I recently had a birthday, and my fiancé took me to Texas De Brazil for my birthday dinner. I did some research online, and found that the restaurant is a Brazilian churrascaria (steak house.) I was told in the past that this basically means “parade of meat.” And boy, was it.
Before I get into the meat of the matter (yes, bad pun, I know) here’s a little about the basic set up.
There is a ginormous “salad bar” in the center of the restaurant. After you are seated, your main server gives you a basic explanation of how the restaurant works. If you haven’t already, this would be the perfect time to notify them of your gluten-free needs. I received a print out of gluten free items, and after looking over it there are certainly other items that are were not specifically listed. Always check with your server if you are unsure.
Here is the list that I received for Gluten Free Items:
French Green Beans and Grape Tomatoes
Roasted Red Peppers and Yellow Peppers
Hearts of Palm
****None of the sauces or dressings are gluten free.
All Meats are Gluten Free Excluding Sausage Only
At that point in time you make your way over to the salad bar. I noticed a lovely assortment of olives, manchego cheese, and prosciutto. Although these were not specifically on the list, these were gluten free at my location. Although the salad dressings were not gluten free, there was a large selection of vinegars and oil with which to dress your veggies.
The green beans and asparagus were cooked perfectly crisp-tender. The salmon was very flavorful. I made several trips back to the salad bar throughout our meal, the selections were that tasty. A non-meat eater could certainly find many choices here.
On to the meat.
The main attraction to a churrascaria is obviously the meat. There are several selections (gosh, not several-more like 8-10) of various cuts of beef, pork and chicken circulating about the restaurant on skewers. When you sit down, each diner has a chip by their plate. One side is green, the other red. If you are ready to have meat offered to you, flip the green side up. If you are taking a break, flip it to red. These are presented by the “gauchos” who offer you the meat, explain what it is and cut you whatever portion you like. The meat can be quite salty (although very flavorful) and your main server will make you aware of that at the start of your meal. You can request meat without salt, and obviously if you are watching your sodium intake for blood pressure or other reasons I would definitely recommend that route.
All the beef cuts were incredibly tender, flavorful and perfectly cooked. I did not try the pork or chicken-but Jeff said the pork was phenomenal. The chicken he said, was, well-chicken. Definitely be sure to try the house cut of beef.
As you can see, a large option of choices for a gluten free diner. As always check with and alert your server, and be especially careful with cross contact of utensils in the buffet setting. There were no gluten containing foods near the gluten free selections on my visit. The waitstaff are all incredibly attentive and helpful, and I believe we had 2 managers visit our table to check on us.
What I liked especially was the ability to make smart and healthful diet choices here as well. The meats are grilled. You can choose mostly veggies for the remainder of your meal, and have a truly good for you as well as flavorful and fun dining experience. The key as is most things, lies in portion control, especially in this situation where you have so many option and literally meat is coming at you from every angle. I managed to leave comfortably satisfied, not stuffed. (Truthfully, I knew we were going for birthday ice cream too.)
Enjoy the parade of meat at Texas De Brazil!