Wear the Dressy Fat Pants!

The Dish: “The Full Experience”

The Location: Serra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse, 16160 N. 83rdAve., Peoria, AZ

The Website: www.serragaucha.com

By: Susan L Pricco

Plan on overeating! A Brazilian steakhouse like this is called a “rodizio”, an all-you-can-eat restaurant.  Start with the “Salad Bar” – a humorously inaccurate description – an impeccably fresh banquet piled with hot & cold temptations of fresh asparagus, charcuterie, manchego cheese, chicken salad, tabbouleh, sun dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, grilled zucchini, apple salad, Brazilian black beans, mounds of bacon, and (whaaat?) creamy, luxurious beef stroganoff.  I vaguely recall some lettuce there too.  

But don’t be tempted to call it quits there (though you easily could, many do). You will be equipped with tongs and a token that is red on one side, green on the other (Stop & Go, get it?).  The green side is the invitation to the waiters that you want to be included in the gastronomic parade of grilled and roasted meats.   Be sure to try the traditional signature cut, Picanha, a well-seasoned sirloin cut, but don’t miss the monster beef rib, garlic beef, juicy chicken thigh, sausages, parmesan crusted pork, and wine-marinated lamb. Of course, you won’t pass up the filet mignon among the many other options offered tableside by well-dressed servers wielding giant meat-laden skewers for your consideration.  Lunch service has a few less items than dinner, but nonetheless tempting.

My guilty pleasure is fresh-from-the-oven cheese bread (gluten-free), chewy and reminiscent of popovers.  

Give serious thought to ordering a “Caipirinha”, the national drink of Brazil from the full bar or ponder the significant wine list. Several South American wines are available, perhaps even something from Brazil’s Vale dos Vinhedos. It’s elegant, refined, decadent and indulgent. And worth taking your time to explore and appreciate this fine Brazilian steakhouse.

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