I know its practically blasphemous for me to say this, but listen up America, we have not conquered the buffet. Everything might be bigger in Texas, but Texas sized doesn’t hold a candle to Brazil. From the moment we got off the bus in Curitiba to the moment we left we seemed to be plied with delicious dish after delicious dish.
I hate buffets, but I’ve been known to bend the rules in places like Vegas, so when our friend told us about a local all-you-can eat place on our first afternoon in Curitiba, I went along with it for the cultural experience. And I saw the huge table of pastas, meats and every kind of savory dish you can imagine. It looked incredible and tasted even better. I gorged myself, drank some Cachaca and declared myself stuffed.
The rodizios and Churrasqueria in Brazil are incredible. Settled by a large number of Italians, the buffets are often piled high with delicious Italian specialties (risotto, gnocchi, pastas, etc…) as well as plates of high quality vegetables, fruits, and of course sushi. (Brazil is home to the second largest Japanese population outside of Japan!). After the initial buffet, I was hooked, and decided to up the buffet scale a bit and head to a Churrasqueria. Churrasquerias are brazilian bar-b-que places famous for their smoked and bar-b-qued meats which are carved tableside at an unending table side buffet of meat. Definitely not the place for a vegetarian.
Meats of every cut, size and seasoning arrive at your table on a roasting spit, and are expertly carved onto your plate. Just image, filet mignon, roast beef, sausages, steaks, veal, chicken and even roasted chicken hearts in a continuous carne-fest at your table. They look and smell delicious, and although we have restaurants like this in the United States, this is above and beyond anything I’ve ever seen. It is completely overwhelming. When you flip that card to green the meat arrives before your hand is back from the card and doesn’t stop until you flip it to red. And no matter what cut of meat it is, (usually we didn’t know) it is juicy and delicious. The meat was incredible, I’m usually not such a big red meat fan, but this was literally the most delicious steak I’ve ever tasted. After 20 minutes I realized my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I had to put my fork down and walk away…back to the buffet of salad and fruit. Will power is everything.
One things for sure, if you ever come to Brazil, plan to leave your diet at home.