If you don't eat meat, this post will be full of your alimentary nemesis.
Porto Alegre (260 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena) is an oft-overlooked churrascaria at the Paseo Colorado mall, which, in a gaudy show of progressiveness, erected this giant menorah to balance out all the Christmas decorations. Challah at yo' girl!
Porto Alegre, even though you may have your doubts when you walk into a relatively empty dining room straight from the '80s.
Fogo de Chão, it is not. But you won't pay Fogo prices either, and you won't experience that dreaded restaurant chain feel. I put Porto Alegre on about the same level as Picanha and Gauchos Village. I might give a slight edge to Porto Alegre for its more diverse non-meat offerings, a far quieter and relaxed atmosphere, and friendlier and more attentive service.
Fear not, though. This is a place you can take a constant-cell-phone-wielding father-in-law and a lively little niece. It's the perfect Brazilian barbecue restaurant for a family celebration.
. Warm. Chewy. Cheesy. Love this bread.
Here's what I got from the buffet -- various salads, prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe, pepper cheese, cured ham, roasted Parmesan-crusted red potatoes, and baked shrimp pasta. There were probably 20 more options beyond this!
Like at other churrascarias with rodizio service, multitudes of passadors visit your table with long skewers and huge swords speared through meat, meat, and more meat. Sadly, I sat in a corner without a clear shot of our passadors and with rather dim lighting. But here's the claw I used to retrieve meat off the swords.
The passadors heed the call of this wooden trinket on your table. Green at the top shouts, "Keep the meat coming, boys!" Red at the top surrenders, "I am about to burst. Please. No. More." I took this shot at the end of our meal.
caipirinhas on it, but that's what the text is.
Clockwise from the upper left: barbecued chicken, sausage, garlic steak, bacon-wrapped turkey, and sirloin. The chicken and garlic steak were especially good.
Ribeye, pork loin, skirt steak, beef rib.
Porto Alegre has a dessert menu, but we were so stuffed that we opted for fruit and fried sugar-cinnamon bananas from the buffet.
Little Monkey Niece made this card for Mr. Monkey.