Brazil is a colorful and vibrant country, filled with music, dancing, soccer, of course, and food — so much food. With America being the meat-loving melting pot that it is, constantly craving tacos from Mexico or hibachi from Japan, it’s odd that Brazilian cuisine never got its 15 minutes of fame, until recently.
Texas de Brazil is a Brazilian steakhouse or “churrascaria,” as they say in Portuguese. Churrascarias are the steakhouses of all steakhouses, ranging in varieties of different meat cuts and flavors. But Texas de Brazil, like most traditional churrascarias, is more than just a steakhouse, it’s an experience.
In Brazil, South American cowboys, known as “gauchos” greet the tables in traditional gaucho attire and serve them a variety of meats, straight from the kebabs they were cooked on. Texas de Brazil, which recently opened a location at the St. Johns Town Center, is no different.
Another tradition is the use of the red and green coin. Think of it as the “red light, green light” of all-you-can-eat quality meat. Turn the coin green-side-up, and gauchos will stop at the table and offer the prepared cuts. Need a break between flavors? Just flip the coin to red and they’ll skip the table until they see green again.
Raul Deseda, general manager of the Town Center location, says, overall, the restaurant has all traditional cuts of the Brazilian cuisine, along with traditional foods such as pão de queijo, a Brazilian cheese bread; feijoada, a traditional stew with black beans; and the famous farofa, a condiment made from yuca flour served alongside the beans.
Although Texas de Brazil focuses on authentic Brazilian meat cuts, that doesn’t mean they don’t take care of their non-meat lovers as well. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone.
“We have a lot of options for vegetarians,” Deseda explains. “At the salad bar, they can build their own salad with everything we have. We also have potatoes au gratin, which is amazing, to die for.
“For pescatarians, we have from lobster bisque, which is amazing, to our ‘coco de pesce,’ our coconut fish,” Deseda adds. “For our quarterly feature right now, we have shrimp.”
If the endless meat and salad bar aren’t enough, try the passion fruit mousse for dessert. Deseda vouches for it. “It’s really, really good,” he says.
Texas de Brazil strives to make the churrascaria experience as authentic and traditional as possible for both Brazilians and cuisine tourists alike, regardless of where they’re from.
“We have a Brazilian community here in Jacksonville, so they love it here,” floor manager Paulo Borges says. “But we are not just here for Brazilian people, we’re here for anybody and any kind of people. It’s a piece of Brazil here in America, you know?”
“That’s what we want, that you have great service and that you have no complaints,” Deseda adds. “That makes an amazing experience and perfect meal.”
Texas de Brazil is located at 4634 Town Center Parkway in Jacksonville.