Grilled Meat Offerings: There’s Something for Everyone on the Grill

If you think gallant gauchos and sizzling steaks are exclusive to Argentina, think again: “Churrasco,” a style of cooking meat that in Portuguese roughly translates to “barbecue,” is a highlight of Brazilian cuisine. Served at “churrascarias,” these tasty grilled meat offerings range from hearty ribs to delicate bites of chicken.

At its simplest, churrasco is the method that gauchos—South American cowboys—used to cook their meat in the great outdoors: on a stick over an open  fire. Modern churrasco remains true to its roots—meats are grilled and cooked on large skewers, sliced into portions at the table—but makes use of modern amenities and innovations such as marinades, temperature controls and charcoal.

At Rio de Brazil in Johnson City, costumed gauchos who’ve mastered the art of carving with a flourish will bring to the table more than half a dozen types of top-quality beef alone: filet mignon plain or wrapped in bacon, garlic steak, rib eye, beef ribs, flank steak, top sirloin and the house specialty, a Brazilian favorite known as “picanha,” almost unanimously considered the king of barbecue.

In the United States, picanha is known variously as sirloin cap, rump cap, rump cover or coulette, and it is often divided into other cuts, such as the loin. But as more U.S. diners discover the intense, natural flavors of Brazilian meat cookery, it is gaining in popularity. Its succulence comes from the cap of fat that is kept on the meat; its flavor comes from just the right amount of seasoning to enhance, not overpower, the cut’s natural flavor.

While beef is a perennial favorite, Rio de Brazil’s grilled meat offerings go well beyond what the cow has to offer. Pork is represented by loin, ribs, Brazilian sausage and even pork parmesan. Lamb lovers can enjoy chops or slices from leg of lamb, and poultry aficionados can enjoy chicken wrapped in bacon or served as drumsticks.

While the never-ending parade of carefully crafted churrasco—and the gauchos who bring it—is the highlight of dining at Rio de Brazil, you don’t have to restrict your party to our grilled meat offerings. A hot and cold salad bar featuring shrimp and salmon along with a cornucopia of salads, veggies and other sides—including of course Brazilian black beans and rice—means you can bring your vegetarian friends and be assured they will leave happy. A gaucho can even bring grilled pineapple to the table so everyone can enjoy a taste of Brazil grill. Contact us today to book your reservation!