Before arriving in South America, I was basically a vegetarian. However, the allure of the Brazilian meats changed my ways, and I am now a serious omnivore. The main reason for this change was the Brazilian Churrascaria (steakhouse/BBQ). If you've never been to a Brazilian Churrascaria, then you are missing out on life. The rules of the dinner are simple: eat as much as possible. Each diner is given a little card which is used to indicate to the waiters if they are hungry or full. One side of the card is green, indicating the diner would like more food. The other side is red, meaning they are finished. Well dressed waiters circulate around the restaurant with large slabs of beef, appetizers, sausages, fried bananas, and desserts. They serve you until you indicate with your card that you are full, and just can't take another bite. In Rio de Janeiro, there are multiple options for Brazilian BBQ, but the two I would recommend are Porcão and Caretão Churrascaria. Porcão is upscale and expensive, while Caretão Churrascaria is a bit more casual and moderately priced. Both offer exquisite all-you-can-eat food, and are not to be missed when in Rio de Janeiro.
{photos: Julia Ferguson}

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