After selling his Brazilian import store, Brazilian-born J.R. Lopez opened Braza Grill, a rodizio-style steak house reminiscent of the barbecue restaurants in his home country. Servers tote skewers loaded with pork sausage, garlic-infused tenderloin, and other meats from table to table, offering unlimited portions and variety to hungry diners. An open fire pit cooks the bacon-wrapped chicken and pork loins along with pineapples for a sweet sidekick. Patrons can stretch their legs and nonchalantly loosen their belts during trips to the hot and cold buffet stocked with pastas, salads, and a brazilian black-bean stew called feijoada, according to CityWeekly.
With nods from USA Today, CBS News, and The Washington Post, Rodizio Grill has made a name for itself as an authentic Brazilian charrascuria––a South American–style rotisserie. Founded by São Paolo–born Ivan Utrera, the cuisine comprises of select cuts of meat, which are slow-roasted on a spit and then skewered. It also featured seafood selections, grilled pineapple, and unlimited trips to an award-winning salad bar with over 40 items. Gauchos––also known as Brazilian cowboys––bustle about the restaurant, bringing unlimited slices of tender meat to diners who can also grab fresh vegetables and homemade salads at the gourmet salad bar, as well as enjoy Brazilian appetizers served directly to the table.
Wielding knives and sword-like skewers, the servers at Texas de Brazil seem prepared for impromptu duels. However, they only brandish the blades to replenish dinner plates, slicing meat from their spears at the behest of each table. The cuts of steak, lamb, and brazilian sausage are all slow roasted over an open flame in traditional churrascaria fashion—a technique that stems from the campfire meals of Brazilian gauchos, and one that fed the family behind Texas de Brazil during their life in Porto Alegre. In an effort to bring the South American style to the States, they established their first restaurant in Texas, thereby merging down-home charm with Brazilian spice.
Today, Texas de Brazil has expanded to several award-winning locations across the country. Despite the lofty ceilings and chandeliers that characterize their venues, the staff remains rooted in ranchers' habits. They conscientiously grill and season their meat, bake brazilian cheese bread in-house, and pass classic cocktails and loaner saddles over the bar for cowboys who consider chairs unnatural. To complement savory bites, guests can browse more than 50 gourmet sides at the salad bar—a compendium of soups, vegetables, and appetizers such as imported cheeses. They can also ask the resident wine specialist for recommendations on suitable pairings from the cellar.