April 20, 2008

Argentine Steak House or Brazilian Churrascaria?

Anyone who has been to charming Buenos Aires knows that the Argentines prepare the best beef you can find anywhere on the planet. The most tender cuts, loads of gaucho tradition, and a wonderful meal with fabulous Malbec wines. Is this the ultimate meat you can find? Well, fly north to Brazil and there's another meat experience that deserves attention... the 'Brazilian Churrascaria' or also called 'Rodizios'. What I love about the churrascaria is the ritual behind it. First, you go to the salad bar, which are usually loaded with options. Then, at the table, you have a chip green on one side and red on the other, used to indicate to the waiters if you're ready to be served. The waiters, normally dressed in full Brazilian gaucho attire, come to your table with a skewer on which are speared various kinds of meat. You just have to confirm if you want a slice or you'd rather wait for the next round. No menus... no anxiety having to make the right menu choice.

A few weeks ago, we had the visit of an Irish marketing VP who lives in NY. In the evening, I gave him a few dining choices, specially since São Paulo has such a vibrant restaurant scene. Fogo de Chão® - Brazil's most successful churrascaria chain and operating in many cities across the U.S. - was his choice. The guy simply loved the experience.

Ok, Argentine beef may be the best... but when it comes to delivering an innovative steak house experience, nothing beats the churrascaria. And again, I just love rituals.

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