I was recently invited to attend Vine & Tap as part of an Association of Food Bloggers dinner event. Vine...read more →
A while back, Adam spotted a Amazon Local Deal for Red and Green Brazilian Steakhouse on Buford Highway. Knowing that we would make it there eventually, and knowing that brazilian steakhouses tend to be pricey, we jumped at the deal to pay $50 for a $100 voucher, which covers dinner for two and a mid-priced bottle of wine.
The inside was surprisingly nice. This is stand-alone building nice, not weird strip center next to the karaoke bar nice. I was very impressed. They have this huge spiral waterfall feature, going down to the floor below, where they apparently have a large event space. Duly noted! We were more or less in awe of the whole set-up by the time we were seated.
Anticipating smoky meats with salt crusts and whatnot, we ordered a mid-range bottle of sweet red wine. It turned out to be super sweet, but it did fine paired with the meaty onslaught that is rodizio service at churrascarias.
On the off chance you’ve never been to Fogo de Chao, Sal Grosso, or one of the other brazilian steakhouses that have popped up in the metro area since Fogo de Chao first made its mark in 2001, let me do a little ‘splainin’ about churrascarias. Based on the fireside cooking style called churrasco (a word that roughly translates to barbecued, and refers to grilling the meat on skewers over charcoal) of guachos (“cowboys” of the Pampas region of Brazil), churrascarias offer a variety of meats cooked in this style, often all-you-can-eat.
In all of the american brazilian steakhouses I have been to (Fogo de Chao, Tejas de Brazil, Sal Grosso, and Red & Green, if you were wondering) the service has been rodizio, where meat waiters (passadores) in gaucho outfits have meat on skewers, and walk around from table to table, shaving off pieces to diners who want the cut they are serving.
The diners are armed with what I call yes/no cards, that are green on one side and red on the other, and say “yes please” and “no thank you” in english and brazilian on the respective side. I may be having a brain fart, but I don’t recall ever having to opportunity to select the desired temperature of our meat, but here at Red and Green, we were asked out preference and given medium rare yes/no cards. I can’t say that this affected the done-ness of all the cuts we got, but some were medium-rare, so I cant say it was a complete miss.
Also, there is always an upscale salad bar with fancy greens and toppings, like hearts of palm and artichoke, roasted peppers, olives, smoked meats, etc.
As you can see, I went light on the salad bar, haha. Throughout most of the meal, I was too busy stuffing face with meats and wine to take a lot of pictures of the meats, but suffice it to say that there were a lot of meats. Our favorites were the garlic steak, rump steak, top sirloin (which was cooked to perfection), and chicken hearts. The chicken hearts were a first-time experience for me. They’re like meaty little olives. Awesome.
There is a meat menu on the table that you can use to keep track of what you have tried/loved/want to have next. We had every meat on the list. Score. As you could probably guess, the portion received from each passador is small, so it’s easier to try a larger variety of the meats.
This is where we get a little controversial. Some folks really rake Red and Green over the coals for not being Fogo de Chao. On the other hand, some folks say this place is significantly cheaper, so it’s only natural for the salad bar to be less impressive and the meats not as wondrous and perfect. The hubs and I rest solidly in the second camp. We never go to Fogo because it is so pricey. But if you’re looking for a splurge that isn’t quite as splurge-y as Fogo, Red and Green will do nicely. It seems clear to me that they do everything they can in terms of decor and service to close the gap with more high-end churrascarias.
The lower price point is achieved through a less exotic salad bar and less choice cuts of meat. They the cook the meats in wonderful ways, to be sure. But they simply are not the same cuts to begin with.
The service was attentive and friendly, including a spanish-speaking passador who treated me like my spanish is far better than it really is. Honestly, I think he was just happy that there was a white person making any effort at all, which is kind of sad.
Between a 3-star score of average, and a 5-star score for perfection (arguably Fogo de Chao), Red and Green Brazilian Steakhouse sits at 4 stars. They do quite well at scaling it down, but still keeping it nice. But if Tejas de Brazil ever comes to Atlanta, Red and Green had better watch their six. Just sayin’. Anyway, if you have something to celebrate (or you’re Richie Rich), give Red and Green a try.
Red And Green Brazilian Steakhouse
5979 Buford Highway NE
Atlanta, GA 30340