A Brazilian grill, as a generic term, is a style of restaurant known as a churrascaria. At a churrascaria, there are typically two all-you-can-eat things going on: acres of an outstanding, fresh, inventive salad bar with familiar favorites and some more exotic dishes; and a barbecue where a parade of waitstaff haul huge hunks of meat to your table and slice off pieces to order.
Yes, it sounds over the top, but it really isn’t. We went with friends to the Brazilian Grill in Hyannis for lunch recently… and let us tell you about the music first, to set the tone.
The charming hostess, who like the rest of the staff seemed to be Brazilian, thought for a few moments about which of the few remaining tables — this at 2 p.m. on a Sunday — would be most comfortable to us, then led us to one directly in front of where a man with a large collection of keyboards and amplifiers was setting up. Gina cringed, anticipating a wall of noise that would ruin our lunch.
Instead, the music, by jazz singer Ravi Melo, was perfect. Most of the songs were Brazilian Portuguese standards, with the likes of James Taylor interspersed, at a perfect volume.
We ordered a bottle of wine — a Silver Palm cabernet sauvignon for the table at $34 — from a list that includes a lot of Portuguese choices that might have been a better pairing but sadly, we’re just not familiar with them.
By the time the wine arrived, we’d already received three or four items from the parade of meats: some succulent hunks of filet mignon wrapped in bacon, moist pork tenderloins, and chicken hearts. There was flank steak stuffed with chunks of cheese, and little medallions of beef topped with mozzarella. And little sausages. And crispy chicken wings. And lamb. And more.
The ladies, well beyond protein overload, ventured to the salad bar and found a surfeit of green treats. Start with mixed greens, a fistful of watercress, a premixed Caesar, or Gina’s favorite, delicate Boston lettuce. Add cool roasted carrots, hearts of palm tossed in a creamy dressing, a julienne of radishes, grilled summer squashes, and any vegetable you can imagine pickled. Or soups! Or an array of sushi! Or hot dishes, with or without seafood! Or even a mounded platter of cracklings.
Our orders were classified as the Dinner Rodizio at $32.95 apiece. That’s the deal throughout the weekend, and evenings during the week. The weekday lunch portion, at just $17.95, is available until 4 p.m. There is a soup and salad option, which does not include the more exotic hot buffet options, available weekdays for just $10.95. We witnessed lots of people lining up at the grill with their takeout containers. For just $8.99 a pound, you can fill up a Styrofoam box with your choice of salad items then add your favorite meats.
And while takeout may be a good deal, we imagine the price of the box escalates pretty quickly with the juicy meats and saucy salads. You’re really better off hanging out in the lovely restaurant. The cordial waitstaff and the pleasant atmosphere, not to mention the music when available, combine for a special dining experience.
In the near future, we’ll find out — and let you know — whether other Brazilian grills spotted in Plymouth and Dartmouth are similar. In the meantime, we can assure you that the Brazilian Grill in Hyannis is fun, unusual, and delicious.
680 Main Street, Hyannis