For such a decadent culinary tradition, churrasco comes from humble origins. Gauchos in the southernmost region of Brazil would typically end their long days of cattle ranching by meeting around a roaring fire pit, where they prepared family-style meals and roasted skewered meats over the open flames. This tradition lives on in churrascarias throughout the world, allowing diners to experience this rustic style of home cooking in a more formal atmosphere.
At Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse, the chefs remain faithful to the flavors of those countryside meals. Skewers of as many as 16 different meats—including rib-eye steak, lamb chops, and pork tenderloin—slowly rotate above the grill's flames or a handful of fire-breathing dragons, imbuing the hearty proteins with an unmistakably smoky tenderness.
As servers travel throughout the dining area with skewers hot off the flames, diners can catch the staff's attention by flipping their coasters from red to green. This signals the servers to approach and carve tableside servings directly off the skewer. Although the savory meats are the main attraction, even earning the eatery WDIV's Vote 4 the Best award for Detroit's Best Steakhouse in 2012, a salad bar also tempts diners with more than 40 hot and cold side dishes, including everything from fresh spring mix to mushroom risotto.
The dining room's mural of a Brazilian gaucho herding cattle nods to the cuisine's rustic roots, but its earthenware floor tiles and cherry-wood columns ensure a refined ambiance. The tables, draped with crisp white linens and flanked by red-cushioned chairs, are well spaced so as to allow for intimate family dinners and the regular plate-patrol rounds made by the vigilant servers.
Texas de Brazil blends the steak-centric cuisine of Texas with the traditional churrasco method of slow-roasting meat over an open flame grill to form a luscious meaty mélange. The full dinner ($39.99) marches out a cavalcade of choice cuts, allowing diners to welcome continuous windfalls of flavorful proteins. Brandish your table's provided card, green on one side, red on the other, and it will function as a meat traffic light that summons servers to either send stacks of seasoned beef, pork, or lamb skewers or halt plate traffic like a decorated culinary crossing guard. Or feel free to substitute greens for the grill by stepping into the sprawling salad-bar conga line ($24.99), two-stepping through toothsome goodies such as imported cheeses, steamed asparagus, and dozens of other hors d'oeuvres.
The Lakes Bar & Grille calms appetites with a menu comprising a wide variety of grilled meats, perfectly cooked seafood, and plentiful entrees. Blackberry chicken takes center stage by singing a song of house-made blackberry pan sauce, surrounded by a supporting cast of vegetables and a potato cameo ($15.95). Dine on the grill's most beloved staple, steak, with such succulent meat slabs as filet mignon seared in zip sauce and coated in herb butter ($23.95–$28.95) and16-ounce hand-cut delmonico steaks with all the fixings ($26.95). Pan-fried perch leap from griddles to plates in a magnificent display of annual migration, eager to reach their home in lakes of lemon butter and tartar sauce ($18.95). Combining the very best of water-based sports and artificial football fields, surf 'n' turf mac 'n' cheese piles plates with steak bits, lobster, and elbow macaroni ($15.95).
When 21-year-old Richard Paganes founded the first Tubby’s in 1968, it’s possible he had no idea he’d just established a dining dynasty. But after a decade in business, Richard’s sub shop in the Detroit suburbs was too popular to remain a solo act. And so began a franchising effort that lets today’s customers choose from more than 65 Tubby’s when a sandwich craving kicks in or they need a u to win an alphabet game on a road trip. The menu boasts more than your typical deli fare—though the Tubby’s Famous sub of salami and ham is the eatery’s most popular. For a twist, staffers also pack sandwiches with grilled steak and chicken, burger fixings, or veggies.
Matt Prentice, the culinary mind behind Morels, designed each of the dishes on the restaurant's lunch and dinner menus to incorporate ingredients from Michigan. An onsite garden produces herbs that chefs use for garnishes, imparting freshly picked flavor. Poached Michigan shrimp, bay scallops, and meat from Maine lobster claws decorate salads, and chefs concoct main-dish accents such as chanterelle cream sauce to dress their carefully curated pasta dishes. The spot's localized focus is especially visible in its shareable plates—the cheese tasting for two, for example, comes with cheese that may include Moody Blue savory cheesecake, chèvre from Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Leelanau raclette cheese from Suttons Bay, and Grassfields organic fait gras from Coopersville. À la carte plates are also available to add helpings of vegetables or creative bites to any main course. Further complementing each heaping forkful, the eatery's American wine list includes selections from many Michigan vineyards.
As co-owners of New Cedar Restaurant, Said Jawad, Lina Mizher and Rami Jawad aimed to bring the cuisine of their native region of Farmington. The result is a menu of accessible Middle-Eastern cuisine?as well as a handful of American classics?all served in a casual, family-friendly environment. Across the menu, highlights include classic shish kebabs, falafel dinners, and mini savory spinach pies.