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 chefs at each Copper Canyon Grill, a mid-Atlantic favorite, craft their regional American dishes from scratch every day. Their kitchens fill with flames and savory aromas as they roast meats and vegetables over hardwood fires, making customers happy, but leaving behind bare earth at local basketball arenas.
The kitchen yields hearty servings of grilled prime rib and filet mignon, ahi tuna and Atlantic salmon, and Delmarva-style crab dip and Eastern Shore jumbo lump crab cakes. It also tempts with a signature rotisserie chicken and jalapeño- and serrano-pepper cornbread baked in an iron skillet.
When it comes to grilling, the churrrascaria charcoal grill at Cafe Mineiro Brazilian Steakhouse seems to always be roaring. The menu offers three ways for diners to cut their teeth on flame-grilled meats: the à la carte menu, a buffet of hot and cold dishes, or full traditional rodizio meals.
During a night at Cafe Mineiro, you might run into a few unfamiliar terms, defined below.
Churrasqueira: Roasting meat over an open flame in the great outdoors sounds like something cowboys would do. In southern Brazil, those cowboys are called gauchos, and the grill, a churrasqueira. At Cafe Mineiro, the churrasqueira is indoors, but its flames still slow roast each skewer of meat until they are just so.
Rodizio: In Brazil, rodizio simply means "all you can eat." But in the United States, it means "all you can meat." Diners devour as much meat from the churrasqueira as they want; but they never have to leave their seats. Instead, the meat comes to them, via passadors.
Passadors: Holding skewers loaded with fresh-grilled meats, the servers—or passadors—navigate the dining room. When a diner gives the signal, the passador neatly slices a cut of meat from their skewer directly onto the plate.
Picanha: Among the 14 cuts of meat, which include bacon-wrapped filets, chicken hearts, and pork loin, the most decidedly Brazilian is picanha, a cut of beef taken from the top of the rump.
Though the chefs at Vick's Restaurant specialize in classic American meat dishes such as porterhouse steaks and ribs, they aren’t afraid to look toward the sea for culinary inspiration. Alongside their signature meats, they fill an eclectic steakhouse menu with lobster tails, a variety of fish filets, and fresh shrimp, which they can skewer, coat in coconut breading, or shower over noodles. The chefs’ seaward gaze, however, doesn’t just stop at the water—it extends to faraway lands thousands of miles away. You're just as likely to find them cooking Italian pastas or grilling chicken in the hibachi style of Japan as you are to find them sizzling up tender cuts of American-style sirloin or fresh tilapia. All the while, servers tote these international dishes alongside glasses of wine and beer to guests in the airy dining room.
Inside Boteco Restaurant, cooks recreate the quintessential flavors one might find inside Brazil's botecos—informal hot spots of food, nightlife, and culture that have thrived since the start of the 19th century. Among the restaurant's specialties are salted codfish croquettes, calabresa sausage sautéed with onions, and escondidinho de camarão, a medley of mashed yuca, cheese gratin, and shrimp. Diners can also sink teeth into new york strip steak or filet mignon cut into a snowflake pattern. Bartenders fill glasses with wine and muddle caipirinhas with fresh fruit.
Using an oversized knife, a waiter neatly slices off a portion of grilled top sirloin from a skewer packed with well-roasted meat, sliding the steak onto a plate of rice, beans, and salad. Beneath colorful abstract paintings of palm trees, guests can dig in to traditional Brazilian steak-house fare. A flat-screen TV set against the back wall displays sporting contests, and plants in the beams overhead murmur about an upcoming tree rebellion.