We went to Baton Rouge last night...for dinner. I know, I know! Why would anyone drive AWAY from New Orleans to eat? Especially at a national chain restaurant!? The magic answer is: a COUPON. My sweet husband received a buy one dinner, get one free coupon from Texas de Brazil. The closest Texas de Brazil to New Orleans, LA is in Baton Rouge at Perkins Rowe. Our curiosity won and we turned an otherwise normal Wednesday night into a mini-road trip date night.
Turns out, Texas de Brazil is like an all-you-can eat buffet of meat. Even gourmet loving, mom-and-pop-preferring foodies like me can't complain about vast quantities of rare filet sliced table side and dropped bit by juicy bit onto my plate. Billed as a Brazilian 'churrascaria' or steakhouse, 'gauchos' (aka men carrying skewers of meat and large knives) stop by your table and deliver as many meaty morsels as your stomach allows. They were more than willing to oblige my requests for the rarest cut they could muster. The petite sirloin even left a splatter of juicy red on the white tablecloth, leaving our dining station slightly reminiscent of a Quentin Tarantino movie scene. I adored it. My mother, on the other hand, prefers her steaks well-done and would gladly accept something that looks more like a charred hockey puck than soft cow pieces. Either way, the meat - filet, sirloin, sausages, parmesan chicken, and lamb - is the main attraction.
However, the meal starts with a trip to the salad bar. This is no traditional salad bar. Sure, there's one or two vats of lettuce. But, this massive buffet is really the serve-yourself cold food part of the meal. It was a salad, appetizer, cheese plate and soup course all wrapped into one. With 50 different items to choose from (including morsels such as red quinoa and sushi rolls) one must consciously try not to overfill the plate before the gauchos are activated. (A small round card on your dinner table - one side green, one side red - signals the gauchos when to come to your table with meat). As if this wasn't enough food, once your 'salad' plates are licked clean, the waiter brings a dish of garlic mashed potatoes and a dish of warm, brown-sugary plantains to your table. The banana plantains were surprisingly awesome. Redolent of bananas foster... without the ice cream, rum and fire.
It was well worth the experience. At a fixed price of $50 per person, Texas de Brazil was a bit out of our normal dining price range. (What can I say, our regular eating out spot consists of $2 pitchers of Abita beer and sharing a large pizza). However, the food quantity, variety and quality of meat matches the prix fixe price. Something different. Something fun.