Saturday, February 16, 2008

FOOD: Carnaval De Brasil

Cindy and I didn't get to go out on Valentine's Day. But we had a date tonight. She didn't know what was on the game plan, though.

I took her to Carnaval De Brasil, at the IP Casino, in Biloxi. It is a Churrascaria, or Brazilian steakhouse. The style is famous for its flavorful churrasco (ie: barbecued) meats. It is like a open-flame rotisserie. In the ones I've visited before, the Passadors (literally "meat waiters") are not only the servers, but also the cooks. And places like Fogo de Chao and Texas de Brazil, in Atlanta, GA, have more than a dozen different Passadors swarming you with a vast multitude of meats to feast upon.

Carnaval De Brasil has several distinct advantages to call its own. The design work throughout the restaurant is phenomenal. The atmosphere is very romantic and geared toward private, intimate meals. There is a very unique drink menu, which we were delighted to sample, as well as an extensive tapas menu.

Before we flipped over our meal cards (GREEN = Bring the meat! RED = Bloated!) we visited the salad bar. Though I'm not an avid salad fan, I really enjoyed the one at Carnaval De Brasil. Not only did it have some very exotic (though tasty) dressings, but it also had an abundance of roasted vegetables, as well as world-class soups. Everything there was so exceptional, we could have spent our entire time at that salad bar!

After a couple of plates of greenery, we flipped our cards. Our server brought us a plate of garlic mashed potatoes (wonderful,) fried plantains (smooth and sweet,) and some very depressing "brazillian greens" which were indistinguishable from poorly prepared turnip greens. Then the Passadors started circling. We had a couple of different slices of beef (great!) and lamb (a bit gamy) followed by bacon-wrapped-fillet (delicious!) and sausage (ick!.) Cindy also had some seafood like tuna (tasty but too rare) and shrimp (over cooked.) But that was it. I enjoyed almost everything I had, but I was severely disappointed that there were only five cuts of meat, compared to more than a dozen at other churrasco shops. I think anyone who had visited other similar restaurants would feel compelled to make the same observation. But I didn't let it spoil our night. I still had a belly full of goodness and a tasty buzz.

We didn't have any room for dessert. The selection looked good, but neither of us wanted to push our limits.

All things considered, I would certainly recommend
Carnaval De Brasil to anyone wanting to spend some quiet, romantic time with their partner.

Great food. Good service. Moderate prices. We'll be back.

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