Yeah, that's what I thought too.
Actually, The Hubby thought of the idea, having the advantage of being a carnivore-on-steroids male with the ability to read my Dad like a book.
As I might have mentioned before, I grew up in small town Texas. Just in case this isn't common knowledge, I'll take it upon myself to inform you that restaurants with names like churrascaria don't really exist in that part of the world.
So we approached the subject with my Dad delicately.
"So, Dad. Check this out. We're taking you to dinner tomorrow night for a late Father's Day."
"Oh, cool!" (My Dad is, without a shadow of a doubt, the cutest man alive, and incredibly animated...so yes, he did actually say 'cool!')
"We figured you wanted steak of some sort. We made reservations at two places, so you have a choice. Would you rather go to a cozy, dark, manly steakhouse..."
"....oooor...a place that serves you 14 different kinds of meat (insert clarification that this would indeed involve various kinds of steak) on swords?"
"Uhhhh. Yeah. That one." (Said in a similar tone to...'duh, you idiot, which one do you think I want?')Our reservation was the following night at 7:00...and it went off without a hitch. After sitting down, our waitress took our drink orders, explained the process, and shortly thereafter sent us on our way to the salad bar. Before that, however, I was able to capture her attention long enough to ask about their gluten-free options. She didn't hesitate at all, and said that she would check with the chef and be right back.
A few minutes later, she said that the chef was ready to meet with me to walk me around the salad bar and discuss all of my options. I know a lot of people have one-on-one time with restaurant chefs due to their diet, but this was a first for me. A very appreciated first, and one that will take us back to that restaurant.
If you haven't been to Texas de Brazil...it has the biggest salad bar I've ever seen. They claim it has 50-60 items, but I wouldn't be surprised if it had more. It's enormous. Indescribable, really. The unbelievably nice and patient chef (this was prime-time Saturday night and he was walking me around bowls of lettuce and salad dressing - how cool is that?) gave me a tour of the salad bar, pointing out things I could eat and things I couldn't, and answered all of my questions about things I had read online before coming in. Very impressive.
I ended up with an enormous salad, in case you were wondering. Gluten-free mecca.
Turns out, all 14 meats that they serve are naturally gluten-free. In fact, I was able to eat most everything except:
- Mashed potatoes (both on the salad bar and served family-style at the table)
- Cheese bread on the table (some reviews I read before visiting said it was gluten-free and made with yucca flour; the chef said it was not)
- Any hot items on the salad bar (including pasta and potato salads, soups)
- All salad dressings except the Brazillian vinaigrette (plus hundreds - no kidding - of oils and vinegars to choose from)
- Croutons, breads, etc (obviously)
- Plus a few additional items that were noticeably off-limits, like breaded and/or marinated items
I had PLENTY to eat. Leafy lettuces, beautiful tomatoes, colorful corn salsa, boiled eggs, a variety of gourmet cheeses, smoked salmon, shrimp salad, gorgeous olives of all shape and size...I could go on and on. The Hubby and I are already talking about going back JUST for the salad bar. It's that good.
And that doesn't even take into account all of the meat: various cuts and preparations of beef, lamb, pork, and chicken, pieces sliced at your table off of giant hunks carried on swords by Gauchos. All juicy and delicious. Flip your "button: to green and the meat magically appears. Turn it to red when you need a breather. Brilliant.
We had a great time, and I felt completely confident in everything I was eating. My Dad absolutely LOVED it, and my Mom did too. I highly recommend it - especially if you're celebrating something. It's a fun, different night out.
Texas de Brazil currently has restaurants in eight states, as well as Trinidad and Aruba in the Caribbean. More are on the way. Check it out at www.texasdebrazil.com. You won't be sorry.