Okay, I’m a HUGE fan of Brazilian churrascaria (Brazilian BBQ). I think it’s brilliant. If you haven’t figured out, I LOVE meat. Sorry to all you veggies out there, but tis true. I LOVE me some meat (and please no vulgar jokes here). All you can eat meat? Yeah, basically the most genius idea EVER.
One of my favorite places for churrascaria is Gauchos Village in Glendale – I’ll have to post some time when I go back, it’s just so much fun. However, I had heard that there was a churrascaria restaurant in the Paseo shopping center near downtown Pasadena, called Porto Alegre and had yet to check it out, so off we went. (Let me remind you that it takes very little to motivate me to get all you can eat meat…)
So in case you’re unfamilar with the concept, there’s ususally a salad bar, and you fill your plate with salady goodness, and then take your seat. A indicator – often a colored piece of cylindrical shaped wood – is used to let what I call “the meat men” know if you are ready for meat. (Red means stop, green means go. Yellow usually means you need something from your server.) Then comes the parade of meats. Every so often one of the meat men will come by with a different cut, type, and/or preparation of meat on these swordlike skewers. If you want some, they will either cut you a piece or unskewer a piece for your plate for you to enjoy. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Here is an example of a meat man:
Let me start this review by saying, that the salad bar was quite impressive. As huge of a fan of Gaucho Village I am, their salad bar is rather slim pickins’. Porto Allegre’s was HUGE. They offered several different kinds of salad and ceviche, and olives, and pickles, and cold pastas, etc. I like having options. The actual food items were kind of hit or miss as in terms of whether we liked it, but there was so much, I cant really go into specifics. Hey, if you go, just grab stuff. It’s an all you can eat salad bar. Try it all. I mean, hello? hehe!
Some pics of the salad bar:
In the spirit of the meal, I ordered a caipirnha. One of my favorite drinks – it’s a traditional Brazilian cocktail, made with cachaça, sugar, and muddled lime. It’s easy to drink, and these guys made them excellently.
As far as the meats. The had a pretty good selection from the standard beef rib eye and tenderloin, to duck and quail. There was, according to the server, 14 different kinds of meat, and I thik I tried all except the chicken hearts and the turkey. Not that I didn’t want to, I was just so FREAKING full! Hah!
They also bring you these little breads which come with some kind of tomato thing, almost like a bruchetta topping, but while the little breads were good, the topping was not really our thing:
And of course, being the fatties that we are, D and I ordered two desserts, despite how unbelievably stuffed we were!
This was their caramel flan, which was quite nice
Mango Mousse – Light and delicious – I definitely recommend it, we LOVED this
My cute little macchiato – which was annoying to order, since the guy didn’t know what one was:
The only downside was that we were served by two different men, and I dont know why, but this seems to keep happening to D and I. One server will help us first, and he will be a total tool. Then another server will help us out and then that server is AMAZING. We weren’t even the 2nd server’s table, but he noticed our drinks were low, and that the first server hadn’t brought us bread and took care of it right away. I also noticed at one of his tables, when he brought out the dessert tray he gave a lovely spiel about each of the desserts, whereas our server couldn’t even be bothered to answer my question of which dessert he himself preferred. ::sigh:: If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, consistency is key. I wish I had a description in mind about how the not so great server looked, or even his name, so that he could be avoided if he still works there, but unfortunately I do not. I hope if you go, you don’t get him.
I also think that their business is running rather slowly because they were handing out $20 gift certificates for a return visit.
All in all, it’s definitely on my places that I would recommend if you’re in the area, however, it’s also not somewhere I see myself frequenting the way I do with other places.
Some more pics for your viewing pleasure before wrap up:
Me and D eating up a storm
260 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105