Eat Local: Oasis (Churrascaria), São Conrado, Brazil

When we sat down at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil, we were immediately presented with a number of snacks and meat accompaniments, the first being some Portuguese empanadas filled with cheese

 

On our afternoon visit to the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of São Conrado, we had a late lunch at a Brazilian-style Churrascaria restaurant, Oasis, where meat is cooked over coals on skewers which are brought by waiters to each table and carved to order for each person. While many Rio Churrascaria restaurants have moved away from charcoal burning ovens, Oasis has maintained the same cooking style (see end photographs) for 40 years. The variety of meats (and salads at the salad bar) was nearly overwhelming, and everything was delicious. Our favorite was the local picanha (beef top sirloin). Needless to say, we left very late in the afternoon completely stuffed (and we skipped supper that night).

 

We saved the sautéed bananas for dessert

 

Fried manioc (cassava) – from a shrub that is native to, and widely cultivated in South America for its edible starchy tuberous root

 

The first skewers presented by the passadores (meat waiters) were sausage and chicken

 

“A churrascaria is a place where meat is cooked in churrasco style, which translates roughly from the Portugurese word for ‘barbeque’…  In modern restaurants rodízio service is typically offered. Passadores (meat waiters) come to the table with knives and a skewer, on which are speared various kinds of meat, be it beef, pork, filet mignon, lamb, chicken, duck, ham (with pineapple), sausage, fish, or any other sort of local cut of meat. A common cut of beef top sirloin cap is known as picanha…  In most parts of Brazil, the churrasco is roasted with charcoal. In the south of Brazil, however, mostly close to the borders of Argentina and Uruguay, embers of wood are also used.”

 

As we started our luncheon, our drinks arrived – shown here is a local favorite (Brazil’s national cocktail), a caipirinha – traditionally mixed with lime, and now made with a whole array of fruits, from strawberry to kiwi

 

The salad bar featured many foods for non-meat eaters, including this section of sushi and (not pictured) hot stations with sautéed fish, fried calamari and a shrimp sauté

 

Our favorite (we had several servings…) was the local picanha (beef top sirloin)

 

At the end of the meal, one of the restaurant owners took us into the kitchen and showed us the charcoal-fired churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant

 

Posted by Rich E.
April 3, 2018