Any good Brazilian Steakhouses in the Boston area
I went to the Brazilian Grill in Hyannis and thought it was good. But way too far of a commute from Medford and they wait was too long. We had reservations for 8:30pm and still had to wait to be seated another 20 minutes and then the buffet was running out of serting dishes. I have heard good reviews of Gauchos in Manchester, NH. But again I'm looking for something closer. Who wants to drive that long after you eat so much.
Its been a while since I have been to Brazilian Grill, but I always preferred it to the similar Rodezio's in the direct Boston area.
It would help to know specifically what you are looking for in a Churrascaria because there is a whole variety of them, many of them near to Medford. Do you specifically want a rodezio (fixed price with meats brought to the table)? Is variety of meats important or just quality (or quantity)? Is the buffet important? Do you want white table cloths or is linoleum floors ok?
Churrascaria Rodeo was more or less a clone of Midwest Grill with the same prices, a few differences in the rodezio, and a smaller buffet. There have been some recent changes in management at Rodeo (I think one of the partners may have left), so not certain if that has changed the food, but I would recommend Midwest over it. I will try to outline some of the alternatives that I have tried in the area later today, but if you state your preferences that would help.
Midwest Grill -- the oldest Churrascaria in the area. They have both a lunch and dinner rodizios ($17 and $21 if I remember correctly). Live MPB (acoustic singer/songwriter) 7 days a week and full bar. The dinner rodizio includes picanha, alcatra w/alho (garlic), one other beef offering, chicken and pork sausage, garlic bread, and lamb (sometimes tough). They also have chicken hearts, pork loin, and chicken with bacon (always dry). I like their oxtail on the buffet, but its not so great otherwise. I have had excellent meals here and lousy meals. When its not busy they skimp on the meat, when its busy they sometimes bring it out too quickly. The alternatives in this style are Green Field in Allston ($15 lunch and $17 dinner) which started off better, but then had a major downhill alert. Last visit the buffet was a joke, but they do have beef ribs served on a rolling cart (I believe done in the oven) and rabbit -- so slightly more meats at dinner. Green Field I believe cut out the music. Both use Charcoal to grill the meats. Rodeo in Woburn opened as a Midwest clone and also has full bar, music most nights, sad buffet. I can't guarantee they use charcoal (the grill is hidden in the kitchen) and haven't tried it since some recent management changes. I have a hard time getting excited about any of these and am especially disappointed with the trajectory of Green Field. However, they serve a niche and Midwest is the most consistent of them with the musical entertainment serving as a bonus, now if only they would add ribs. None of these offer per-lb.
Fire Bull mentioned above is in the same price range and adds pork ribs I believe. I think only beer and wine license. I enjoy it, but wouldn't necessarily make a trip to Peabody just to go there. They do offer per-lb, I believe at all meals.
There are other churrascarias catering more to Brazilians that do per-lb and a rodizio. Depending on competition these range from $14.95-$18.95 +/-. These restaurants usually have a rotating menu on the buffet based on the day of the week with one or two items. Some restaurants in this price range use charcoal and others gas (I have even seen an electric broiler). Gas could be for zoning reasons, but could also be for convenience. These can be quite good because they focus on doing the staples right -- picanha, sausage, chicken hearts... and often leave out the lamb, chicken variants. Chicken wings are more common at this price range and there isn't always a full bar, etc. Sal e Brasa in Everett is one of the more popular and has long lines at weekends. Their food can sometimes be an afterthought (its as known for cold light beer and music), but its a decent inexpensive rodizio (they do have pork ribs). Picanha's around the corner just changed hands and I had a frustrating experience at the changeover, but they also had a really good chicken hearts marinade and were doing beef ribs over the grill (possibly gas). They weren't doing a rodizio then (lunch) and service was really awful, but it has promise. Both of these have a full bar. Terra Brasilis in Quincy and Framingham has a similarly priced rodizio and decent dishes on the buffet. I have heard that Oliveira's may offer a rodizio in its East Boston location (the Everett was per-lb), but I am not 100% certain that hasn't already changed hands. No full bar.
If you are willing to forgo the beer and wine and rodizio, Somerville has two per-lb places that focus on churrasco and use charcoal. Gauchao on lower broadway has a $8ish (there is one with churrasco and one without) that will feed 2 people, with up to 3 meats -- take out only. Churrasco Grill on Medford street I like a bit better for eating in and has good buffet items. Both of these you can get a lot of food for less than the rodizio price, but you lose a bit in atmosphere.
Oasis Grill in Medford has a nice picanha plate, plus serves beer and wine (I have seen them serving caipirinhas too, but its not _full bar_). When you don't feel like just meat, ordering the picanha and a moqueca is nice to share with a few friends. Their mixed churrasco is not so hot and I believe they are a gas or charbroiler type of place.
Midwest and Cafe Belo are nice places to sit in the bar. Midwest has a churrasco and fried yucca plate (and also chicken hearts or sausage). Cafe Belo has a good caipirinha and mostly lousy food, but the pork ribs and bar plates (porcoes) can sometimes save it.
In addition to the changes in management I mentioned above, Branca's the oldest running brazilian restaurant in somerville has changed hands and will be opening as Minas Grill soon (I think this has another outlet somewhere like Leominster, but not 100% certain). Also near Mike's Roast Beef on Rt 99, there is a PB Restaurant which seems to be offering more a la carte dining and the decoration looked very inviting from the window.
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