Eat Local: Oasis (Churrascaria), São Conrado, Brazil

When we sat down at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil, we were immediately presented with a number of snacks and meat accompaniments, the first being some Portuguese empanadas

When we sat down at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil, we were immediately presented with a number of snacks and meat accompaniments, the first being some Portuguese empanadas filled with cheese

 

On our afternoon visit to the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of São Conrado, we had a late lunch at a Brazilian-style Churrascaria restaurant, Oasis, where meat is cooked over coals on skewers which are brought by waiters to each table and carved to order for each person.  While many Rio Churrascaria restaurants have moved away from charcoal burning ovens, Oasis has maintained the same cooking style (see end photographs) for 40 years.  The variety of meats (and salads at the salad bar) was nearly overwhelming, and everything was delicious.  Our favorite was the local picanha (beef top sirloin).  Needless to say, we left very late in the afternoon completely stuffed (and we skipped supper that night).

 

We saved the sautéed bananas for desert, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

We saved the sautéed bananas for desert, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Fried manioc (cassava) – from a shrub that is native to, and widely cultivated in South America for its edible starcht tuberous root, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Fried manioc (cassava) – from a shrub that is native to, and widely cultivated in South America for its edible starchy tuberous root, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

The first skewers presented by the passadores (meat waiters) were sausage and chicken, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

The first skewers presented by the passadores (meat waiters) were sausage and chicken, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

“A churrascaria is a place where meat is cooked in churrasco style, which translates roughly from the Portugurese word for ‘barbeque’…  In modern restaurants rodízio service is typically offered.  Passadores (meat waiters) come to the table with knives and a skewer, on which are speared various kinds of meat, be it beef, pork, filet mignon, lamb, chicken, duck, ham (with pineapple), sausage, fish, or any other sort of local cut of meat.  A common cut of beef top sirloin cap is known as picanha…  In most parts of Brazil, the churrasco is roasted with charcoal.  In the south of Brazil, however, mostly close to the borders of Argentina and Uruguay, embers of wood are also used.” — Wikipedia

 

As we started our luncheon, our drinks arrived – shown here is a local favorite (Brazil_s national cocktail), a caipirinha – traditionally mixed with lime, and now made with a whol

As we started our luncheon, our drinks arrived – shown here is a local favorite (Brazil’s national cocktail), a caipirinha – traditionally mixed with lime, and now made with a whole array of fruits, from strawberry to kiwi; Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Another starter, freshly cooked, home-made potato chips, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Another starter, freshly cooked, home-made potato chips, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

The salad bar featured many foods for non-meat eaters, including this section of sushi and (not pictured) hot stations with sautéed fish, fried calamari and a shrimp sauté, Oasis res

The salad bar featured many foods for non-meat eaters, including this section of sushi and (not pictured) hot stations with sautéed fish, fried calamari and a shrimp sauté, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Fresh vegetables at the salad bar, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Fresh vegetables at the salad bar, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Tomatoes and a local specialty, fresh hearts of palm, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Tomatoes and a local specialty, fresh hearts of palm, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Dips and salads, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Dips and salads, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Very tasty steak that is very similar to American flank steak (but more tender), sliced at the table (the diner uses tongs to hold the top of the slice as the passador continues to slice

Very tasty steak that is very similar to American flank steak (but more tender), sliced at the table (the diner uses tongs to hold the top of the slice as the passador continues to slice the meat), Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Our favorite (we had several servings…) was the local picanha (beef top sirloin), Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Our favorite (we had several servings…) was the local picanha (beef top sirloin), Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Charcoal grilled leg of lamb, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Charcoal grilleded leg of lamb, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Cheese covered fillet mignon (Chateaubriand) that was sliced by the passador tableside, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Cheese-covered fillet mignon (Chateaubriand) that was sliced by the passador tableside, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Lamb chops, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Lamb chops, Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

At the end of the meal one of the restaurant owners took us into the kitchen and showed us the charcoal-fired churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazi

At the end of the meal one of the restaurant owners took us into the kitchen and showed us the charcoal-fired churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

Close-up of meat on skewers on the churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

Close-up of meat on skewers on the churrasqueira (barbecue grill) at the Oasis restaurant, São Conrado, Brazil

 

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