A couple weeks ago, Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse attempted a soft opening with little to no advertising and publicity. But one of the owners told me they served more than 400 customers that day. That’s pretty darn good, especially at $25 for lunch and $30 for dinner. But here is the question… is it worth it? Well, yes and no.
Two days after they opened, I checked out Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse. It was my first time dining at a Brazilian steakhouse so I didn’t know what to expect. But my male compadre had been to several and talked me through the experience. And that’s exactly what it was… an experience. One that you all must experience for yourself at least once. But since you may not be able to check it out anytime soon, Imma tell you all about it.
The Brazilian steakhouse concept is this: you pay one price, in this case $25 for lunch and $30 for dinner, and you get to eat all the food you want. That’s a lot of money for an all-you-can-eat joint, right? Well, this isn’t your typical buffet.
Here’s the deal: you choose the cold and hot items you want from a bar. And the meat will be brought to your table by a server, whom I call the ‘Meat Man’. The meat man carves your selection to your liking, right at your table. I know the concept is a little confusing, but it really is something to see.
Part of the whole experience are the ‘I’m ready’ buttons. When you are seated, you are supposed to be given a button that is green on one side and red on the other. When you are ready for a serving of meat, you turn the button on the green side and the meat man offers you whatever meat is hot and ready at that time. If you are not ready for another serving, you turn the button to red and the meat man will skip your table until you are ready.
Note that I said you are “supposed” to be given a button. On the day I went, there were no buttons because some of the patrons had taken them as ‘souvenirs’, as the server politely put it. In other words, people stole them! So that meant the meat man came and verbally offered us each selection of meat as it became ready.
But before I get to the meat, let’s talk about the cold and hot bars.
Cold bar. I expected the cold bar to be a lot more extensive than it was. I’ve seen some pretty elaborate salad bars, like the one at Embassy Suites. But this one seemed a little skimpy. Here are the items you may find on the cold bar: imported cheeses, olives, shrimp cocktail, Brazilian style potato salad, apple salad, Caesar salad, tabouli, chick peas, pasta salad, cucumbers, roasted red peppers and a few more items. Now that I write them all out, it seems like a lot. But on the day I went, the bar didn’t seem very full.
Hot Items. Items on the hot bar are: rice, black beans, broccoli alfredo, mashed potato, shitake mushrooms. Um… I wasn’t all that impressed with the hot offerings either.
Grilled Meat Offerings. Now this is where the meal came to life! With 18 different meats, you are bound to find something you like. Here are the meat options: baby beef, beef ribs, beef tenderloin, chicken with bacon, chicken drumsticks, filet mignon, filet mignon with bacon, garlic steak, picanha, lamb chops, lamb loin, leg of lamb, pork loin, pork Parmesan, pork ribs, pork sausage, top loin. Now that’s a lot. I tried the beef ribs, filet mignon, pork sausage, pork loin and chicken legs.
Of all the meat I tried, I liked the filet best but found it all very enjoyable. One thing I noticed was all the meat I tried tasted as if it had been marinated in one type of sauce or another. So, if you like well-seasoned meat, then you will enjoy this. Personally, I like to taste the natural flavor of my food rather than a lot of seasoning. Even so, the meat was very good and very filling!
My lunch partner explained that what typically happens is you go when you have a couple of hours to eat and enjoy the meal. You sit, chat, try a little of this and try a little of that. If you want, you allow your food to digest a little and then try a bit more. That sounds great, but that’s a little too much time in one place for me.
So back to the question at hand. Is it worth $25 for lunch and $30 for dinner? Well, like I said, yes and no. Is the quality of the food worth it? No, probably not. I’d like to see the cold and hot bars grow a tad bit more. But for the experience, yes. It is worth it. Having the food presented to your table and carved is very exciting. Which brings me to another point. This is an experience. This is not a place most people would go several times a week or even several times a month. It is the kind of place you go to take clients, a lady that you are trying to woo, or to celebrate a special occasion. While there are some very affluent workers in the downtown area that may enjoy it more frequently, the average person probably will not.
So, I was very pleased with my first visit to a Brazilian steakhouse. And I look forward to checking Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse out again… in a couple of months… or when a man decides to woo a sistah.