Indianapolis - Brazilian Grill
We’ve been looking forward to a churrascaria in Indy since visiting Churrascaria Plataforma in NY several years ago. With the opening last month of the Brazilian Grill (west 86th St.) we now have that option, although in an admittedly scaled down version. I don't know how "authentic" the experience is (maybe yes, maybe no), but it's good fun and a change of pace from the usual Indy options.
Located in one of the strip malls between Michigan Rd and Township Line Rd, Brazilian Grill occupies a bright room with modest decoration. Nothing fancy, but clean and well kept. Dress is as casual as you want it to be.
A salad/buffet bar is offered for everything other than the grilled meats. On the night we went (Wednesday) there were cold boiled shrimp, fried bananas, tossed salad, several potato salads, black beans, rice, a mildly seasoned pasta dish, a stew, and a few other offerings. I suppose it’s not reasonable to expect an extensive salad bar in the limited space available, but a few additional vegetable choices would have been welcome if well done.
The main event though is the grilled meat, which is continuously brought tableside by roving servers carrying long skewers hot from the rotisserie. In the churrascaria style the meat is sliced from the "roast" right at the table, with each diner deciding which selections to try. Even on a Wednesday there were at least ten selections: beef tenderloin, top sirloin, seasoned sirloin, tri-tip, pork, lamb, tilapia, sausage, and chicken, as well as the house specialty picanha (a spicy beef). Almost all were very good-to-excellent, and it was usually possible to get a slice from the rare side for people who prefer that, or a slice from the medium side for people who prefer less red color in their meat. A grilled pineapple also made the rounds, although it didn’t circulate as frequently as I would have liked.
The desserts looked good, with the cheesecake our table split being rich and dense. The wine and cocktail lists were acceptable for Indiana; we opted for caipirinhas and were glad we did.
Overall, we had a great time – particularly since two in our group were “basic meat” guys. I’d have preferred a stronger salad/buffet bar to accompany the meats, but it’s hard to argue with the allocation of resources when grilled meats are the focus of the evening. The service was friendly and attentive, and helped even our first time churrascaria diners feel right at home. We’ll go back.