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Oct 14, 2007 11:45 AM

Gauchos Steakhouse opening in Portland

The old Portland's/Oolong restaurant is going to be Gauchos Brazilian Steakhouse.
I read some other reviews of the Manchester location on here and they didn't sound very
good. So it's a one price all you can eat type of deal? Is it worth even trying when it opens?

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  1. Gauchos is doomed by going into that location. Give it a year or two and they'll be out.

    1. Don't concept/mini chain restaurants belong out at the mall? this what people go to the Old Port for?

      3 Replies
      1. re: joss2

        To be honest, I think the downtown/old port area actually needs a few concept/chain restaurants. It's not my thing, but there is a lack of fun family places down here. There are also many people in Portland and surrounding towns that never come intown to eat and only go to the mall area. That doesn't mean I want to see a string of Olive Gardens on Commercial street, but a little more variety wouldn't hurt. Gauchos only has that one other place I believe.

        What we needed was exactly what we lost when the city had the formula business ban in effect for a few months. The Keg Steakhouse was ready to sign a lease in the new addition behind where Old Port Sea Grill is. They ended up pulling out and although they can legally go there now, I guess we scared them away. That would have been a huge modern restaurant and we have nothing down here now that could be compared to it.

        I love the 555's and the Vignola's, but there is a serious lack of places to bring your family who might not be into the whole Old Port scheme of restaurants. I live down here so I know how snobby we can be when it comes to our food.

        1. re: grittys457

          What about Flatbread, Norm's (in all its incarnations), O'Naturals, the ethnic places? I guess I don't know what you mean by "fun family places" if those spots don't qualify.

          1. re: sopobungalow

            I agree. Flatbread is a chain. So is O'naturals. Three Norm's to choose from. RiRa is a chain as well. T.G.I.F. was downtown but moved out to the mall. I don't want to see any chain restaurants downtown. Plenty to choose from for families. You can take a family out early to dinner at any of those places and even to Sebago/ Gritty's, before the drinking crowds arrive. Families avoid downtown because of the stigma of drinking and kids, and would rather enjoy the consistency of chain restaurants by the mall. People enjoy the less innovative, consistent dishes that chains produce. Just don't do it in the Old Port.

      2. To be brutally honest, I cannot stand Gauchos in Manchester. The service totally stinks, the food is sub-par (sorry, but filet mignon is not supposed to have the same consistency of a tire) and often not available. I cannot tell you what any other Gauchos is like, but the one I visited as always been a huge disappointment.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gryphonskeeper

          I'll second this. I rather liked Gauchos when it opened, and when it moved to Lowell St, but since then the quality has declined precipitously. Last time I went, the place was nearly empty, the food mediocre, and the service disinterested. I've already placed this

          So it's obvious they can't manage a single restaurant, and they want to open another?

          (This is all assuming that this is the same owner, the name Gaucho's is pretty generic for a churrascaria)

        2. Interesting choice to bring a steakhouse to the Old Port. Doesn't seem to be much demand for this type of out-of-date food concept in this foodie town. (Portland's steakhouse didn't last, nobody seems to go to the Regency steakhouse and F. Parker Reidy's has been replaced by O'Natural's). Good luck to them. Hopefully they serve interesting drinks!

          7 Replies
          1. re: CandyGirl13

            if it's the same type of place as Gauchos in Manchester NH then it's a Brazillian Rodizio, not a steak house per se. and as rodizios go, Gauchos is the worst imo.

            1. re: ScubaSteve

              It is the exact same one as the one in Manchester. This link is on the window on Commerical st.


              1. re: grittys457

                It will probably be good for a while, and then they'll start cutting corners. Portland is a much more touristy town than Manchvegas and the restaurant will probably be a huge hit with transients.

              2. re: ScubaSteve

                I agree with Scuba Steve: I think it's important to distinguish between an American "Steak House" and a Brasilian Rodizio so that people have an accurate level of expectations for this Gaucho's place.

                Churrascarias are big grills that have a dozen or so cuts of meat on long spits pretty much right on top of the fire - similar cuts on each. They are heavily salted and typically rare in the middle with a crusty char on the outside. You have waiters travel the tables with spits of, say, tenderloin, rump, chicken or sausage, stopping at those with a flag up ready to slice off portions to willing diners. Once everyone has enough of a pile on their plate, you put your flag down, and no-one bothers you. Ready for more? Flag up, please. You pay a fixed price for the whole night - desserts, drinks and tip are extra.

                When I lived in Brasil, these places were a lot of fun. The Pit-masters were wizards, too. I have noted with amusement that the translation to these shores has seen mixed results. The best I've had is down in Ironbound, in Newark New Jersey. The local Brasilians want it authentic. I've never been to Manchester 's Gauchos but you better believe I'm going to stay on top of the Portland Gauchos because Brasilian Churrasco is some of the world's best and I don't want any half-baked immitation to ruin Brasils good reputation

                1. re: johnnydj

                  the Manchester Gauchos s-s-s-sucks.
                  no hot buffet, no hearts of palm, no lamb or goat, no chicken hearts (or any other offal), no Fejoida (they didn't even know what it was).
                  they promote that they have 17 different kinds of meat but it's really only 3-4 (beef, chicken, sausage, pork) offered in several cuts.

                  1. re: ScubaSteve

                    I am in TOTAL agreement! The last time I went was the LAST time I will go. Not only was the meat tasteless and overcooked, but they constantly thrust the chicken legs and pork sausage at you, the Salmon and Lamb they said they had were nowhere to be found. I had to ask 4 times for my wine (which never arrived, but was on the bill) and we never had our waters refilled.

                    Sorry, but that place is the epitome of bad dining. Manchester Buffet has prime rib, crab legs, and steamed clams for a mere $10, why would I pay $24 for overcooked chicken legs?

                    1. re: gryphonskeeper

                      Yechhh - that sounds terrible... really, really terrible.
                      I can see them shy away from goat except the local halal places seem to be awash in it. I don't see the point in serving salmon. No hearts of palm? No feijoada??? Overcooking?? This has the making of a total disaster. Those bastards better step up to the plate or that November '09 death knell prediction stands tall. Sheesh... better go the first month and hope for the best - then it's off to Ironbound again.

            2. What's happening here? I haven't seen a lot of action while driving by and the month is almost half over.

              Anyone pressed their nose to those windows and seen anything?