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Churrascaria Restaurant 101: A Diner’s Guide To Brazilian Steakhouses

Churrascaria Restaurant 101: A Diner’s Guide To Brazilian Steakhouses

Are you getting ready for your first Churrascaria restaurant experience? Are you not sure what to expect? Confused about what all the terminology means?

Well, wonder no more. 

We put together this handy guide so you know exactly what to expect when you visit Terra Gaucha, a traditional Churrascaria restaurant that serves delicious Churrasco-style food in a fun Rodízio-style experience. 

What Is a Churrascaria Restaurant?

Churrascaria is the Portuguese and Spanish name for grilled meat. A Churrascaria is a traditional Brazilian restaurant where meat is cooked Churrasco style and served in a Rodízio style.

  • Churrasco is a type of South American cuisine made up of barbecued meat. It’s heavily influenced by Brazil, as well as Uruguay and Argentina.
  • Rodízio is a type of restaurant that offers all-you-can-eat food options where meat is served tableside and cut from skewers.

What Kind of Cuisine Can You Find in a Brazilian Churrascaria?

Since a Churrascaria is synonymous with grilled meat, expect a lot of barbecued meats. At Terra Gaucha, we serve a variety of fire-roasted meats. Our chefs take pride in each part of the cooking process. They select, butcher, season, and cook every piece of meat to perfection. 

Our meats offerings include varieties:

  • Bovina / Beef 
    • Picanha (Premium Sirloin Cap)
    • Picanha ao Alho (With Roasted Garlic)
    • Fraldinha/Churrasco (Bottom Sirloin)
    • Filet Mignon (Beef Tenderloin)
    • Filet con Bacon (Bacon-wrapped Tenderloin)
    • Costela De Boi (Slow-Roasted Beef Short Ribs) 
  • Cordeiro / Lamb 
    • Costeleta de Cordeiro (Lamb Chops)
  • Frango / Poultry
    • Peito de Frango (Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast)
    • Coxa de Frango (Marinated Chicken Drumsticks)
    • Coracao de Frango (Chicken Hearts)
  • Porco / Pork 
    • Linguiça (Brazilian Pork Sausage)
    • Lombo De Porco (Pork Tenderloin with Parmesan)
  • Frutos do Mar / Seafood
    • Salmao (Grilled Salmon)
    • Camaro (Grilled Shrimp) 

While a Churrascaria restaurant is focused on barbequed meats, we also offer a variety of other food options. Our Terra Gaucha menu also includes an array of gourmet side and salad bar options to complement our meat menu items. 

The all-you-can-eat buffet includes hot and cold authentic Brazilian sides, fresh vegetables, and cured meats and cheeses. You can expect to find: 

  • Yucca Fries 
  • White Rice 
  • Carreteiro Rice 
  • French Fries 
  • Caramelized Bananas 
  • Mashed Red-skin Potatoes 
  • Pork Belly Feijoada (Black Beans) 
  • Sautéed Green Beans 
  • Crispy Polenta 
  • Mushroom (w Madeira Sauce) 
  • Lobster Bisque
  • Sautéed Asparagus 
  • Pappadew Peppers
  • Brown Sugar Bacon
  • Apple Salad
  • Potato Salad 

The dining experience doesn’t stop there at Terra Gaucha. We also offer decadent desserts that top off the night. And, if you want the full traditional experience, you can try a Guarana, a refreshing Brazilian soda. For something stronger, we offer a full bar with inventive cocktails and a robust wine selection.

What Can You Expect at a Churrascaria Restaurant? 

While not all Churrascaria restaurants are the same, there are some things that will be the same during each experience.

You will eat… a lot. Come hungry. Most Churrascaria restaurants are all-you-can-eat. You pay per person and can enjoy as many servings of cut meats and sides as you want. Pace yourself, don’t fill up too fast, and leave room for dessert. 

You will have tableside service. Traditional Churrascaria restaurants are Rodízio style. The meat is served to you while you are seated. Servers come to the table with long skewers of meat. You choose which you would like to enjoy, and the servers slice the meat right from the skewer onto your plate. It’s both fresh and fun!

You will have a night to remember. When you go to a Churrascaria restaurant, you go for two things: the food and the experience. Don’t expect to rush through your dinner. Plan to spend the evening enjoying multiple servings of table-side cut meat and making multiple trips to the sides and salad bar. 

The History of Churrasco 

The beginning of Churrasco started in the hills of Southern Brazil. It was there that “Gauchos,” or Southern Brazilian cowboys, would roam the land while herding cattle. 

While in the wilderness, they would need to make food from what was around them. They started using natural wood charcoal and rock salt to cook meat over open flame pits. The cooking style of Churrasco was born. 

Eventually, Churrasco food moved from the farmlands to the city. Restaurants started serving Churrasco rodízio style to combine delicious food preparation with a fun dining experience. 

Florida’s Best Churrascaria Restaurant: Terra Gaucha 

At Terra Gaucha, we hold onto the tradition of Churrasco closely. 

We preserve the centuries-old tradition of the Southern Brazilian Gaucho by using their same methods of roasting succulent meats using natural wood charcoal and rock sea salt. We only use high-quality, fresh ingredients, and our chefs take time to select and butcher the best cuts of meat before they are seasoned and cooked to perfection. 

If you haven’t experienced the fun and flavor of an authentic Brazilian Churrascaria restaurant, now is the time. Check out our two locations: one in Tampa, Florida and another in Jacksonville, Florida and make your reservations today

Stay connected by following @terragaucha_southtampa on Instagram, @terra_gaucha on Twitter, and @terragauchatampa @terraguacha on Facebook. For information, visit Sign up for Terra Gaucha Tampa Text Rewards & Jacksonville Text Rewards and you could win dinner for two!

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