The staff at Tropical Café patrol the restaurant’s perimeter constantly, spears in hand. They’re not on guard duty, though. Rather, they’re servers, carving off portions of freshly roasted Brazilian barbecue. They stop at every table, offering their savory cargo to diners who have flipped their personal dining card green side up, indicating that they might be in danger of consuming plant matter from the extensive salad bar if more meat does not arrive soon.
The taste of culture doesn’t stop at the barbecue, however. Tropical Café fills weekends with live musical performances of South American and Brazilian folk music. Wednesday evenings are devoted to karaoke, the classic contest made more interesting by participants who sing with mouthfuls of meat.
Comeketo Restaurant & Sandwich Shop's lengthy menu quells meat lovers' pangs with savory Brazilian and Uruguayan cuts and substantial vegetarian dishes made with fresh produce. Diners can warm-up human food processers with an appetizer, such as the slices of tender sirloin found in bife a palito ($7.99), or tuck into the costelinha de porco frita com mandioca, which consists of fried pork ribs tickled with brazilian spices ($7.99). A list of elaborate burgers includes the Elephant, which, like a real elephant, is actually just a stack of chicken, pork, steak, and sausage accented with bacon and egg ($5.99). The chorizo al pan's ($7.75) seasoned sausage introduces taste buds to Uruguayan tastes, and grilled Amazon Rainforest medallions ($7.99) stockpile once-popular currency denominations such as breaded eggplant, asparagus, red peppers, and rice. Comeketo rounds out its hefty menu with exotic fruit smoothies and salads as well as American appetizers, pasta, subs, and wraps.
Dinner at Brazilian Steakhouse is a prix-fixe feast: all-you-can-eat portions of bacon-wrapped filet mignon, leg of lamb, and parmesan pork loin reside next to broccoli rabe sautéed with shallots and white wine. More than 70 wines complement these massive meals, including champagnes that sparkle in the light from the dining room's patterned window screens. Diners can ask for wine recommendations from the restaurant's attentive waiters, whose excellent service garnered the steak house a Diners' Choice Award in 2012 and a high-five from Transylvanians who made special requests because of their garlic "allergies."
At Oasis Brazilian Restaurant, family and friends can enjoy authentic Brazilian dishes around tables topped with checkerboard cloths in a relaxed setting. Brazilian-style barbecue and specialty steaks sizzle on long spears over open flames, and a spread of seafood and vegetarian dishes showcase other South American flavors. Peach custard, coconut flan, and rice pudding help finish off hearty meals and spontaneous food fights on a sweet note.
Spices from West Africa and steaks from Portugal unite at Bossa Nova Steakhouse, where chefs celebrate Brazilian cuisine’s variegated influences with colorful buffets and 15 kinds of meat. Diners can signal roving waiters to sidle up to tables and slice off choice cuts from swords bearing top sirloin, pork sausage, or chicken wrapped in bacon. Occasional live music lends a festive air to the dining room, whose colorful posters evoke the grandeur of the soaring mountains and cerulean harbors of Brazil. In another corner, diners savor their meaty feasts beneath a colorful wall of old bossa nova records which, with an ear placed against them, curiously sound like late-century hip-hop.
Morsels of beef, chicken, and pork absorb rich, smoky flavors over the wood coals of Braza's custom-made churrasqueria grill. Servers slice the traditional Brazilian feasts off skewers right at the table, which is one of the rich traditions of gaucho culture, like tying pork sausage into lasso knots. An all-you-can-eat buffet with sides such as yucca, hearts of palm, and lemon sauce cut meaty flavors with zesty and crispy tastes. As guests savor chicken wings, pork tenderloins, and jerk beef, a lively nightclub atmosphere puts feet on the dance floor with traditional Brazilian music and karaoke.