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Jun 13, 2010 03:23 PM

Brazilian Churrascaria

I am only familiar with Midwest Grill any other options in Boston area? I am not interested in per pound places. I want waiters to come to a table and serve meat.


Midwest Grill
1124 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

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  1. Well not in Boston proper but there are many of them in the Everett area. Pampas, Cafe Belo, and Oliveira's to name a few. I prefer Oliveira's over the other two because of the variety of meats and buffet items offered. I used to prefer Pampas but had a bad experience there a few months ago and I am not sure I will be back.

    751 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149

    1. Try Churrascaria Rodeo on Main Street in Woburn. Excellent food, much better than Midwest Grill, IMO.

      1 Reply
      1. re: food_lubber

        2nd for Churrascaria Rodeo. The service is friendly and attentive (and very kid-friendly) but the tenderloin is outstanding and I could snack all day on a plate of their grilled chicken hearts! Please pass the Lipitor!

      2. I'd be curious to know if any of them have Pao de Queijo, those cheesy bread balls that I heard about from a colleague that had them at Fogo de Chao.

        4 Replies
        1. re: nsenada

          nsenada in the past the old Oliveira's and the Somerville Belo had them in the warming case (eg not part of the rodizio, although most rodizio places are happy to fill you with garlic bread instead of expensive meat). Oliveira's probably still has them. But I am just not certain why you want them from a churrascaria which will take a frozen product and put it in an oven, when you can buy them by the bagful fresh from a Brazilian bakery which makes them from scratch. There are 4 in Everett alone (5 if you consider JC's which bakes their own bread, but not certain about pdq, also not certain about the place which took over Cafe da Fazenda) -- Bread and Company, Broadway Cafe, Panificadora Modelo, and Cake and Cia.

          751 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149

          1. re: itaunas

            Good point on the bread vs. meat - I also usually stupidly order a beer, thereby giving away more valuable real estate that could be occupied by meat. I think my solution to this problem will be to get some fresh ones from a bakery in Framingham (you had a prior post on some spots there that have them) and grill up a bunch of salty/garlicky meat to go with them. I've heard they don't reheat too well, so I'll probably down a few at the bakery.

            1. re: nsenada

              In Framingham its worth trying Pao Brasil or Magic Oven both on Waverly, but make sure you avoid the Padaria Brasil on Hollis (not certain if the Concord St location is better but the Hollis one is just awful). I won't profess to being very conversant on what is good in Framingham these days and anything I have written about it is old. However, I feel at least with restaurants there have been some decent new openings. Tropical Cafe of Marlborough opened a while back in the Lloyds Diner space ("lanches," juices/acai smoothies, caldos/soups). There is a small place on Concord which I wanted to try but didn't get to (slightly unusual name which makes me think "goa"), there is a churrascaria downtown which has been in the works for over 9 months. BTW, for those who read Framingham news there is something really funny I noticed before on the Tropical Cafe menu, they spell "risole" -- a half moon fried pastry using the same dough as a coxinha as "rizzoli" on their English menus. Probably an innocent typo, but its the name of a local commentator who most of the time has little good to say about Brazilian restaurant openings.

              1. re: itaunas

                Rizzoli has little good to say about anyone, and has been ousted fro Framingham cable access. That said I usually prefer Magic Oven to Pao Brazil. Cafe Belo is open in the old train station and I believe they have Gauchos cutting the meat at the table.( When I called once the hostess said they sell by the pound then I received an e-mail from the owner they did all you can eat for $10.50.

        2. Tarsierspectral there have to be at least 50 churrascarias which offer a fixed price Rodizio in the greater Boston area, including many of the per-lb places you mention. Many bring the meats tableside, a few require you to go to a counter. Since churrascarias are buying sub-primal cuts from large packing companies, the differences between churrasarias are location, decoration, meat selection, buffet size/selection, service ambience (does staff speak english, is there loud portuguese language TV), how busy is it (can affect selection, doneness of the meats), do they grill over charcoal or gas, and what drink options do they have juices/beer/wine/full-bar. If you can fill in a few more details about where in the Boston area, which meats you liked, do you want beer/wine/mixed drinks, do you mind some communication barrier, etc. There aren't any high end churrascarias in the Boston Area (Plataforma in NYC is the closest and Brazilian Grill in Hyannis is more along these lines than a Midwest or Rodeo), but you can get decent charcoal-grilled basic meats from more than a few places.

