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Brazilian-style steakhouse coming to Tampa

Tampa's restaurant scene is definitely getting more interesting and enticing. Boizao Steakhouse is a Brazilian-style fine dining experience unlike anything currently in this market that will be opening soon in the Westshore area (near airport, Raymond James Stadium/Legends Field, International Plaza, major bridges, etc.). Florida may be known for its seafood but that's not all that's on its menu!

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  1. I have seen the construction. Is it a chain?

    1. what is it with "brazilian style" steak houses -- is that just a marketing gimmick?

      (i've never been to one, and rarely go out for steak - last time may have been at a steak and ale or an outback, and that would have been about 4-5 years ago or more.)

      sigh, i do miss steak. maybe i'll have to revisit!

      3 Replies
      1. re: hitachino

        We have had three "churrasquerias" (Brazilian-style steak houses) in Chicago for several years now. They aren't like anything else. First there is the salad bar from paradise, one on which you could not only make a meal but survive for a month---depending on which restaurant, you can expect shrimp, fresh hearts of palm and artichoke hearts, smoked salmon, poached jumbo asparagus, good sliced tomatoes all year long, wonderful greens, cheeses, dozens of other things. Then an endless parade of waiters comes to your table bearing various cuts of grilled meats---for a website with pictures, to give you an idea, go online to "Fogo de Chao." They carve the (hot, tender, smoky-tasting) meat directly onto your plate. You have a paper disc that is green on one side and red on the other and if you leave the green side up that means "Bring More Meat". There is something very nice about having two or three guys hovering over you urging just a little more filet mignon or little bitty lamb chops or garlicky top sirloin or bacon-wrapped chicken breast, and they just keep on doing this until you beg for mercy (or turn up the red side of your disc). Meanwhile side dishes are brought to the table---rice, black beans, fried plantains, crispy fried cornmeal mush, mashed potatoes, puffy cheese rolls. Price structure is "one price for all you can eat". You ask if this service is a marketing gimmick---my impression is that it's a popular style of restaurant in Brazil. Whatever, it is wildly popular in Chicago.

        1. re: hitachino

          Yes... Boizao... it's authentic Brazilian-style food... the "rodizio"... I am Brazilian and in Brazil they are all over the place. However... for dinner time... it's $40 per person! You have to be really hungry to pay that kind of money! =P Of course we left 5 minutes after seating down. We were not expecting that high price, in a time we were not even that hungry. AND, that's the only option they have... no menu with some brazilian food, like you have on "Brasilia Grill" at Armenia with Hillsborough. The place is awesome though... they probably serve high quality food in there... maybe I will try when I get a raise.

          1. re: melzinha

            It seemed a little high to me at first but when they brought out the warm cheese rolls, fried plantains and potatoes and then when I checked out the spread on the salad/appetizer buffet (fresh veggies, Brazilian potato salad, huge beautiful red tomatoes, mozzarella, smoked salmon, rice and black beans) and then when they kept circling with the lamb, filet mignon, chicken wrapped in bacon and pincanha, I felt I got my money's worth. You can skip the grilled stuff and just enjoy the sides/salad/appetizer for $25 but tough to resist those tasty meat treats.

        2. It's meat, lots of it... you have a coaster kinda thing red on one side green on the other. When you turn it to green men in gauchos come atcha with skewers of meat. It is good but it is a lot of meat.

          2 Replies
            1. re: Katj

              I don't know if the place in Tampa is related, but you're referring to Fogo de Chao, which is a chain, not Boizao.

            2. Nope, not a chain.

              Different cuts of roasted meats (filet mignon, top sirloin etc.) as well as chicken, pork, lamb and sausages. The other aspect of this type of dining is the amazing array of fresh greens, imported cheeses and Brazilian accompaniments that are featured in the salad buffet.

              1. Sounds great I'm in South Florida we have Texas do Brazil, Chima and Porcao down here they are all great. When in Tampa I'll try it. If you like meat you'll defenitly love this Brazilian style steakhouses.

                1. Those waiting and wondering about Boizao (Brazilian-style steakhouse opening soon in Tampa) I discovered the website is now accessible. Go to www.boizao.com.

