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Gaucho's in Westfield NJ - Any Details?

While driving around in Westfield this morning I saw a new restaurant is coming to South Avenue on the westerns side at a place where several Restaurants had failed before. It says "Gaucho's BBQ and Grill" coming soon - "Brazilian Cuisine".
They seemingly already set a web site which just one basic page: http://gauchosbbq.com/

A pretty good Brazilian Restaurant (Samba Grill) failed in Westfield several years ago. It was were there is now a Cosi. I hope this one works out as real good Brazilian food is certainly a gap in Westfield right now.

Does anybody have any more information about Gaucho's in Westfield?

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  1. I've noticed it too, but I don't know anything about it. I hope it works out for them as I really miss Samba Grill, but that location on South Ave. is really awful. No convenient parking anywhere except right in front, and that's pretty dicey with all the traffic.

    1. Where on South Avenue is this place? I take the train from W'field Station all the time, and never noticed anything.

      6 Replies
      1. re: albinoni

        I'm glad it wasn't just me! I'm in Scotch Plains and take the train everyday and haven't noticed it either! Did that sign go up over the weekend?

        1. re: sivyaleah

          I noticed the sign about a week ago. I'm not sure if you can actually see it from within the the train. You definitely can't see if from the train station in Westfield. It is on the south side of South Avenue just West of were West Broad Street branches off.

          1. re: FoodFetish

            I live on West Broad, where on earth exactly is this? What used to be there? (I didn't drive that way this weekend at all, so I'm very confused!)

            1. re: sivyaleah

              Sivyaleah, I live on North Ave and tend to walk around a lot. There used to be a Mexican place called "Taxco Grill" and before that a deli type outfit called "Cafe Taormin" (or so). They both weren't that interesting/remarkable. I have blogged a bit more a bit this a while ago.
              For the location here is a google map. With Google Street View you can actually see the place.

              When they have there "Grand Opening" we will go there together and check it out. ;-))

              1. re: FoodFetish

                Ok, now I know where it is, it's not near the train station at all, or near town - it's across the street from that office building w/the really nice landscaping, When the original poster said Westfield, I automatically assumed it was "in town" and didn't notice they said on the "western" side. I hope it winds up being better than those other two places - they were duds. When they open, if my husband is around maybe a group of us should try it out together. A few of us have been trying to do this, but alas, my husband has been traveling non-stop on business for weeks on end :-(

                1. re: FoodFetish

                  I never did get to try the Taxco Grill--I went in there once to get something to go, and they told me it would be 20 minutes, which was about 18 minutes more than I could spend. I felt bad about them closing, they were very nice, and if the food was decent, I would have become more of a regular.

                  Although there are no parking lots there, there is ample street parking. Parking for the restaurants in the North Ave./Elm Street area is next to impossible at dinnertime--it's like New York or New Brunswick. If they offer good food at fair prices, I think they will make it.

        2. I just drove by Gaucho's in Westfield and there was heavy construction going on inside. So I stopped and chatted with owner a bit. They are targeting to open end of June. According to him it will be a sit-down type restaurant with a nice atmosphere and service and not just a take out place. He was aware of Samba Grill's fate in Westfield a few years ago and felt he had a better concept. I really look forward to the opening of this new place.

          1. Gauchos is supposed to open today. I hard that the owner put quite a bit of money into renovating this place.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rmgillis23

              Wow, they better have done a lot of work since yesterday. I drove by and the windows were all papered up and nothing was going on at all - no workers, no nothing. Although I guess things could have been happening inside, or it was already finished, but you'd think they need some daylight to do so.

              1. I don't think they are opening today. My wife just drove by and it looks far from ready to open. The interior is still being worked on and the windows are covered.
                Nevertheless, the web site has changed from a few weeks ago when it was just a basic page, so there is some progress.
                I also checked out the menu and prices are a bit on the high side in particular for an off-prime location. I think I remember when Samba Grill was in Westfield (where Cosi is now) their Rodizio was around $20. Still, if the food and service are excellent it may be worth the price. We will check it out as soon as they open.

                1 Reply
                1. re: FoodFetish

                  I agree about the prices - I thought they were high too for riodizio in it's location. I think I may try it for lunch first. I've been working some summer hours, and my brother works nearby and we've been trying to meet up now and then. I am intrigued by their side dishes, the polenta sticks really caught my eye.

                2. We just called them and they told me that they will be opening tomorrow without a big annoucement just trying to see how it goes. My wife and I will be there a little after 8:00 PM. If another ChowHound is interested, let's meet there and check it out. I'll be wearing camouflage shorts and a black t-shirt. I guess they are BYOB.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FoodFetish

                    Just stopped by there a couple of hours ago, and they said they'd be open at 11:00. Place is a little intimate (I should have been a realtor) and I think the only prices that are on the high side are the lunch prices. Commercial rents in Westfield are ridiculous, so I can understand their price point. I wish them luck and hope the food is good. I for one didn't care for the place that was in the location that Cosi is in now, so I've got higher hopes for Gaucho's.

                  2. OK - just had lunch there.

                    It's "ok", I wish I could say something better, because the owner is so nice and the service was quite good considering it's opening day - but all in all, my brother and I were not overwhelmed.

                    First of all - the air conditioner was not working properly when we arrived - it seemed to be stuck on a "hold 86 degrees". Yikes it was warm in there. That was all we noticed at first. The waitress mentioned that they were having a problem with it - my brother took a look at it for them, so did another patron and nobody could figure out what the problem was. We decided to eat outside instead.

