Friday, January 06, 2006

Leblon Churrascaria Review

There is a restaurant in Greensboro named Leblon Churrascaria. It's a Brazilian Steakhouse and it is the best food I have ever eaten... EVER.
Everyone working there is from Brazil and speaks Portuguese (and English.) They serve traditional caipirinhas, full of limes and made with authentic cachaça. They have pão de queixo, fried bananas, and guaraná.
When you walk it you can see the "gauchos" walking around with the huge skewers full of fresh, slow cooked meat. Twelve cuts of meat, that is. They have about six cuts of beef, three cuts of pork, one turkey, one chicken, and one lamb. But that's not even the beginning.
You're first given your drinks and the pão de queixo (cheese bread), then you make your way to the salad bar. And what a salad bar it is. About five different kinds of fresh cheese, several homemade dressings, crisp lettuce, and all of the prepared salads you could imagine (tuna, potato, carrot, garbanzo bean, brocolli, etc etc the list goes on and on.) They always serve feijoada with white rice, along with one other soup. Tonight's was smoked salmon with red and green peppers in a tomato base. They have some incredible selection of fresh vegetables, and they also have smoked salmon, proscutto and salami, beef, and jumbo shrimp with the greatest cocktail sauce of all time. The salad bar is actually pretty much indescribeable. Everything is so fresh and made with such care and precision, there is literally nothing that is not at least "good" on the salad bar, with most of it being "great".
The meats are perfect. You can get the meat sliced right at your table, choosing between rare or well done. The bacon-wrapped filet mignon is exquisite. I went there once and ate four filets. That's the thing, you get AS MUCH food as you want. It is insane. You can get all the meat you want, all the salad you want, all the soup you want, all for the same price. $25 gets you all the food you could ever imagine eating.
They give you a card; one side is green, one is red. The green says "sim por favor", the red says "não obrigado". Want more meat? Keep it green. Need a break for a few minutes? Flip it red. There are several gauchos walking around with these big skewers, loaded with meat. "Meat on top of meat on top of meat". If you take off the fat of some of the meats, then you're eating pretty healthy.
As long as, that is, you stay away from the desserts. Their mango cheesecake is orgasmic, with the mango, raspberry, and vanilla sauce with chunks of mango, and so is there chocolate chip hazelnut cake, that is topped with whipped cream and ice cream. I haven't even had the creme da papaya, flan, key lime pie, chocolate cheesecake, and who knows what else they bring out on that tray.
Seriously, if you're in the area of any Churrascaria and you're looking for the greatest dining experience you could ever have, stop in. You probably need a reservation, and it's good to dress nice (although not mandatory), but you will not regret it. A "continuous dining" experience is exactly what it is. Even if you're a light eater, go in there and go to town. If you don't walk out of there feeling like you're in a coma, you haven't eaten enough.
Rating (out of 5 stars): *****1/2


Meredith said...

Ha! I just found your blog by Googling "Leblon Greensboro". Your review is spot on. Having just returned from having dinner there with some friends, I am acquainted with this coma feeling that you speak of. What a neat restaurant.

I also enjoyed skimming over some of your Brazilian travel blog. It appears I caught you right at the end of your adventure, so welcome home! It sounds like you had a truly fantastic experience.

Anonymous said...

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