Sunday brunch: Salad bar @ Texas de Brazil

On Sunday, a friend who recently moved out of town came back for a visit, so the brunch crew decided to celebrate with a visit to Texas de Brazil. On previous trips, I’d always treated the salad bar as an afterthought, a few quick bites before I moved on to the grilled meat. This time I decided to make the salad bar the main event. Since it’s brunch, they have bacon, sausage, eggs with cheese and au gratin potatoes as hot dishes available on the salad bar. Having done it, some tips:

  • Every Sunday they have lobster bisque as the soup. But don’t think of it as a soup. Think of it as dipping sauce. I dipped the bacon in lobster bisque, then topped it off with a piece of hand-shaved Parmesan before eating. I dipped the sausage in lobster bisque. I dipped the jalapenos in lobster bisque. There are very few things on the salad bar that don’t taste better dipped in lobster bisque.
  • The au gratin potatoes are not to be missed. Spoon on extra sauce – this is another dipping sauce.
  • Mozzarella balls are a must-eat.
  • Same goes for the portabella mushrooms.
  • I love the whole jalapeno peppers, but they range from not spicy at all to super hot. You never know what you’re getting. Proceed with caution until you take the first bite.
  • I heard the orzo was outstanding but was too full to go back for another plate to try it.
  • There’s asparagus near the end of the salad bar. Save room.
  • Get a huge bowl of the chocolate mousse for dessert. If you’re one of those people who thinks, “I just want a little,” you’ll re-think it once you’ve tasted it. Fill’er up so you don’t have to go back.

Service was PHENOMENAL. Our server, David, apparently recognized us as a group who had been in before, and right as we sat down he told us he had mimosas on the way for everyone, plus two extra carafes in case we needed refills and he wasn’t around. None of us ever had an empty glass. Even after I paid my tab, he noticed that my friends were taking longer to drink their mimosas than I was (what’s wrong with these people?) and got me another one. The $3 unlimited mimosa has got to be the best brunch drink deal Downtown.

Even though I skipped the grilled meats this time, I learned something from my friends. Don’t be shy about asking for the piece you want. From now on I’m going to ask for the flank steak and the picañha (special house sirloin) rare, and the rest of the cuts of beef medium rare. I grew up in a house where “well done” was the normal request, and I didn’t realize until I was an adult how much flavor I was missing. That said, if you prefer well done, tell your server and they can make it happen (although, I advise at least giving medium well a chance).

Quote of the day came from my friend Frank, who said, “If God didn’t want us to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them out of meat.” Now that’s profound.

Next time I’m going back to meat, but the salad bar was more than a meal and lived up to its reputation for sure. Great brunch, TdB!