When Atlanta decided to create an International airport in the 1950s, it forever changed “Hotlanta” from a Southern-centric city to a more cosmopolitan metropolis. Along with thriving art, music, business and theater communities, Atlanta’s dining scene — boasting “Top Chef All Stars” eighth season winnner Richard Blais, sixth-season “Top Chef” finalist Kevin Gillespie and “Iron Chef” winner Kevin Rathbun — runs the gamut of culinary influences, including a number of upscale Brazilian restaurants.
Atlanta offers both high-end and moderately priced Brazilian dining experiences.
Fogo de Chao
Atlanta’s best-known Brazilian restaurant, Fogo de Chao (fogodechao.com), is located in the trendy Buckhead district, where the smoke from the churrasqueira grill can be seen rising from the restaurant’s signature tower. Lunch and dinner offer two menu options: a salad and sides bar only, or the salad and sides plus an endless array of hand-cooked pork, beef, lamb, sausage and chicken. During your meal, you will be visited by gauchos bearing 15 different types of meats, presented on long skewers and sliced at your table. The wine wall is equally impressive, and complimentary valet parking is available.
Fire of Brazil
Like Fogo, Fire of Brazil (fireofbrazil.com) presents the all-you-can-eat, meat-on-a-skewer theme, complete with a salad and sides bar, Brazilian desserts and an extensive wine list. You will hurt your gaucho’s feelings if you don’t try his offering, so be prepared to try a bit of each. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant is decorated in natural woods reminiscent of Brazilian decor, and many of the servers are Brazilian. Fire of Brazil was such a hit with Atlantans, that a second restaurant was opened.
If you’d like to try the Brazilian meat-on-a-stick dining experience at a more affordable price before you commit to one of the fine-dining restaurants, check out Brazil Restourante in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs. A ma-and-pa type eatery with limited seating, this cheerful local restaurant offers a limited salad bar, sides and buffet. A rotating grill filled with skewers of beef, pork, chicken and sausage, which are hand-sliced at the counter per your request, provides more than enough value for your money. The restaurant is open seven days for lunch and dinner.
- brazilian flag image by smn from Fotolia.com