                  1. I emailed them through the website and they are set to open the wek of March 12th. Reservations can be made by calling (813) 286-7100.

                    1. From their website, they look a lot like Fogo de Chao and Texas De Brazil, both of which are excellent. I've been to a couple Brazilian-style restaurants in the Tampa area and have been disappointed both times. I'll be sure to give this a try when it opens.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: chris64

                        I've been to Fuego in Brandon and Brasilia Grill in Tampa. At Fuego, the cuts of meat were dry and lacked flavor. At Brasilia, my husband got the buffet and was disappointed that most items were lukewarm and had that crusty sitting-on-the-buffet-awhile character. I had the feijoada, a dish that I love, but was disappointed that it was mostly pork fat and skin, with lots of teeny chunks of bone that I was afraid I'd choke on. Not at all like the feijoada I've been served in the homes of Brazilian friends. I ate very little of it. The collard greens served on the side, however, were very good.

                        1. re: laurie

                          I agree; when I ate at the Brasilia Grill the food seemed to have been sitting a long time.

                          1. re: proboscidian

                            i love eating at brasilia it is the only brasilian restaurant that has a real brasilian menu and the brasilian people love it

                            1. re: proboscidian

                              i eat ther all the time for lunch and it is great maybe you ate at a time after it was buss. and they were changing the buffet.

                        2. Yes... it's authentic Brazilian-style food... the "rodizio"... I am Brazilian and in Brazil, they are all over the place. Really good food. However... for dinner time... it's $40 per person! You have to be really hungry to pay that kind of money! =P The place is awesome though.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: melzinha

                            $40 a person is very reasonable! Fogo de Chão is more! We had a reservation but blew it off, too tired and too much time in the sun LOL. We'll definitely be making it after I get back from Europe later this month!

                            1. re: melzinha

                              Fuego in Brandon is $25 pp., but there is no buffet. They start with a family style salad served for the whole table, simple with olive oil and lemon juice you squeeze yourself. (Will bring more if requested) Then they bring out family size portions of: plantanos maduros, yuka fries, white/yellow rice, black beans, garlic mashed potatoes (I guess for the gringos..I am one also will bring more if asked), and special of the day. The meat was not dry when I have been but two times ago a water splashed grease from the spit onto my shirt, ruined it and no offer to fix from management. Last time we went with a party of 7 at 7pm on a weekday, family in from Ecuador, and the service was so bad, we had to ask them to bring over more meat to us 5 times, waitress said they will bring out anything she asks, but then disapeared for 15 minutes. I was so unhappy that when I got the bill with 20% included I told management that I would not give that much. Food was good but so darn slow. I love their chimichuri sauce, never had it in Argentina when I was there so I don't know if it is authentic, but this one is awesome, I put it on the Yuca fries also.

                            2. Strange, out of all the Brazilian places mentioned here, I haven't seen one mention of Brasa Grill on Waters - I've read a few reviews (Creative Loafing/Weekly Planet) and tbo.com, and both have given the place a thumbs-up for their rodizio.

                              Has anyone else tried this place? I'm curious about the rodizio, and was just trying to figure out which place would be better.

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: miznic

                                The buffet at Brasa Grill is excellent! We have not had the rodizio yet but plan to soon. We ate there on a Wed night and on the buffet they had a whole pork roast, marinated chicken , and a type of beef stew so there was still plenty in the meat dept. There was a nice selection of vegetables, real mashed potatoes, salads and desserts. I really liked the okra and a slaw type salad. Our dinner was 30 bucks including tip for 2 buffets, wine, and beer. Very good deal. The restaurant was clean and the service was good. The staff were all friendly and made us feel very welcome.

                                1. re: rhnault

                                  You get what you pay for with the rodizio's. Brasa was poor in my opinion, low end chow hall kind of place. Boizai was great, a little expensive at $200 for two including a bottle of wine and tip but a great dining experience and excellent cuts of meat. The service was outstanding, probably still a sign of the restaurants new-ness.
                                  Another good bet is Fuego in Brandon. Great meats just slow service by the wait staff.

                                  1. re: seand

                                    I didn't eat the rodizio at Brasa and wasn't recommending it for fine dining. But it certainly wasn't a "low end chow hall" lol. Maybe a cute, clean, and friendly ethnic restaurant without pretension would be a better description.

