The term Churrascaria (pronounced choo-rah-scah-ree-ah) dates back to the early 1800s in the south of Brazil and refers to a restaurant that specializes in Rodizio- a Brazilian barbecue method of grilling, cutting and serving several varieties of meats such as chicken, pork, beef, lamb and more.
Rodzios an all-you-can-eat style of restaurant service in Brazilian restaurants where the waiters bring of food to each customer at several times throughout the meal, until the customers signal that they have had enough.
In churrascarias or the traditional Brazilian-style steakhouse restaurants, servers come to the table with knives and a skewer, on which are speared various kinds of quality cuts of meat, most commonly local cuts of beef, pork, chicken and sometimes exotic meats. Less popular are other rodzio style restaurants in Brazil, such as ones serving pasta or pizza in which various pizzas and pastas are brought on trays. Rodzio-style sushi restaurants are also common in Brazil.
The rodzio courses are served right off the cooking spit and are sliced or plated right at the table. They are accompanied with fried potatoes, fried bananas, collard greens, black beans, and rice (served buffet style).
At Churrascaria, platter after platter of decadently seasoned, grilled and skewered meats are precisely cut and served, in succession, tableside to each diner alongside a banquet-style buffet of tantalizing dishes ranging from simple salads and bean dishes to savory vegetable, fresh fish and indulgent Brazilian specialties.
The following foods are served at a churrascaria:
- Filet mignon chunks wrapped in bacon
- Turkey chunks wrapped in bacon (these two are usually two-bite sized)
- Sirloin steak (cut semicircular and served in slices)
- Roast beef (served like sirloin steak)
- Rump cover (called picanha in Portuguese)
- Beef short ribs
- Pork ribs
- Chourio or some other spicy Iberian pork sausage
- Chicken hearts
- Grilled dark-meat chicken
- Grilled pineapple or banana