Two words: Meat Coma.
Today was the day we finally got a chance to celebrate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Mom & Dad’s anniversary, and Mom’s birthday. With everyone being sick during May, we only now had the opportunity to get together. Unfortunately the only person not with us was Older Bro and that made me kind of sad because we found out after the fact that he probably could have joined us. That’s the problem with him — we’ve been inviting him and inviting him and inviting him to stuff and of course the one day we don’t, he tells us he could have come. *sigh* Anyhow.
Meat Coma: Srsly.
Normally Gaucho Brazilian BBQ‘s Sheriff’s Sampler lunch is $22 per person, for seven of the all-you-care-to-eat tender cuts of the day plus all the offerings on their cold table. Their current promotion(?) has dropped the lunch price to $16.99, from Tuesday to Friday. Sunday Brunch is $22 and the Cowboy Classic dinner is $35 per person. Today’s BBQ items happened to be: rump steak, top sirloin, chicken drumettes, parmesan beef striploin, mild sausage, pork loin, garlic steak.
There’s a 2 hour time limit as to how long you can sit around eating and if I’m correct, a policy of no take home leftovers, so I would highly recommend that you be mindful of how much food you’re taking/accepting everytime the nice gentleman comes around with his big skewers of meat.
The cold table that Gaucho has is a rather conservative size. In my mind, for some reason, I had thought it would be one of those really large all-you-can-eat buffet sized tables, but it’s not. I didn’t actually count the number of cold salads on offer, but my guess from what I can recall is that there were about 5-7(?) different cold salads, two chafing dishes with: a coconut fish stew (for a lack of a better term), a brazilian style chicken stroganoff, brazilian rice and cowboy beans. There was also a soup pot of feijoada, two kinds of “salsa” (one mild & chunky, the other smooth and spicier), and a bowl of farofa to top your rice and feijoada with.
The biggest thing I noticed with our meal is that everything is quite salty. I like salt, but some items just seemed too salty, even for me. The fish I found to be especially salty for some reason, but really tasty — the baja fish pieces were battered and deep fried, then nestled in with big chunks of bell peppers, onions and red sauce. I didn’t try the chicken stroganoff or the beans so I can’t comment on those items. I did try the feijoada and rice, which is actually one of a couple of things that I was particularly excited to try for the first time at Gaucho. Unfortunately with my small stomach capacity, I only could only take a small portion of rice with the feijoada, which consisted mainly of black beans and pork with sausage chunks.
We had a really nice waiter. We were the first (and only) reservation for their 11am opening and he was really generous in explaining to us what was in their feijoada, how Brazilians generally eat it and to make sure we topped it with the farofa that was sitting at the end of the table. I was really impressed that Dad liked the feijoada as much as he did! He’s an awesome adventurous eater, which is probably where I get all my food obsessions from, and it’s tons of fun going shopping with him to ethnic markets. I honestly can’t remember what the feijoada tastes like because of all the meat we had… and I didn’t even eat everything on my plate! I had a sample of each of the seven meats that came by, but I had Baby Bro eat some of the stuff I had on my plate because I just couldn’t do it all by myself.
7 meat lunch plate
Lest you think that’s a full-sized dinner plate in the picture above, it’s not. That is a salad plate with miniature tongs that each person gets for when the gentleman with the big monster meat skewer comes by, to aid him in slicing the meat onto your plate, since both his hands are busy holding the skewer and a big knife.
One of the items that I thought might be offered with your meal automatically is the paõ de queijo. You have to order these little crackbuns off the menu and it takes about ten minutes before they arrive. This means two things: 1) they are made to order and 2) they arrive at the absolute peak of perfection: piping hot, straight out of the oven and delivered straight to your table.
Basket of freshly made to order, hot out of the oven, paõ de queijo
These little cheese puffs are so amazingly ooey, gooey, and cheesy with a nice bit of garlic flavour that wasn’t overwhelming. The texture of these cheesy puff crackbuns is especially fantastic AND they’re gluten-free, to boot! The outside is wonderfully crispy and the inside is just so soft and chewy like mochi. The melted cheese inside makes the whole thing just over the top crazy good. Dad even liked these, which is just awesome. He’s not huge into cheesy bread, but he really liked these. I am definitely going to be making these little babies at home so I can revel in what is the most amazingly textured bread I’ve ever eaten. I even have a recipe already lined up to try, thanks to Ozy!
Ooey Gooey Crackbun Innards *swoon!*
On the whole, Gaucho was a fantastic experience and I definitely think that lunch is the way to go in terms of affordability. In terms of the variety of meat they have on offer at lunch time, I was a little bit disappointed only because I really would have liked the opportunity to try the leg of lamb, the grilled quail, and I hear they have grilled pineapple on the skewers at dinner time. But I understand why they wouldn’t have these items available during lunch. People just aren’t that adventurous during midday meals and you want to satisfy as many customers as possible during that short time frame but still give variety that’s not outrageously expensive with the limited number of offerings.
Would I ever consider going back for dinner? To be honest, I don’t think so. The main reason is the pricetag, but I just can’t stomach that much food in one sitting. As attractive as “all-you-care-to-eat” meat concept is at first bite, you can really only eat so much meat before you feel outdone. Even with my seven small samplings of meat, I could only eat about two-thirds of the plate on my own. When you take into account the few bits of veggies I chose from the cold bar, the rice & feijoada and two crackbuns I ate, it adds up to a pretty large meal for me. Even with giving Baby Bro some of my lunch, it resulted in me leaving behind one piece of meat which I felt really guilty about.
All in all, it was a fun and satisfying experience.
Passion fruit juice