                                    1. re: rhnault

                                      Brasa Grill is not a fancy place, but the food and the meat are as wonderful as any Texas do Brasil. They serve more than 17 cuts of meats and the pinapple is delicious. It's a clean and cute place. The servers were very friendly. Check reviews at Tampa Tribune, TBT, St. Petersburg Times and Weekly Planet. All of them say good things about them. I go there about once a month. I went to Brasilia Grill and I did not like the buffet. I could not find any reviews about it. Boizao seems like a very nice place and I've heard good things about it, so far. But why would I pay $ 40.00 to eat meat if I can eat the same meats for half price? I may try to go there for lunch, though. It's cheaper for lunch.

                                      1. re: superman

                                        I went to Brasilia Grill last week and I liked the buffet much better at Brasa. Though they had some nice seafood soup at Brasilia! Brasilia was also cute and clean though super duper hot with an AC that was not working very well. I am with you, and will try Boizao for lunch first. So far, Brasa is my favorite.

                                    2. re: seand

                                      I've never been to Fuego, but my friends went there and they said it's nothing similar to a Brazilian steakhouse and the meats were terrible. They are Brazilian and they were mad cause they have to wait for the meats for a long time. It was just like they were waiting for them to fill their bellies with the side dishes they serve at the table. Have you tried the skirt steak at Brasa? It's wonderful.

                                      1. re: superman

                                        the most authentic brasilian steak house in tampa is brasilia grill on armenia boison is good but expensive and it does not have a hot buff , all the brasilian steak house in brasil have a hot buff. it's a must have in brasil and a verry small salad bar for even american rodizio restaurants and fogo is not brasilian at all no hot or cold buffet without a shadow the only restaurant that will stand as a brasilian restaurant is brasilia grill not only for the rodizio but for the brasilian entree. and at 21.95 it is a steel and they have been arround the united states for 20 years.

                                        1. re: jaz

                                          I still liked Brasa better. There is a good buffet there and the meats were fresh. The meats from Brasilia Grill were dry and dark. Maybe I went there in a bad day. Anyhow, I do think Boizao is still very Brazilian. I ate at Porcao - Miami, and they do not serve as much hot plates as Brasa, but its salad bar was wonderful. Boizao is probably the same style. If you want, go try eat at Brasa on a saturday. The "feijoada", a typical Brazilian plate, is fantastic. I know that at Boizao, the "rodizio" is even less than 21.95 for lunch, as well as Brasa Grill. So enjoy all Brazilian restaurants. We are very lucky to have so many good steakhouses around, don't you think? Everybody should try all of them.

                                          1. re: jaz

                                            Makes me wonder if jaz and chris64 isn't the same person. The posts sure are similar. (One more reason not to take a particular restaurant seriously. The guy almost sounds like he works there.)

                                              1. re: superman

                                                Well I have to tell that I went to brasilia and i didn't like the food, it's a nice place but when you go to a restaurant you want good food not a nice place to sit down and listen to music. That's why I like Brasa. It's not a huge or fancy place but the food is excelent!!!!

                                  2. I have been to Brasa and Brasilia grill here in Tampa, and if I had no clue what a good churrasqueria should be like, I would say that both places were great! but I have also been to Texas de Brasil in Orlando and Dallas and I went to Fogo de Chao in Houston and Dallas .These were the best I have ever had and so far non of the ones in Tampa can compare to them.
                                    I went to Brasa when they first opened and the taste of the meat was not good at all. it was like they fried the meat. the buffet was ok, but i was more interested in the meat. Maybe at that time they still needed to refine their craft so i wil need to give them a second chance.
                                    Brasilia was the next one I had to try. that wasnt as good as i thought either. first off some item on the buffet went bad. a friend of mine who is has experience as a health inspector noticed that. we informed the chef and he agreed and took the items away. the meat wasnt as bad as Brasa, it tasted ok, but still not as good as TdB and Fogo. Again i went there when they first opened, so i will also give them a second chance.
                                    i heard of another set of brazilian style restaurants opening in St pete area...anyone know anything about them?

                                    PS. cant wait till someone opens up a Argentinian style SteakHouse. Even drinks are included! And they have morsilla (blood sausages).

