Dubbed ?a carnivorous extravaganza? by the Houston Chronicle, Angus Grill Brazilian Churrascaria serves all-you-can-eat feasts of skewered meat prepared in the churrasco tradition of southern Brazil. Servers run the piquant pageant, carving slabs of Angus beef at tables lined with crisp white linens instead of the stolen Little League rain tarps that some restaurants prefer. Filet mignons borrow crispy texture by donning strips of bacon, and top sirloin, the house specialty, flavors succulent juices with a hint of garlic. Treats such as fried bananas and papaya cream conclude meals on a sweet note.
A lonely fire flickers in the night, punctuating the vast expanse of Brazil’s southern plains. A spitted side of Nelore beef roasts over the flames; from that famed beast and this timeless fireside scene, Nelore takes its name, recipes, and spirit.
Nelore’s chefs draw inspiration from the gauchos of South America, piling plates high with carvings of 16 spit-roasted meats. The spirit of the southern plains remains alive and well in the dining room, where wrought-iron chandeliers and a dark hardwood floor evoke rustic elegance as a warm breeze filters in through the front doors. Veggies, fine cheeses, and pastas fill more than 40 basins at the salad bar, whose glistening glass protects the trays from grazing cattle and errant horseshoe tosses.
Redolent with the wafting scent of freshly charred beef and sizzling skewers, Guri Do Sul decorates it charming interior with heaping plates of fresh Brazilian barbecue. More than 16 different types of succulent meat are brought tableside by rugged gauchos, or Brazilian cowboys, who use a giant knife or the sharpened edge of a baked-beans can to slice off juicy hunks of pork, lamb, and beef. The delicately folded picanha top sirloin delights tongue buds with carefully seasoned mouthfuls, as the costela beef ribs relinquish traditional churrasco flavors. To accent the protein feast, servers also adorn table spreads with various sides such as pão de queijo, baked cheesy spheres, or caramelized bananas, a lavish indulgences of butter-sautéed fruit with accents of brown sugar and cinnamon.
Dark wood and glowing lamps create an inviting atmosphere inside The M&M Restaurant & Bar, maintaining the building's place as a local institution in three centuries. Built for $500 in 1844, the restaurant has served generations of diners and even withstood the deadly hurricane of 1900. Changing hands and identities across the years, The M&M served as a saloon at the turn of the century, a grocer through Prohibition, and a boarding house during community productions of Oliver!. Today, chefs put together a menu that focuses on fresh seafood and juicy cuts of seared meats complemented by a rousing selection of libations. Families gather around tables topped with white linens or booths lined with green and brown fabrics, and summer months coax guests out onto the spacious patio.
Perched on picturesque Galveston Island, Moody Gardens possesses a storied history that complements its scenic surroundings. More than two million visitors a year get to live part of that history, drawn by the 242-acre park's three towering pyramids. After exploring walking and bike trails lined with nearly 20,000 plants and trees, guests can take their expedition underwater at the Aquarium Pyramid. There, a host of aquatic animals including penguins, sharks, and tropical fish swim and frolic in their natural habitats. Nature is also on display at the Rainforest Pyramid, which takes guests on a quest through the jungles of Asia, Africa and the Americas.
In addition to embracing the wonders of nature, Moody Gardens also incorporates adventures in mankind's world of science. Guests can broaden their minds with traveling exhibits at the Discovery Museum, or immerse themselves in the towering worlds of the MG 3D Theater or 4D Special FX Theater. The tourist destination also thrills families with water attractions, including a wave pool and a lazy river. No matter the reason for the visit, guests can also rest their heads at the recently-renovated (and nearby) Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center.
The Burger Bar stockpiles fine meats, cheeses, and toppings so that diners can create their own sandwich masterpieces. The menu promises hunger-fighters the ability to load a bun with such patties as ground beef ($6–$9), buffalo meat ($8–$13) and portobello ($5–$7). Like a sloppy nacho-loving James Bond, burgers dress in a neat tuxedo of cheese (one slice included, $.75/extra slice), including smoked cheddar, texas goat, and pepper jack. Toppings such as jalapeños, bacon, and avocado (one topping included, $1.50/extra topping) crown majestic meat towers, only to be rained upon by torrents of garlic or bacon aioli, violet-mustard cream, or smoked-chipotle ketchup. Diners can pair a sirloin sandwich with grilled vegetables ($3.50) for a dose of daily nutrients so they don’t have to get their vitamins by devouring old tapes of The Flintstones.