For a no-holds-barred meat fest, carnivores with a serious appetite should look no further than Texas de Brazil. Overlooking the scenic Katy Trail, this Brazilian steakhouse is grandly outfitted with intricate iron chandeliers, huge gilded mirrors and white tablecloths, plus a stately wine room offering plenty of big reds to pair with all that protein. Flip your coaster to the green side and a procession of friendly servers parading around various cuts of meat like leg of lamb, Brazilian sausage, filet mignon and the ever-popular garlic-marinated top sirloin known as picanha will slice their wares directly onto your plate, until you cry uncle by turning your coaster to red. Surprisingly, vegetarians will find plenty to like here too, thanks to a high-end salad bar offering items like hearts of palm, thick steamed asparagus, grilled Portobellos, imported cheeses and even sushi.
Over half a century ago, the Rafain family established their first churrascaria near the scenic Iguassu Falls in southern Brazil. But the flavors they grilled up soon became too big for one country, leading the Rafains to eventually pack up their culinary traditions in bubble wrap to transport to the United States. One of the location's of Rafain's Brazilian Steakhouse might've changed, but the restaurant's cooking methods haven't—sixteen different varieties of meat are still sizzled to perfection over an open charcoal pit, dusted with carefully concocted spice blends, and served tableside on sword-like skewers. Carving-servers offer meaty meals to order, slicing selections such as bacon-wrapped filet mignon and lamb.
Since 1984, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with made-from-scratch dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable atmosphere. Amid sunlit dining rooms, diners seated at wooden tabletops can root for their favorite pixels on flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sports. In the kitchen, chefs prepare pastas with grilled chicken and roasted artichokes, pile buns with barbecued pulled pork and spicy buffalo chicken, and fill soft taco shells with grilled steak. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with wine and local craft beers on tap.
At Vila Brazil, summoning tender, hand-cut steaks is as easy as flipping over a card at your table. That action alerts the servers, who then present and slice several types of meat on towering skewers. Beef, chicken, pork, and lamb all make an appearance at dinnertime after a stint on the open grill where they are typically seasoned with just a sprinkling of sea salt to enhance their natural flavors. A few exceptions––the restaurant's signature picanha, a flavorful cut of the sirloin, may be enhanced with garlic, while pork loin arrives covered in melted parmesan cheese.
To counterbalance the meaty main courses, guests can peruse the salad bar, where 25 Brazilian sides await tasting. To add a sweet touch to the meal, servers also bring skewered whole pineapples tableside, where they slice off syrupy slivers to reveal the juicy ham inside.
Though chef Daniel Nemec specialized in classic French cuisine at the Texas Culinary Academy, his heart lies in the smokehouse. As the leader of Woodfire Kirby’s kitchen, he draws from his experiences growing up in Corpus Christi, where steaks and barbecue pepper the culinary landscape and are considered legal tender.
Nemec imbues hickory flavor in ribs, chops, and sirloin burgers, but demonstrates the wood’s versatility with a menu that also includes wood-fired soups and thin-crust pizzas. New york strip steaks and blue-ribbon fillets are cooked to a choice of six temperatures, including classic medium rare and charred-yet-red pittsburgh. Available raw, grilled, or poached, seafood showcases spices that range from asian to argentine to creole.
A private room welcomes up to 48 visitors with a high-definition TV and four banquet menus, and the dining room attracts nighttime guests with handcrafted cocktails and a buzz as vibrant as a birthday party inside a hornet nest.
Rustic charm meets opulent décor inside The Old Warsaw, where white tablecloths and burgundy drapes mingle with chandeliers and grand paintings, setting the scene for decadent plates of French continental cuisine honed over six decades. Dishes range from classic French fare such as escargot and chateaubriand to braised pheasant and roasted duck, all of which can be paired with any of 460 wines procured from regions such as Europe, North America, and South America. As diners sample rich seafood crepes and lobster bisque, live musicians tickle eardrums with soft melodies, special songs for birthdays and proposals, and occasional legal advice.