- Food: ****1/2
- Service: *****
- Atmosphere: ****1/2
- Overall: ****1/2
- Address: 6901 Kingston Pike
- Phone: 865-247-0295
- Hours: 5-10 p.m. Mondays; 11 a.m-3 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Fridays; 5-10:30 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4-10:30 p.m. Sundays
- Seating: Reservations accepted
- Full bar service
If you happen to be of the vegetarian or vegan persuasion, you may want to stop reading at this point, because what happens at Brazeiros Brazilian steakhouse could be considered carnivorousness to the extreme.
On being seated at a table for two in the former Amerigo location, The Grub Spouse and I were given a brief tutorial on the Brazeiros protocol. It all starts with the cardboard disk placed on the table in front of each diner. When the red side faces up, the servers know that you’re starting out with the salad bar and to hold off on the meat portion of your meal.
And the salad bar alone is a treat. There is a choice of three lettuces, including the makings of a custom Caesar salad. Many of the toppings, such as parsnips, tofu, different kinds of olives and cheeses and a variety of oils and sauces imbued this salad bar with a distinctive gourmet character.
Pacing ourselves for the feast to come and not going nuts with the salad bar or the delicious morsels of mini cheese-bread, we flipped our cardboard disks so that the green side faced up, and soon a parade of meat-bearing servers began stopping by our table to offer selections, including bacon-wrapped filet mignon, sirloin, pork ribs, chicken, lamb and the traditional Brazilian picanha, which is a succulent, prime cut of beef.
Each server carries a large vertical skewer that’s loaded with large hunks of a particular type of meat. Guests are offered a cut, and if it is accepted, the server slices off a manageable portion. Sometimes, the diner is required to pull a partially sliced piece the rest of the way off with a small pair of tongs. This goes on and on until the diner has had his or her fill, at which point the cardboard disk gets flipped back red-side-up.
We both agreed that the picanha was a standout, although the sirloin, lamb and filet mignon also got lots of praise. The Spouse liked the pork ribs more than I did. They were too peppery for my palate, but I liked the wine-infused chicken more than The Spouse did. Overall, the meat portions were juicy and bold with flavor. You can even have your sirloin to order since those skewers carry meats cooked at different temperatures.
Each meal also comes with three side dishes — mashed potatoes, caramelized bananas (awesome) and polenta.
We did, however, manage to save enough room for dessert — in our case, a chocolate avalanche, which was turtle cheesecake embellished with molten caramel, whipped cream and more. By the way, Brazerios charges $30 per person for the steakhouse treatment, not including desserts and beverages.
The service was very focused, and we never had to wait long for the next serving of meat. We received consistent, thorough attention from start to finish — so much so that some diners may be put off by the regular intrusions. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that if you’re looking for a quiet, romantic dinner where the two of you stare dreamily into each other’s eyes all night, fuggedaboutit. But the steady trickle of meat servers is just part of the trip, and at times we felt like we were dining in whirlwind of animal flesh.
However, this is a novel concept for the Knoxville area, and I highly recommend Brazeiros — definitely for the food but also for the experience. This place definitely has meat on its bones.
© 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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