Feature photo by obvio171
Getting Meat Drunk at Brazzaz
By Abraham Velázquez Tello
Churrascarias (Brazilian steakhouses) have been a wonderful tradition since 18th century and let me tell you, Brazilian cowboys know how to eat! When you sit down, the server gives you a quick run down of the process. You have a chip on the table with two colors. The black side says “No Thanks,” the Orange side says “Yes, please!,” which means “give me everything you got!” Soon after, a plethora of servers will start walking around with a variety of meats on skewers to slice up place on your plate. Everything from fillet minion, coutlette, top sirloin, ribs, lamb and a variety of things wrapped in bacon! Everyone of them is delicious and wonderfully cooked. You chow down until you are nearly passed out and “meat drunk.” Sure it’s gluttonous…and your vegetarian friends will stay 15 feet away from you for a while, but it’s worth it!
Brazzaz is located in River North and a short walk away from anyone who works in the Loop. There are some places that you have in your back pocket for special occasions, and this is one of them. It’s a bit on the expensive side for dinner, at $50 per person, but it is all you can eat meat extravaganza. The decor and ambiance is perfect for fancy date night out on the town. My best experiences there have been with a group of my guy friends, co-workers, celebrating a birthday or any other manly occasion. It’s even better for lunch because it’s only, $25 person. You can even add one of or two of the delicious caipirinhas and the variety of desserts is also great. The flan is deliciously rich and creamy. Always a great time for conversation, if you can talk after, but definitely something every meat eater should enjoy in their lifetime.
539 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL
A Taste of Brasil in the Western Suburbs
By Rebecca Bretana
For a departure from the large, meat-lover meccas that tend to be Brazilian restaurants in Chicago, head to Taste of Brasil in Oak Park. This small store-front restaurant has a gourmet café feel to it. The menu is ever-changing and can be found on dry erase boards along one wall. 5-7 entrees are listed as well as soups, salads, and sandwiches. Always offered: a delectable variety of pasteles, empanadas, risoles and coxinhas filled cheese, chicken, ground beef, or vegetables.
Some of their soups and salads are vegetarian, but most of their menu consists of fish and meat options. Typical Brazilian fare such as feijoada, steak and onions, and tilapia with coconut-pepper sauce are featured as entrees. Entrees are served with a side of rice, beans, and a soup or salad. Don’t forget to check out the dessert case! A variety of cakes and other sweet treats are also available.
Taste of Brasil is small with seating for about 20 customers, and their patio area seats another 10-15. The décor is clean and simple featuring, of course, the colors of the Brazilian flag. This summer, the World Cup is playing on one, large flat-screen above the dining area. The owners are extremely friendly and helpful. They are willing to explain the dishes to you and don’t mind poor pronunciation. Average cost per person is $8-10. Visit Taste of Brasil if you want high-quality restaurant food in a café environment.
Meter parking is available along the street and shouldn’t be too difficult. This restaurant is sort of off the beaten path, apart from the bustling Oak Park city-center. For non-driving city dwellers, the Blue Line EL is within walking distance.
Taste of Brasil
906 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL