So this is where we begin our story, handkerchief in hand dealing with the dreaded meat sweats. Ah yes, we have all experienced a similar scenario in one way or another; eating various kinds of animals cooked and salted to perfection, taking its toll on our feeble human bodies that can't help but try sweat it out.
You get those days sometimes where there is an overwhelming feeling to eat meat, or at least a few different types of animals. Well I do anyway. On this day we decided to head to Norton Street Leichhardt and hit up Braza Churrascaria to deal with these meat cravings. The mind was willing to partake in this activity of all you can eat meat eating; however as you can see the flesh is weak, with the stop serving signs applied and the manly handkerchief out. This is the tale of the defeat of one man and his journey to eat the animals set before him. All the animals.
Pao de Queijo
It all started with the cheese stuffed breads served as a starter. Coupled with the fact that you can pick as many sides and starters you can eat, you just can't lose. This was the first mistake of the evening as the cheese stuffed breads were scrumptious and full of cheesy goodness and went down one after another in succession. You could easily eat your weight in these breads.
Salada Três – Heirloom Tomato & Palm Heart w/ Black Olives & White Balsamic
To accompany the pickled chillies, crumbed and fried polenta chips we ordered a side of heirloom tomatoes and a rocket & blue cheese salad. By this stage you can see how you are set up for failure from the outset, there are that many starters that you could satisfy your hunger just by eating them alone.
Pimentas da Malaguetta – Brazilian Chillies ; Salada Dois – Rocket Salad, Brazil nuts, Orange, Beetroot & Blue Cheese
Admittedly all the side dishes are quite tasty. The vegetables are fresh; the pickled chillies have a nice kick and you simply cant beat fried polenta chips. We also ordered some wine and beer to help things track along, Argentinian wine & Brazilian beer more specifically.
á Fritos do Braza: Mandioquinha, Banana & Polenta – Cassava Chips, Crumbed Banana & Polenta
Skol Brazilian Beer and a glass of El Origen Reserva Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
Frango con bacon – Chicken Breast with Bacon & Sobre Coxa – Chicken Thigh
The premise behind the Brazilian bbq is that meats of all kinds are brought forth and paraded in front of you to be picked and placed upon your plate with little metal tongs. To kick off proceedings what could be better than the mythical pighen. A beast that is half pig half chicken; sorry no such animal exists but chicken breast wrapped in bacon is just as good. BBQ'd chicken thigh was next, smoky and salty. Very nice.
Fraldinha – Thick Flank and Coração de Frango – Chicken Hearts
Pork was up for grabs as well as chicken hearts. Japan was the last time we had chicken hearts so we jumped with excitement as they came to our table. They were very chewy but oh so good.
Costela de Carneiro – Lamb Ribs
Rack of lamb was on call being rolled around on its cart, the meat was tender and flavoursome and just melted off the bone. The only complaint was that the lamb cart only rolled by once and then at the end when it was all too late, the stop signs were already up.
Picanha con Alho – Garlic Rump Cap
One of the meat dishes later in the evening came from a cow that must've been crossed with garlic genetically. The meat was salty and extremely garlicky, it was fantastic. However after one bite I was forced to order another beer to not only cut the meat taste away but because it seemed like the only sensible thing to do. I mean salty meat and beer, is there anything better in life.
Peixe do Dia – Fish of the day wrapped in banana leaves
Fish wrapped in banana leaves is served up to change things up. The fish melted in your mouth; but after the taste bud onslaught orchestrated by the garlic beef, it was hard to really pick up any flavour.
So as the pace began to slow and the real struggle began, a side of polenta was grabbed and some haloumi cheese. At this stage in the game any respite from meat was sought to help find that second wind to help us finish strong.
Camarão – Prawns
Prawns were also a welcome sight. Very tasty and fantastic in the fact that our animal count was increasing. It's all about how many species you can chow down on. The more the better.
This was before the meat defeated us.
Costelinha de Porco – Pork Ribs
Pork ribs were brought along on a cart similar to that of the lamb. Now it was truly a descent into madness as we were struggling to eat that which was placed in front of us. The pork ribs were tasty, smoky in flavour and the meat was soft.
Noix – Scoth Fillet & Linguiça – Sausage
Some really nice beef was served along with some sausage but it was too late. As much as it pains me to say, by this stage the meat had won the battle. We could eat no more. Meat was sweating out of the pores and the taste and smell was overwhelming. No amount of beer could save us from this point of no return so the stop signs came out. Fortunately though we had room for some BBQ pineapple before; yes you heard it - BBQ Pineapple.
Defeated by the food. These wooden tops inform the meat servers of your status - green top up means keep going, having it horizontally on yellow means lets wait a while, and red on top means for the love of god please stop now.
Patrons keep on filling in this large restaurant - the atmosphere is loud with live music playing all night. The service throughout the night is friendly and attentive. We could only have our table up to a certain time but we still managed to try all the meats on offer and spent time attacking the dessert.
Abacaxi – Pineapple and a night on Norton St is not complete until the flower lady arrives in the restaurant
Yes back to the pineapple - the saviour of the evening. Slithers of Barbequed pineapple dusted in cinnamon sugar are cut fresh in front of you. After eating meat to your hearts content, there is nothing better and more refreshing than the sweet and tart taste of cooked pineapple. I think we ate 2 pineapples in entirety and we kept on stopping the server in his tracks to slit us a piece or two.
So guys the next time the mood strikes and you find that you can't take meat off your mind, head down for some Brazilian BBQ. Just remember to beat the beast; keep the sides to a minimum, go easy on the liquids as they take up necessary belly space and pace yourself. Pace is key, it is too easy to fall in trap of being excited especially when presented with the prospect of combined meats that you eat too much too quickly.
Braza - Brazilian Churrascaria, Leichhardt
$42 per person, drinks are extra
Click for the menu here
Opening Hours: Lunch: Wed to Sun - 12 to 3.30 and
Dinner: 7 Nights - 6 till late