With two husbands celebrating birthdays within a month of each other, the Fords and the Carmoxes decided to try something different. Since Richard Ford is an inveterate meat lover, a trip to Brazeiros, the new Brazilian steakhouse on Kingston Pike in Bearden, seemed in order.
And it was. We had a blast, as these photos will attest. And we recommend it — especially if you are seeking a unique dining experience. I plan to take my brother and nephews there. (Trust me: there’s nothing like this in Gulf Shores, Ala.!) But you will have an even better dinner if you take a few pieces of advice gleaned from our experience.
First of all, this place is a good value, we agreed. All the meat and salad bar (which is excellent, by the way) you can eat for $32.50 a person. And fairly priced wines to complement the meal — many of them from South and Central America — made it even better.
So, without further ado, here are those tips:
- Make a reservation! Seriously. We were there on a Friday night and, even though Brazeiros has been open for six months, it’s still in its honeymoon phase. And you know how Knoxvillians love a new restaurant. There wasn’t an empty table — and the bar and waiting areas were jammed — on the night we visited.
- Do order their signature drink called a caipirinha, the national cocktail of Brazil. But be careful! They make two versions: a Brazilian version and an American version. The only difference is that the American version has a little Sprite in it to make it somewhat less strong. That’s the version we had. And it packed a wallop! Can’t imagine the other one!
- Pace yourself. Just because it is all you can eat, you don’t have to eat it all in 15 minutes! You’ll be tempted to rush because the servers keep coming by with more meat — and there are nine kinds! And the noise and festive atmosphere make you kind of excited. So just remind yourself that they are going to keep coming back. So relax. Put your fork down. Breathe between courses.
- Pay attention to the little card they give you. You put the green side face-up when you want to be offered more meat. You put the red side face-up when you want the servers to pass you by. I goofed. The servers kept coming to me offering meat and I kept shaking my head no. Finally one of them asked if I was waiting for anything in particular when I waived him off. Then I realized I had the card on green, so they were puzzled when I kept turning them down. (They must dream about those little cards when they go home at night.)
- Finally, we are pretty sure this is the case, but I can’t prove it: we think they save the best cuts of meat until late in the dinner. The first courses are various cuts of sirloin, chicken legs and pork sausage. The last courses are filet mignon (it was great!), chicken breast wrapped in bacon (my favorite), as well as lamb chops and rack of lamb. Next visit, I’m passing on the first courses until I have some of those last ones. (Don’t worry: they’ll bring the first ones back.)
OK. That’s our advice. Plus, tell them if you have a birthday in your party because they will give you a free dessert. Sweet!
Also, big kudos to the wait staff who are universally friendly and knowledgeable “Where do they get these cute guys with these cute accents?” Dawn wondered. “They’re from Vonore,” Richard deadpanned.
Make those reservations now. See you there.