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Churrascaria History

A churrascaria (shoo-HOSS-ka-REE-ah) is a Brazilian or Portuguese steakhouse.

In the early 1800's, European immigrants settled in the Rio Grande do Sul area of Brazil. They were strong and skillful people who treasured and nurtured the land and quickly became adept at raising and herding cattle imported from Cabo Verde. The settlers, our ancestors, became known as Gauchos.

A unique type of cooking, called churrasco (shoo-rhas'co) was inspired by these ranchers. They would gather together and start a wood burning fire, once the fire turned into golden embers, large portions of prime meat were skewered and slowly cooked to perfection. Using conventional knives, which they wore on their belts, they sliced thin and succulent pieces of meat in succession onto each person's plate.

Churrasco is a Portuguese term referring to a thick cut of steak. At The Grill From Ipanema you will find churrasco prepared in the traditional Brazilian style. Our "chefs" or "passadores" cook the meat on our open pit fire, the churrasqueira. During the course of your meal they will bring round after round of rodizio specialties. You can have more of everything or just your favorites.

Fireside roasts of the gauchos of southern Brazil came from the Pampa region. Early in their history they were nomadic and over time this lifestyle changed as farming developed. The gauchos were a strong and proud people who raised livestock and farmed a variety of delicious vegetables and fruit. Although the conditions in which they lived are past, the cooking method, churrasco has inspired many around the world. The gauchos would gather together and build a fire using wood from the rangelands of the Pampas.

Since they had few options for preserving food, the gauchos would butcher one of their livestock, skewer and cook the large portions of meet immediately over a wood burning fire. The slow cooked meat basted in its own juices and resulted in tender, flavorful steaks. As groups of families would gather for meals, gauchos would carry bountiful portions of meats, fruits and vegetables to the table. They used traditional knives which Gauchos wore on their belts to slice thin, tender pieces of meat.

In order to recreate this popular Brazilian style of dining, the restaurant provides a tropical setting adorned with palm trees and brightly-painted murals. Guests are offered selection of daily grilled meats. In addition to the vast array of meats, guests also enjoy the grill's extensive salad bar.