Something to chew on

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Meat Overload

I normally don't have 12 different cuts of meat at dinner, but we were celebrating a special occasion: Dannie's birthday (with Mom in photo).

So this evening we tried the new Estancia Churrascaria in South Austin. We had originally talked about making the trip to Houston to eat at the real meat-o-rama, Fogo de Chao, but we decided that sticking close to home would be best. (They'll be opening a Fogo here in Austin by the end of the year, by the way.)

Here's my quick review of Estancia Churrascaria if you're considering going. I can't help but compare it to Fogo: The salad bar was small, but everything was very fresh and colorful. The rolls were amazing. They were these soft little puffs of cheesy bread that didn't even need to be chewed. Their warmth melted in my mouth, and I could have eaten about 20 of them. The sides were fine, nothing too exciting, but the garlic mashed potatoes, plantains and fried yucca were all decent. It was my first time ever eating yucca. I'd describe it as a chewier, dense French fry.

Now the meat. I didn't really eat all 12 cuts of meat that the place has to offer, but I would definitely call two my faves: the bacon-wrapped chicken breast and the pork ribs. Both, delicious. The chicken was tender and cooked to perfection. The taste was flavorful but mild. The rib meat fell from the bone with ease and there was a perfect amount of salt and spice.

The major drawback of the restaurant: It was entirely too crowded. They could take out about half of the tables and patrons would be much more comfortable. The back of Cole's chair was getting hit every time a waiter went to serve the table behind us.

Overall, it was a good dinner. Followed by cake at our house with Mom, Dannie, Randy, Dee Dee, Cole and me. We're truly blessed that our families get along so well. It sure makes for a nice Saturday evening...

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