Geoff (my husband) and I have recently dined at not one, but two Brazilian steakhouses in the Detroit area recently. The first one we visited at was Texas de Brazil Churrascaria, located in Downtown Detroit. Then we tried Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse located in Northville, MI. Both steakhouses have phenomenal components, but in our opinion one stood out above the other.
There was so much information to cover, so I took the advice of a one of my good friends to lay the key points out in a spread sheet.
|Texas de Brazil Churrascaria||Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse||Preference|
|Meat||Wide array of meats. Beef including steak and ribs, pork, chicken, lamb chops and lamb shank, and Brazilian sausage. Favorite meat was the Flank Steak. However all of the beef was prepared and seasoned well. Not particular about the chicken||Wide array of meats. Beef including steak and ribs, pork, chicken, lamb chops and lamb shank, Brazilian sausage, and shrimp. Favorite meat was the garlic rib eye. However all of the beef was prepared and seasoned well. Not particular about the chicken.||If I were choosing one of these restaurants based solely on the taste of the meat, I would choose Gaucho.|
|Salad Bar||Extensive salad bar with 50-60 items, both cold and hot items. Some of my favorite items on the salad bar were the bacon (which comes in half strips), smoked salmon, the large variety of vegetable items, and the cured meats.||Modest salad bar with maybe 20-25 items. There was nothing outstanding about the salad bar. In fact I was rather disappointed.||If I were choosing one of these restaurants based solely on the salad bar, it would be Texas hands-down!|
|Ambiance||Spacious, and beautifully decorated. However, the bar area was small. Beautiful huge floral instillation hanging over the salad bar area was breath taking. Windows lined the restaurant allowing a great view of the downtown area.||Nicely ambiance. Spacious bar area. Dining area was tight. Felt cramped at our table. Nothing stood out about the ambiance.||If I were choosing one of these restaurants based solely on the Ambiance, I would have to choose Texas.|
|Parking||Definitely did not like the parking situation. No valet, and not much nearby parking. Closest parking is in a parking garage next to the Compuware building, or you could try to find a spot at a meter. Good luck with that though!||Easy parking. No valet was offered, but the parking lot was easily accessible.||If I were choosing one of these restaurants solely on Parking, I would have to choose Gaucho.|
|Price||$40 pp for dinner or $25 pp for a light dinner (salad bar only). Lunch is $20 or $18 for a lighter lunch. Children 3-5 are $5, and children 6-12 are half price.||$46 pp for dinner or $26 for lunch. Children 5 and under are free.||If I were choosing one of these restaurants based solely on price, I would choose Texas.|
|Service||Phenomenal Service||Good Service. At one point in the meal we were being ignored by the Gauchos (the meat servers). After we brought it to their attention it was ratified.||If I were choosing one of these restaurants based solely on service, I would choose Texas.|
It might be apparent by the table, but our personal preference is Texas de Brazil Churrascaria,
Texas de Brazil Churrascaria is located in the Compuware building adjacent to Campus Martius. We were advised by friends to make reservations before going; and were glad that we did. As we pulled up the restaurant we started searching for valet parking, but to no avail. We circled the block at least 3 times until we called the restaurant, which advised us that there was no valet and that we should park in the parking garage located next to the Compuware building. Although a little frustrated and disappointed, we complied. The restaurant was pretty booked when we arrived, but our table was ready before our actual reservation time. The interior was beautiful. There was a small bar located in the front of the restaurant, equipped with a small lounge area.
Geoff particularly enjoyed “The Ciapirinha” drink, which is their signature cocktail. The bartender explained that this drink was like a Brazilian version of the margarita. Geoff said that it was one of the best cocktails he’s ever tasted.
After sitting at the bar for a while, we were led to our table. The hostesses were very pleasant and professional. Once we reached our table, I could not keep my eyes off of the salad bar area. Not only was the salad bar area massive, there was a huge floral instillation that hung from the ceiling like a chandelier.
The waiter came over immediately to explain the “rules” of the Churrascaria (Brazilian Steakhouse). Each guest receives a card that is red on one side and green on the other; red means stop and green means keep bringing the meat!!! I decided to start with the salad bar; however Geoff was saving himself for the meat. The salad bar had everything you could imagine. There were both cold and hot items included in the salad bar. I was thoroughly impressed with the selection.
Included with the meal each table receives a basket of cheese bread and two side dishes; mashed potatoes and fried bananas (to cleanse the pallet). I loved, loved, loved the fried bananas. It was like a little dessert between all of the different meats.
Then came the never ending array of meats! Our favorite was the flank steak. Geoff also enjoyed the signature , “Picanha.” The Picanha is a capped (fat on) top sirloin. It was tasty, but I personally thought that the flank steak was better.
We were much too full to partake of any dessert! So…… we just sat there a while, amazed by the quantity of food moving around the restaurant. We had a great evening and we will definitely be returning. As stated above we gave this Churrascaria a 9 out of 10!