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Dec 16, 2010 08:27 AM

Picanha Grill


My friend has been going to Picanha for years and raving about it! Just got a write up in this week's Philadelphia Weekly:

Have you been? What are your faves?

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  1. I have found them very inconsistent. Some times I have had GREAT service, and other times, I had to get up and flag down a server more than once during a meal. The "salad" bar is always great .. usually has some nice roasted pork along with always excellent beans.

    Meat variety is not up to Fogo or Chima standards. Sometimes OK, other times WAY over-salted.

    Picanha is always the real choice there, and the chicken is great also. I think the linguica sausage is better at Fogo.

    For the price, it is hard to beat, but I wish ALL my experiences there were better than they were. It is a homey little joint and I like to root for those kinds of places to make it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: phillyjazz

      I agree with the previous post that sometimes very over salted, but I still would choose this over the fancy Center City places.
      Don't forget to bring a bottle of Cachaca so they can make Caporhienas. A few of these and the exttra salt is just fine.

    2. I've been a few times and have always enjoyed it. Service is spotty, as mentioned, but for the price I've found the meat and salad bar extremely satisfying. (You have to ask specially for the chicken hearts!) was also offering gift certificates there, so it's even more of a bargain that way.

      1. Also, they cook on real coals, instead of the Propane fired flames you'll find at even the high-end Rodizios downtown. It makes a big difference.

        I suspect none of these places is serving even Choice grade meats, so you gotta trade flavor for tenderness..

        1. I have been there at least 20 times. I used to do the rodizo which is where the pit master walks around with meats on long skeweres. This is an all you can eat option. In the beginning i didn't know better so I often chose this option. Second options is to order your food by the pound. This includes all items from the salad bar and you pick all the meats from the grill. I choose this option because I can't do all that protein in the all you can eat option. It comes out to a $5.00 difference from the all you can eat. I hate ordering all that food and not being able to take advantage of it. The food is spotty at times you have to go when they are busy prefereable friday or saturday. I have gone on weekday in the evening and have been dissapointed. Their best cuts are the beef short ribs, pichanha, linguica sausage, chicken wings when done right, skirt steak is good, brisket is good. They are on the salty side which is fine with me. The reason I would choose this place over chima and fogo de chao is the price, and the byob. It was mentioned if you bring a bag of lime and cachaca rum they can make caipirianaha for you. I have been to chima and fogo and those places ultimately rip you off. I believe I got charged $40.00 to $50.00 per person. The setting is nice and food ok. But you can spend half the price at picanha and you can bring beer, wine, or other alcohol with you. On the weekends they might have live brazilian music. So the place on the weekends is packed to the gills. They do a huge take out business also. If your planning to go do a saturday night round 7pm and bring your own alcohol and do the rodizo first. If you go a second time do the by the pound option. Enjoy

          7 Replies
          1. re: 808eater

            That's good advice. The "big name" places are pretty much always busy, so they don't have to conserve on the cuts they present. I can imagine there is quite a bit of waste firing up multiple cuts when there are not enough customers to consume them that day.

            1. re: 808eater

              Can you explain how the by pound option works? We haven't been yet, but I'm curious about how you order the cuts you want if you don't do the AYCE. Can you still get portions of multiple cuts?

              1. re: eamcd

                It's pretty easy. You just take your plate up to the counter at the back, where the grill is, and tell them what you want. It's usually all the same stuff, since that is where they get the meat they walk around with. You can watch the guy slice and tell him when it's enough of one thing or another. They give your table a number and run a tab, so you can go back for seconds. The salad bar is also part of it, but they use the same scale back by the meat.

                1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                  We like Picanha much more than the downtown places, although I do agree that some of their meat is way oversalted, I find thier meats much more flavorful than downtown. No one else mentioned the desserts at Picanha. It's hard to leave room for them- but they are wonderful. I suggest buying one or two to take home.

                  1. re: twotodine

                    I just ate at Chima last night. I am spoiled because I always cook over hardwood at home, but the real fire at Picanha does it's magic. You don't get the same from a gas flame.

                    1. re: phillyjazz

                      the desserts are brought in, and cooking over the hardwood charcoal makes a difference. The big name brazilian use gas to cook their meats. It's what you want Chima and Fogo are good for the ambience and they have a full bar. Parking is difficult for these locations and you have to pay for valet or find a garage nearby. Picanha works for me because of the ample street parking, it's family owned, and if you go on a good night you won't be dissappointed. I have gottend to know the owners and the grill guys. They always take care of me like family so I'm always partial to Picanha. Chima & Fogo ambience is wonderful and great to entertain clients or a family gathering. But if you want a great home feeling go to picanha, bring any alcohol you like and stay for a while. Man I have to go to Picanha soon.

                      1. re: 808eater

                        I've been to Picanha the last two Christmas Eve nights and both times the food was very good especially considering the price. It's a BYOB too! The surrounding neighborhood, the cheesy paneling and the slow service at times doesn't matter to me because the food is simply outstanding and it's only $22 for all you can eat.

                        The chicken wrapped in bacon and the top sirloin were the best meats both times.The garlic chicken, sausage, pork ribs and brisket were all good but I'd recommend the first two if you want to over load on anything. The salad bar can be a meal in itself also.