Brazillian Steakhouse History

If you’ve never visited an authentic Brazilian steakhouse like Rio De Brazil, also known as a Churrascaria, you’re in for a treat. But how did this all-the-meat-you-can-eat experience move from the plains of southern Brazil all the way to Johnson City, Tennessee? Read on to learn more about Brazilian steakhouse history.

The steakhouse experience has its roots in the days of the cowboys, or gauchos. When the gauchos of old butchered a cow on the vast grasslands of Brazil, they would need to cook the meat right away. And they’d do so over a slow-burning wood fire, sealing in the delicious juices over a period of several hours. Their secrets were adopted by city folk, who built special barbecue pits to mimic the open fires that produced such flavorful meats.

The special method of service, where wait staff slice the meats directly at your table, may have been a happy accident. When a waiter delivered a plate of meat to the wrong table, he was asked to slice off a bit for the hungry people waiting — and a new tradition was created.

How, then, did the Brazilian steakhouse concept make its way to America? In the mid-1990s, a Brazilian chef brought his mother’s recipes to Denver, Colorado, where he opened a traditional restaurant to share his culture with diners in the Mile High City. The popularity of the Churrascaria spread, and soon another chain already popular in Brazil opened a location in Texas. In addition to chains, top-quality, one-of-a-kind Brazilian steakhouses like Rio De Brazil have brought the culture of Brazil to other cities throughout the United States.

At Rio De Brazil, we’ve incorporated all the traditional elements of a Brazilian steakhouse, including a vast selection of salads and hot side dishes to accompany the 16 Prime USDA meats we serve. Our Gauchos perform an intricate table-side service as they slice and serve beef, pork, lamb and more, while diners use a simple red-for-stop/green-for go system of letting servers know when they’d like more.

We’ve also added our own touches, including a delicious dessert menu with homemade Brazilian flan and a long list of fine Argentinian, Chilean and Californian wines. Plus, we serve a fantastic Caipirinha, a popular Brazilian cocktail made with cachaca, muddled lime and sugar.

To learn about Brazilian steakhouse history for yourself, stop into our Market Street location, where we serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekdays and 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekends, and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 2:30 to 10 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

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