Cafe do Brazil
Went last night and never have I experienced such a big discrepency between good food and bad everything else.
We went on the recommendation of a friend who knows his way around a palette. The place is on Market and 7th, a pretty horrible block, junkies, porn shops, etc. The room was brightly lit and the appointments reminded me of a cafeteria. We had a reservation so there was a table with our name on it, but two staff were sitting there eating and drinking. When we came they cleared out but left their dirty glasses on our table. Nice. The table was sticky like someone gave it a lazy wipe down with a dirty rag. The spare staff seemed like family friends who needed jobs but didn't really want to work in a restaurant. About this point we thought about leaving and that's when the crazy, screaming guy wandered in off the street and started trying to pick a fight with the security gaurd. I can't imagine a worse introduction to a restaurant. But we had a play to see so we decided to just order and get it over worth. I'm gald we did.
They do a traditional Brazilian barbecue with selections of meat on a long sword carved tableside. It's served with a salad bar and a buffet of sides (beans and rice basically). The food was terrific. Meat was super flavorful, especially the tri-tip. The ham was the weak link, but still good. The meat on a sword thing was really fun and I'd say worth putting up with the bad stuff if you want a unique experience, and an adventure.
Interesting, I didn't know they did that at Cafe do Brazil. If you want to experience a similar type of meal under better surroundings, you may want to try Espetus Churrascaria on Market at Gough. The place is quite clean with better than average service. For lunch, $18 gets you 9 different cuts of meat (all you can eat) plus a so-so salad bar. Dinner is quite a bit more expensive ($35?), with pricier cuts of meat like rib eye and prawns.
Thanks for your post...I'd been wondering about this place ever since it was recommended to me by a Brazilian taxi driver as the "best Brazilian food" in the city a few months ago. How much was the meal? You describe the salad bar/buffet as "just beans and rice".....does that mean it was disappointing?
Hey thanks for the tip on both places. I've been looking for a Brazilian "steak" place in NorCal. Been to a few in SoCal. Do they have the special Brazilian roaster that steams on one side and grills/dry heat on the other?