Churrascaria Tribeca

Churrascaria Tribeca 

UPDATE: THIS PLACE IS NOW CLOSED!!! However, the midtown west location is very similar to this location, so it can be read as a review of the midtown spot. I give the flavor 8/10, but despite this being a “steakhouse” I am not giving it the full review treatment.

One of the greatest things to do in the meat world is experience Brazilian Rodizio, otherwise known as “all you can eat steak.” For a true carnivore, this is about one of the best experiences one can ever have. Waiters come around with huge skewers loaded with slabs of meat, and they carve it right off onto your plate. Not only that, but there are upwards of 15 types of meat at most good places. You can sit there for hours eating, taking breaks, loading up again, etc. They give you a coaster that is red on one side and green on the other. Green means go. Green means meat. Green means eat. Flip it to red if you need a little break (because you are a pussy). Also – I apologize for not having any photos of the meal. I was just too hungry to whip out my camera, and all you would see, really, is just a pile of various meats on a plate (rather confusing). PLEASE NOTE: This place is not a real deal steakhouse like the others I have reviewed here. This is a special type of joint for the reasons mentioned above. Anyway – read on, dicks.

Flavor:

Everything here is amazing. After a waiter makes his rounds with the skewered meat and slices pieces away from the hunk, the newly exposed portions are re-seasoned and kissed with heat again. This is great because every bite you eat is perfectly mouth watering, juicy, well seasoned, and delicious. You almost never get an over-cooked or dry piece of meat, with the exception of maybe chicken breast. Honestly, I can write a 10,000 word review of how each meat tasted and how each was spiced and seasoned, but it would take forever for you to read, and all you would really come away with at the end was: “Okay. This place is fucking awesome.” My reviews are long enough already. My personal favorites were the flank steak, the garlic sirloin, and the prime rib (see below for all the options available).

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available:

There is almost TOO much variety here. I say almost because there really can never be too much to choose from, if it is all done well. Diners can choose from sausage, chicken (drumettes and breast), garlic sirloin, top sirloin, flank, Parmesan crusted pork loin, bacon wrapped turkey, prime rib, pork ribs, beef ribs, roasted lamb, bacon wrapped filet, duck legs, and whole roasted pig (with crispy skin and pineapple sauce). Fucking unbelievable. Now, understand that this is not a “sit-down and order a steak” restaurant setting. You sit down, and then you get delicious food delivered to you like a sultan. They don’t have the traditional four cuts of steak parading around on plates, but the choices and variety here are all perfectly executed. They may be using choice mixed with prime, but it makes no difference. Believe me. They treat their meet with great care.

Portion Size & Plating:

Here, you make your own portion sizes. You can have the man carve you 10 slices of prime rib if you want, or you can just take one slice and collect an array of different meat slices. It is up to you to get your money’s worth. Eat, then go down to the bathroom and make yourself puke so you have more room. That’s what the Roman’s did.

Price:

Our total bill came to $62 per person (tax and tip included!). That was for two Rodizio style dinners and two beers. Beers are only $6 here, but they are also only about 10 ounces each (smaller mugs, not pints). Dinner at regular price is about $60, but my friend and I took advantage of Savored’s deal for 30% off, so that was a great help to an already extremely fair-priced dinner.

Bar:

The bar here is great but not perfect. It is modern, sleek, well decorated, and it has a lounge feel. The restaurant is in a great tribeca location, so it gets hopping from time to time. I used to live in the area and I always remember it being crowded in the outdoor seating area and near the bar. They often have live music too, which is great. One of the great things about Churrascaria and Brazilian places in general is that you can order a caipirinha and people won’t look at you like a space alien. The caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail, and it is made with rum, sugar in the raw, and lime (though at Churrascaria places they usually offer a massive variety of tropical fruit flavors). It’s great. Try one.

Specials and Other Meats:

There are no specials… though you really don’t need specials when everything is so good, and you get so much to choose from without having to commit to any one dish. I think these places can be PERFECT is they just serve, say, one special item that varies each week. Maybe one week it is venison, and another week it is wild boar, or quail. As you can tell, aside from beef, this place has a massive variety of beef substitutes to choose from, so full points are awarded.

Apps, Sides & Desserts:

On the table there is a little piece of paper with about 15 different sides listed. These are all included in your purchase price. You can order as many as you want. We tried the fried bananas (delicious – almost like dessert). And yes they were BANANAS and not plantains. We also tried the black beans and the mashed potatoes. The beans were better than the mashed, and I, personally, could have skipped all the sides since you are eating so much meat to begin with. In fact, in all my times going to this place (this was my fourth trip) I don’t think I ever ordered a side before. People: it’s all about the meat. But if you want, get the fried bananas for dessert and ask for a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. They do have a dessert menu too, but we were too full on meat to even look at it. Also important to mention here is the salad bar. Free with your dinner is as many visits to the salad bar as you want. This is more like a seafood bar, so see below for more info, but the salad bar can be a full meal in itself. Everything there is great, and in fact diners can choose “just the salad bar” as their meal for a cheaper cost.

Seafood Selection:

The salad bar houses all the seafood that this place offers. There is shrimp cocktail, sushi (both rolls and pieces), calamari salad, octopus salad, shrimp salad, mussel salad, crab salad, various forms of ceviche, bacon (YES!), fresh mozzarella and olives, hearts of palm, all sorts of baked fish casseroles, stewed fish in various sauces, and some leafery. The only things absent were oysters, clams and lobster (unless I missed them somehow). I took a couple of points for that (and the octo was a little tight), but realize that this is a Brazilian joint; the fish you expect to see should differ from what you expect at an American steakhouse. Everything I had was delicious, and you can easily focus ONLY on the salad bar and ignore all the meat yet still have a great meal here. The salad bar is almost just as impressive as the meat.

Service:

The service here is really awesome. You truly feel like a king when the food just keeps coming around non-stop, and the meat is carved directly onto your plate. The waiters are all friendly, well dressed, and they carve the meat very professionally, with machete-like blades that measure about two feet long. They come take your plate away when it gets loaded with scraps, and bring you a fresh one for the next set of meat. There’s not much else you can ask for.

Ambiance:

The decor here is very tribeca. High ceilings, exposed duct work, chic, clean, neat, and industrial. It is elegant however, and very spacious (hence “very tribeca”). I was a little hot at first, but I chalk that up to the meat sweats. The bathroom has a nice clean rustic-looking tile job, and the live entertainment beside the bar was classy jazz (piano, light percussion and vox).

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