance out the saltiness. All in all, it was a little kitchy but a fun and different dining experience. Plus, how could we say no to all you can eat meat?! 

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