For the pitmasters at Smokin' Jonny's BBQ, a successful barbecue is a three-step process. First, they must select the right meat, whether it be pulled pork, tender ribs, or brisket. Once they've rubbed it with a blend of herbs and spices, the cooks then need to pick the right wood?such as hickory or applewood?over which to slow-smoke it. Lastly, they whip up rubs and marinades, whose secret recipes are known only to them and kitchen spies disguised as six-foot-tall spatulas. Those final touches accentuate the already smoky flavor of Smokin' Jonny's meats, readying them to pair with timeless southern sides such as fried cornbread.
Servers hoisting skewers circulate continuously through Samba Brazilian Steakhouse, pausing tableside to carve mesquite-grilled morsels of brazilian sausage, bacon-wrapped chicken, and sirloin steak. This is hardly an unusual sight at Brazil's famous all-you-can-eat churrascarias?until you see the ocean views backdropping through the 180-degree wall of glass in Samba Brazilian Steakhouse's Redondo dining room. This chic perspective on tropicalia dominates all aspects of the steakhouse. Clusters of mod white couches stand out against glowing orange walls, which contain plenty of nooks for groups to squeeze into. Brunch hours offer a consortium of all-you-can-eat meats such as marinated beef and pork. The main course is complemented by unlimited trips to the salad- and Brazilian side dish-buffet, as well as your choice of mimosas, champagne, and sangria. On Thursday?Saturday, a chorus of smooth-limbed showgirls catalyze the party with a slight assist from the caipirinha bar's more than 20 versions of Brazil's national cocktail.
At By Brazil, gauchos whisk skewers of meat from table to table, carving the choicest cuts of top sirloin, passion fruit-marinated pork loin, and barbecued chicken. This all-you-can-eat churrasco feast is part of the restaurant's rich Brazilian tradition, which guests can soak up during lunch and dinner. Most of the staff is fluent in Portuguese too, so they can help diners learn how to properly pronounce certain menu items.
If you're not up for the buffet, you can nibble on appetizers that include Brazilian sandwiches, polenta, or fried yucca, then wash them down with an assortment of exotic beverages. These range from imported Brazilian beers to refreshing caipirinhas, a cocktail made with sugar cane hard liquor, sugar, and lime, that flows freely down the Amazon river.
From under the grill at Britt's BBQ, flames reach their flavor-enhancing tendrils up to barbecue-glazed ribs, tender pork shoulders, and skewers loaded with fresh veggies, infusing the whole menu of barbecue eats with their smoky essence. Grill-savvy chefs fill sandwiches, entree platters, and fresh salad greens with cuts of brisket, ribs, and chicken as guests order, resulting in hot meals fresher than a daisy on laundry day. A flavorful assortment of sides and freshly squeezed lemonade enhances the sensory experience of barbecue feasts, surrounding entrees with verdant slivers of cucumber salad, herb-speckled chunks of potato salad, and scoops of beans glistening in pools of barbecue sauce.
At Sura Korean BBQ & Tofu, meat and tofu put aside their differences in the name of cooperating to create savory Korean feasts. Bulgogi—sliced beef marinated in 12 flavorful ingredients—stars in many dishes, from japche rice-paper wraps to custom-made bibimbap served in a hot stone pot. Instead of sculpting faux turkeys from vatfuls of guacamole, vegans can build feasts from meat-free dishes such as tofu soup and sushi-like kimchi kimbap. The restaurant's popular korean tacos encourage meats and greens to hang out together, housing combinations of bulgogi, pork, chicken, veggies, or tofu. Outdoor seating invites patrons to dine amid verdant plants, whereas comfy indoor booths honor nature with sunny lights and bamboo wall coverings.
Despite their restaurant's moniker, the chefs at Johnny Rebs' Southern Roadhouse aren’t averse to local ingredients. In fact, all their produce comes from California growers. But rather than recreate Southern flavors, they prefer going straight to the source, relying on Virginian and North Carolinian farms to send country hams and Delta farms to send catfish. Said catfish simmers beneath mountains of slaw in po’ boys, one among Johnny Rebs’ many housemade Southern staples, which range from creole shrimp over cheddar grits to pulled pork slow-smoked up to 12 hours.
Though steeped in traditional Southern cooking, Johnny Rebs’ critically acclaimed culinary team puts its own twist on Southern and American staples alike. To wit: grilled cheese made with pimento and jalapeños, as well as deep-fried apple pie, which bubbles in a deep fryer stolen off a Georgia windowsill. Complemented with “suds” and “squashed grapes”—Johnny Rebs’ speak for beer and wine—feasts unfold amidst a rustic dining space made to resemble a cozy, wood-paneled home. Before the table fills up with smoked and fried meats, guests can snack from a bucket of peanuts. They're free, but any quarters diners donate in return go straight to charities such as the Granite Mountain Hotshots.