Wielding knives and sword-like skewers, the servers at Texas de Brazil seem prepared for impromptu duels. However, they only brandish the blades to replenish dinner plates, slicing meat from their spears at the behest of each table. The cuts of steak, lamb, and brazilian sausage are all slow roasted over an open flame in traditional churrascaria fashion—a technique that stems from the campfire meals of Brazilian gauchos, and one that fed the family behind Texas de Brazil during their life in Porto Alegre. In an effort to bring the South American style to the States, they established their first restaurant in Texas, thereby merging down-home charm with Brazilian spice.
Today, Texas de Brazil has expanded to several award-winning locations across the country. Despite the lofty ceilings and chandeliers that characterize their venues, the staff remains rooted in ranchers' habits. They conscientiously grill and season their meat, bake brazilian cheese bread in-house, and pass classic cocktails and loaner saddles over the bar for cowboys who consider chairs unnatural. To complement savory bites, guests can browse more than 50 gourmet sides at the salad bar—a compendium of soups, vegetables, and appetizers such as imported cheeses. They can also ask the resident wine specialist for recommendations on suitable pairings from the cellar.
Flamma pairs the brisk elegance of waterfront dining with a robust menu of richly seasoned meats. Diners glide up via boat, car, or ghost horse to sup on the flavorful foodstuffs, with exotic entrees including the stew-like fish moqueca ($24), seared ahi tuna ($25), and Hawaiian pork chops ($19). More traditional steakhouse fare includes a center-cut filet mignon ($29) and New York strip ($27). Visitors with indecisive tongue brains will delight at the full Rodizio ($46.90) option, which merits entrance to a ceaseless parade of meats hewn fresh from the skewer to the diner's plate. This feast includes options such as brazilian sausage, flank steak, leg of lamb, and chicken parmesan drumsticks, which can be paired with selections from the eatery's vast wine cellar or sips from a carefully concealed flask of porpoise sweat.
Giraffas Steaks and Burgers channels 30 years of history in Brazil to tackle American appetites and remix American classics. A diverse menu harbors a lineup of American favorites forged with an exotic twist and imbued with a sense of justice, such as a 5-ounce burger outfitted with gouda cheese and giramayo sauce ($7.90). Three choice sides, including black beans, quinoa, and haricots, offset meaty mouthfuls of picanha ($11.90), and the tri-tip steak of sliced maminha ($8.90) sidles up to teeth alongside Brazilian farofa—hunks of eggs, bacon, and onion atop peaks of toasted manioc flour. Dive fork-first into the leafy canopy of a salmon and greens salad ($14.90), which plays host to bruschetta and a balsamic dressing, or fuel future adults with a nutrition-packed option from the kids' section, including spaghetti and meatballs ($4.90).
Varanda’s menu deposits delicious Brazilian cuisine in hungry stomachs, ensuring they're happily filled with ingredients from South America. Guests such as Lady Gaga and Ricky Martin have dined at Varanda’s, and the eatery can also satisfy inner celebrities with starters such as asinha de frango (chicken wings, $7.95) or pastel de queijo, a popular cheese-filled pastry ($1.95). Meat eaters can enjoy the muqueca de peixe—a fish fillet simmered in coconut sauce and spices and served with beans and rice ($13.95)—plunge their teeth into a picanha steak ($13.95), or sample linguica, a Brazilian-style sausage served with beans, rice, and a side ($12.95).
Each of 8 oz. Burger Bar's signature patties is sculpted from a combination of humanely raised, hormone-free Black Angus sirloin, short rib, and chuck aged in a Himalayan salt-tiled meat locker. Go the traditional route with grass-fed Estancia beef ($9), or mix up the core of a layered masterpiece with free-range turkey or homemade veggie burgers ($8 each). All creations can be customized with freebies such as ketchup and onion, or garnished with extras like cheese, avocado, a fried egg, and more ($1–$2 extra). 8 oz. also offers a variety of sandwiches such as the short-rib grilled cheese with onion marmalade ($8), or opt for a butter lettuce and endive salad featuring walnut-bread croutons and vinaigrette (also humanely raised, $9). Accessorize your meal with sides ($4) such as fried pickles, brussel sprouts, bacon, sweet-potato chips, or truffled potato skins. View the menus here.
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.