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: payochi

                                      I went to Boizao not too long ago - I almost DIDN'T go because someone had told me it was something like $37 a head. Boy, was I shocked.. the service was phenomenal, the food was outstanding (on both the buffet and the meats)... Maybe it was just me, because it was my first time at a churrascaria (sp?) - but here it is, almost two weeks later and I can still taste the picanha as if I'd eaten it a minute ago. Nummy. :::licking lips:::

                                      1. re: payochi

                                        definetely go try Brasa again. Their meat is as good as the meats from Texas do Brasil. I went to Boizao too. Their meat is great, but the salad bar is not as good and magnificent as the one is Texas do Brasil or Fogo de Chao. Since my main thing is eating meats and not too much salad, I still rather go to Brasa and pay $ 21 for 18 cuts of meats than $ 38 at Boizao. There is an Argentinean steakhouse in Oldsmar. I've been planning to go there. I forgot the name, but search for Argentinean steakhouses and you will find it. If you like "churrasco" try the one in Brasa. It's pretty amazing (skirt steak).

                                        1. re: superman

                                          lol - holy crow, 18 cuts of meat? Picanha included?

                                          (Any responses determine whether or not my fiance and I are going back to Boizao for lunch before we move to GA in a week!)

                                          ...Argentinian steakhouses? Isn't there one in Ybor City...?

                                          1. re: miznic

                                            picanha is the main one, of course. It's my second favorite, after the skirt. The argentinean place is in oldsmar. i will check and write you back. i haven't been there yet.

                                          2. re: superman

                                            Hey superman...hope u didnt go to that one in Oldsmar It was quite a dissapointment for me. i went there a long long time ago and the taste of the meat was nasty(I use that term loosely)
                                            if i recall correctly, argentinian restaurants include blood sausages (morsilla) on their buffet. I dont think i got that at this one. i had to buy that seperatly. I might be mistaken but i was not happy with that place.
                                            If u did or are going to try it, let us know how it was.
                                            if anyone knows of argentinian restaurants in tampa let us know also. Miami has a good assortiment of them and they are great.

                                        2. There's a new place in St. Petersburg - La Fogata. Heard wonderful reviews...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: dmfnole

                                            I have never tried it because of the price, $45. But they have now reduced that to $29. Might be low enough to give it a try.


                                          2. It truly was a Friday the 13th nightmare when I visited Brasa Grill this evening. This Brazilian "experience" was muy terible, awful, unpalatable and extremely disappointing!!!! I am so angry that I wasted my time, money and gas to visit this lousy establishment. I was so looking forward to a feast as a reward for a hard work week. I would have been better served at the mall food court. Not only could the person who answered the phone when I called for directions NOT tell me what cross street they were located near on Waters Ave., but when I arrived she couldn't explain the menu so I ended up getting the "special" which was a horrific buffet the likes of which I haven't experienced since eating on the Vegas strip in the early 80's. The whole time I struggled to find something that did not taste like a Banquet frozen entree, I was fuming about the price I was quoted of $23 for the slop. I should have turned and run from the place when I arrived at 8:45 on a Friday night and I was the ONLY patron. My waitress didn't even offer me water. Thank goodness the beer was cold as the French fries. At one point, I seriously considered ditching the place without paying but I figured that they had my phone # on caller ID and I didn't want to risk prison although the prospect of better meals in jail appealed to me at the moment. When the check came, I owed $15.50 for the "special" and 2 beers. Something MUST have been lost in translation as I was not even offered a choice of meats other than a sirloin steak for an additional $8 which I thought would have been included in my supposedly fabulous selection of meat. Not once did I witness ANY waiter festively dressed or otherwise. The manager that seems to know everybody else on this site by name barely acknowledged me and it was all I could do to throw a handful of change in the tack TIP jar that stood on the tacky counter above the threadbare carpet. I am only glad that I didn't have to use the restroom as the place was of dubious cleanliness. On the way home I stopped an got a chocolate shake at the good old fast food place that never lets me down. DO NOT EAT AT THIS PLACE!!!!! Peligroso!!!!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: majjic1

                                              Sorry bro, but it was worth it just to get this review!