                    The interior has been nicely refurbished. It's an intimate space - they must have taken over most of it for the kitchen, Only about 20 tables maximum, probably not even that. Dark red walls, tablecloths, nice attention to detail to make it look a bit fancy. However, for some reason they installed a flat screen tv in the dining area. I'm not quite sure why. This takes away from the ambiance to me. I hope at dinner time they turn it off. There was something off-putting about having CNN playing the latest about a large car crash while trying to enjoy your meal.

                    We decided to try the riodizio - because that's the whole point of the place. We went inside to the salad bar, which is miniscule but everything was very fresh. Even the tomatos were incredibly ripe which was nice to see. There was a couple of interesting prepared salads, I think one was tuna, it was hard to tell but that's what it tasted like.

                    Back outside, we were brought rolls and butter and asked what kind of beans we wanted. We choose black beans, which were very good with pieces of ham (bacon?) in it. Then a plate of french fries and white rice came out. What? No polenta sticks? Apparently, either they took these off the menu, or they were not available yet and the fries were being substituted. The french fries were not hot, they were rather cold. We were also given fried yucca, which was hot, but tasteless.

                    The meats started to come out. First sausage, which we enjoyed. Then, chicken leg which neither of us were thrilled with but, this could just be that this isn't our favorite part of the chicken. Then, a piece of short rib - which was very tough and tasteless. Then, sirloin steak, which was overcooked and kind of gamey tasting, but not terrible. Chicken hearts, which were ok for me, but turned my brother off. No pork, no turkey, no seafood (which I have had on some riodizios).

                    We were offered more, I declined since I wasn't bowled over by any of it - my brother had some more of the sausage (we found this to be the best of the bunch).

                    Maybe it's the nature of riodizios in general, maybe we both have grown beyond this type of dining experience, or perhaps it has something to do with the quality of the meats which are served with this type of dining, but we both agreed that it wasn't anything special enough to go back for. Plus, I don't think we got our monies worth (or my brother anyway, he paid) since several items we expected to be served were not; i.e. pork, turkey, polenta sticks. I know if there had been pork and turkey served, I would have eaten more, let alone those polenta sticks - I was really looking forward to that.

                    I'll be interested to see what everyone else has to say.

                    1. Sivayleah, thanks for the review. The Westfield Chow Hounds are pretty cool. Posting a restaurant review almost immediately after the place opened is quite impressive.
                      We were there for dinner yesterday (Friday night). I told the owner (I think his name is Mark) about your review and showed it to him on my blackberry. He was quite happy that he got so much attention in Westfield.
                      And I agree, the owner and all the staff there is very friendly, customer oriented and trying hard to accommodate their guests. There were a few kinks but for a first operations I was actually quite impressed. They also had underestimated the patronage a little bit and were running out of some of the Rodizio meats when we came. Overall the food seemed well made and high quality, with minor issues with the preparation. E.g. the fries have a potential be very good they just weren't very warm anymore. We had the flan for dessert. It was well made, tasty and had a nice smooth texture, one of the better ones I had.
                      They are BYOB but they do have an Espresso machine which is important to me as I like a capuccino after dinner. (Yesterday it was too hot...)
                      More details are in my blog
                      In summary, I like Gaucho's and I'm sure we will explore a few other dishes. According to Mark they do have live music every other Friday.

                      1. I pass by Gauchos twice a day and have found the building process quite interesting. The last Tex-Mex place was totally gutted and redone. Tons of money must have been dumped into the new place. After reading the opening day review, the place closed for the weekend. Maybe the air conditioner situation could not be resolved. Having lived in Westfield for over 30 years, I have seen many eateries come and go. You have one shot at impressing people. There is very little parking near the store, which will be very hard to overcome. I wish them luck, BUT there will be no second chance. The locale is not the best, SO the product must overcome the short comings. Based on the first reveiw, I'll wait a while before I give it a go. Hope it's still around when I get to it.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Mr Moto

                          The parking was an issue. Like I mentioned, we went for lunch. We had to park way down the street, on the other side. Kind of no big deal all things considered, however, I have a leg injury I'm still working on improving, so for me it's a bit of a issue (plus, the sidewalks there aren't in the best repair but that has nothing to do with them - it's the neighborhood). Also, while sitting outdoors is pleasant, it's on a very busy street mid-day - not like sitting in the middle of Westfield at all. Cars and trucks were zipping by us, so loud noise and exhaust fumes were plentiful.

                          I'm sure at night - it would be better. I live down W. Broad, and it does get a lot quieter there as the evening progresses. Although, I wonder how neighbors are going to take to the idea of live music being played as they promise? Some homes are close enough, where it could possibly cause a problem.

                          1. re: Mr Moto

                            Costumers can park across the street on # 600. Use the unassigned spaces at the end of the parking lot. We are trying very hard to fix the air conditioning problem, but it is summer time and everybody is so busy that we could not find a cooling company to take care of our problem.Somebody is going there today(08/03) to see what is going on

                          2. We had another Dinner there last Friday. And seemingly they fixed all the issues we experienced during the opening. Seems to be running pretty smooth now. They were somewhat busy that night but service was still friendly and effective.I tried the sausage BBQ platter that they didn't have the first time we were there. If you like Brazilian Sausage (firm texture, quite spicy and intense flavor), for $10.95 including salad bar and generous portions of sides, a really good deal. My wife was pretty happy with her BBQ rips. The only critique: The fries - although warm now - are still not spectacular.
                            They also had live music which was a good addition to a nice and enjoyable dinner. More details in my blog entry.

                            1. It's Friday night, and all of the restaurants in Westfield are jammed except for Gaucho's which is closed. Hmmmm.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jnk

                                Gauchos is apparently "out of business". The restaurant has been closed for several weeks and the phone number is disconnected.

                              2. I just went past the former Gaucho's today and saw signs saying "Westfield Barbecue" on them. One can only hope.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jnk

                                  I'm surprised the Gauchos website is still up...