          4 Replies
          1. re: itaunas

            itaunas I would love to know your Best of the Best Churrascaria. I live in Metro West but travel is not a problem. I have always enjoyed Belo in Framingham. One of the origonal owners now has a place at Dennison Crossing on rt 135. Here is what I am looking for.
            1. WEEKDAY LUNCH
            2. BY THE POUND

            If you had to pick one place what would it be ?

            1. re: PAUL

              Hi Paul, I have enjoyed several of your metrowest posts in the past. I am curious about the Dennison Crossing restaurant as there was one other new restaurant I saw in the past few months and didn't mention above because I can't picture a location. Is it on the left facing the center (same side as seabra, the liquor store, etc)?? That said, I am pretty certain it wasn't down that direction (I did cross over there a couple of times, though).

              Most churrascaria's which advertise a wider selection of meats (eg a Midwest or Rodeo -- and they don't necessarily have a wider selection) only offer a subset at lunch. And most per-lb places offer two main dishes on the buffet per day.

              For your criteria my choice would be Gauchao in East Somerville. To the chagrin of the neighbors it seems like they grill over charcoal 24 hours a day (!). More seriously they have a lot of turnover and a reasonable but not large selection (picanha, sausage, pork or beef ribs, chicken hearts, sometimes dry chicken and usually some other selection). The main dishes on the buffet are usually pretty good including probably the best bacalhoada I've had from a Boston restaurant. A few items disappoint like the feijao tropeiro (pretty sparsely seasoned, PB in Everett or Oasis are much better), the Tutu de feijao is really plain, and they have things which won't appeal to American palates (mushy spagetti seasoned with paprika). Definitely some cutting of corners which is common. They tried to offer a much wider selection at the nearby Rodizio (which was also cheaper if you wanted more than 2 meats), but it didn't go so well and I haven't visited since that was sold.

              I haven't been a regular in Metrowest in ages, so although I look forward to trying some new things and revisiting a few old ones when I am back in the area, I can't give you a whole lot of advice. At one point Framingham wasn't signing off on charcoal churrasqueiras, so you might have better luck out towards Worcester. I'm curious if Belo (nee old station) got one approved -- isn't the original Framingham Belo (94 union, now terra brasilis) gas? For meat (but not the buffet) I was a big fan of Pampas in Everett (better on meats than Gauchao) and they did tell me the Worcester Pampas was grilling over charcoal so that is one to consider, but I haven't been there since they took it over (or to Everett in the past month that Johnresa had a bad experience). I did have a few good meals at "carro de boi" off of 126 just before rt 9 heading towards the center including some nice beef ribs, but its been something like 3-4 years and I am pretty certain they grill over gas.

              BTW, if you are willing to travel, you should try some Portuguese churrascarias on the South Coast. The best known is Churrascaria Aveirense in New Bedford -- very different approach (seasoning and meats) than Brazilian, but they have a huge selection and some good house side dishes and appetizers.

              1. re: itaunas

                Thanks for the detailed reply. I am always looking for lunch options in Worcester so I will give Pampas a try. Are the current Pampas stores related to the long gone location on Mass ave, near Central Square? That was my first churrascarias experiance. More receintly I was going to the origonal Belo on Union in Framingham. After the partners broke up I started going to the location in Dennison Crossing. It is called Terra Brasilis just as you are going through the Crossing on the left side of rt 135.. It is one of the origonal Belo parteners and does have a charcoal grill.

                I am a BIG fan of the Portiguse neighborhoods of New Bedford. Have been to Aveirense several times. Their ribs and chicken are really great. They also have a standard Portiguse menu with seating for about 30. My in-laws have a place in Wareham. When I am down in the summer I do most of my eating in New Bedford.

                Thanks again for all the suggestiones. I will check out some of the other places you mentioned and let you know how I make out.

            2. re: itaunas

              Itaunas, Sorry to pick an old thread, but I'm just curious about your opinion about Midwest vs Rodeo. If I want to prioritize in order (1) good selection of meats, (2) variety of meats (3) good buffet items, which one would you recommend? Thanks

            3. I had good recent experiences at the new Mix Flavor Brazilian Grill, a weigh-your-plate place near Union Square, Somerville. Reviewed it in The Phoenix this week.