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Feb 23, 2009 10:54 AM

Tastiest Brazilian BBQ?

Looking for the kind that's has a never ending all you can eat buffet along with big sticks of meat they chop chunks off of for you that is also all you can eat style. Any price is fine. Any recs for what the best place for this kind of thing is? I've been to the Midwest Grill so far but that's about it.

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    1. I really liked Greenfield and Ipanema because they both have huge meat varieties. Unfortunately they're both closed.

      1. You can go to Pampas or Cafe Belo in Everett. They are both all you can eat and have good sides. I prefer Picanha in Everett. They have the best sides out of any Brazilian restaurant I have been to. Their all you can eat is $8.75 but you have to go up to the grill to get your meats.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Johnresa

          There is a great Pampas in Somerville too, you can search for several previous posts.

        2. A place in Lowell you might enjoy. Hopefully the link I provided might prove helpful as well. She said it as well as I could

          Tabocas Steak House
          26 Andover St, Lowell, MA 01852

          1 Reply
          1. re: alphavulcan

            That looks just about right for us. Thanks!

          2. Can anyone comment about Fire Bull in Peabody? I see that they've added seafood to their menu, as well....

            2 Replies
            1. re: galleygirl

              Galleygirl I have always enjoyed the Firebull -- good service, nicely decorated, good environment for a Sunday afternoon dinner. My experiences there have been a lot better than the Saugus Midwest Grill. However, on the churrasco front they use a gas grill, which isn't quite the same and its been a bit inconsistent over the years. I don't think they have anything seafood specials aside from the Moqueca which would be particularly Brazilian and a Portuguese influenced salt cod dish. Since I assume its similar to the Everett one, the Oliveira's in Peabody might have a bit more overall variety on the buffet (Everett and Peabody are the same owner, East Boston is a relative). Since its lent, Brazilian buffets sometimes carry a bit more fish and seafood (almost all offer something on Fridays year round). So I would check out the lunch buffet at both Oliveira's and Fire Bull around now to see what they offer, save the Moqueca at dinner for a time when you are looking for more of a sitdown meal and need a pescatarian-friendly plate. BTW, the one thing I did actually enjoy recently at Midwest in Saugus was the Salmon on the buffet -- it wasn't particularly Brazilian, but it was good and if you just order the buffet its a bit less expensive.

              The one Brazilian place I know of which was trying more seafood is PB Restaurant in Everett, really more on the Portuguese side of the menu (Brazilian owner, Portuguese chef) but had a few plates with Brazilian twists. The restaurant was up for sale so I don't know what that means for their future (and haven't been in a few months), but its worth considering without raised expectations. Cafe da Fazenda closer to Malden in Everett used to offer a decent amount of "caldos" or soups, they might have a seafood option like bobo especially considering its lent. Or Broadway Cafe in Everett, for a basic "prato feito" with shrimp sauted with onions, peppers, tomatoes for around $13 (unfortunately black tiger shrimp, but its made to order).

              One churrascaria which has tried to offer more variety and grills over charcoal is Rodizio in East Somerville. I prefer the food from its relative Gauchao across the street (and also the buffet at Pampas), but Rodizio has more selection. When they opened the offered even more (including cupim, matambre, etc) but they have had to scale it back. The rodizio is $12, but they have no alcohol. We don't really have a true high-end churrascaria here, the main difference between a $24 rodizio and a less expensive is a slight bit of selection (the $24 almost always offer lamb, garlic bread as a filler, garlic alcatra, maybe grilled pineapple as a gimmick etc), perhaps but not always a few more plates on the buffet (your basic per-lb + churrasco restaurant will have two meat (fridays and sometimes one other day fish), plus pastas, salads, etc), and usually a liquor license. They will usually have live music, sometimes weekends only. Places like Picanhas, Sal e Brasa, and the Cafe Belos (including the Old Station Grill in Framingham) are a bit different where they make a lot off their bar -- music nights, karaoke, etc. Taboca's is doing this too, but I believe its in the bar.

              In any case there are a couple of things which can help make a better churrasco experience. Good turnover trumps selection, some of the churrascarias which only grill 4-5 meats do a better job than ones offering a lot. I basically look for good Picanha, chicken hearts, maybe sausage, and if they have beef ribs that is a big bonus. Plus the ones with a lot of selection offer a lot of fillers. That said, if its too crowded, they may run out of things particularly those which take a bit longer to grill (chicken hearts, ribs) and may foist raw meat on you. Even at a Rodizio where they bring the meat to you, Brazilians "order" what they want ahead of time -- they ask for the specific meats, they insist on the right doneness. Whereas Americans wait for the meats to come around and many Brazilian gauchos make assumptions ahead of time how you want the meat. Ordering right at the churrasco station can be a bit more difficult because of language, but its easier to tell them to skip the over-try meat or you can tell them to smack the skewer more to take the salt off if its coming out salty. Not all towns will approval charcoal grills, but it does make better churrasco.

              1. re: itaunas

                Ecexcellent rundown, as always!
                When we drove by Fire Bull, I saw a new neon sign that said "seafood" in the window, so I had to ask. Moqueca is cetainly good enough for me! I picked up a $25 coupon on, so TC and I will go with Mom...
                We've driven by Oliveira's, good to know about their lunch buffet; Galleymom LOVES a good buffet, and I'm game, especially if there's a fish option.
                Looks like I have til Easter to sample the best selections of fish; I'll take up the challenge!