All Meats Brazilian Steak House – “Carnivorous Bliss”
By Kenny Spahn
Imagine going to a high-end steakhouse and ordering “just a slice or two” of every single meat on the menu, plus a few dozen sides. They’d either think you’re crazy, or charge you a few thousand dollars – or probably both. But that’s just what you get at All Meats Brazilian Steak House. All Meats is a traditional Brazilian rodizio, meaning you’re presented with an endless array of different meats (15!), each specially seasoned, selectively marinated, and rotisserie-grilled over authentic natural South American hardwood. But the really cool aspect is how it’s served – by a team of gauchos, who come to your table brandishing sword-like skewers of the hot-off-the-grill meats, and eagerly slice off a taste (or two, or three) of a never-ending stream of meats off the rodizio.
The setting here is one of relaxed elegance, reflecting the friendly hospitality of the owner, Chef Roberto Brederode.
The interior is beset with warm natural tones, wood, and leather accents, highlighted by the shimmering glass & chrome showcase wine cooler up front. Toward the back is a ‘cocktail lounge’ area, with a lively full-service bar featuring some killer specialty cocktails. Start with an obligatory Caipirinha, the quintessential Brazilian cocktail comprised of cachaça (a Brazilian rum-like liquor, distilled from fresh sugarcane juice), lime, and sugar. It’s cool, refreshing, and tangy – as if a Margarita, Lime Daiquiri, and Mojito had a baby. A live singer/guitarist further enhances the ambiance. No techno-crazy, ear-blasting South Beach DJ here – just the cool tunes of a live acoustic musician, providing a relaxing backdrop for enjoyable dining and quiet conversation.
After lubricating your taste buds with a Caipirinha or nice wine, begin your Brazilian adventure with a trip to the unlimited Salad Buffet, sporting an impressive display of fresh veggies, composed salads, and upscale surprises like hearts of palm, lox, prosciutto, and authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano (each of which could be a separate antipasto at other places) – plus some specialty Brazilian hot dishes. It’s all quite tempting — but exercise restraint, as you want to save space for the main attraction. But do make sure to get some farofa, a mandatory Brazilian specialty, made of seasoned and toasted yucca (cassava) flour (for the Picanha, see below). You can opt for the Salad Buffet only, so even vegetarians and vegans can enjoy their meatless feast. But hey, this is All Meats, and we’re here for the beef!
So we finish our salads, and flip our tableside chips over to Green (“Go”) — and the feast begins.
A friendly gaucho suddenly appears wielding a juicy Ribeye on his skewer, and deftly carves off a few slices. Wow, that’s delicious – I want another slice! But first, here comes a beautiful Filet Mignon, which is even better — tender and juicy as a Filet should be, but heightened with those wonderful Brazilian seasonings and distinctive smoky magic from the high-temp hardwood fire. Our taste buds are now in high gear, just in time for the signature Brazilian Picanha, a Brazilian staple. Picanha is the most prized cut of meat in Brazil, but relatively unknown in America (also called Rump Steak, Sirloin Cap, Top Sirloin, or Rump Cap), and easily recognized by its distinctive “C” shape. It delivers a meatier taste and texture than the Filet Mignon (as expected with a good Sirloin), and it’s fantastic – especially when treated to the Brazilian seasonings and hardwood grill. We savor the first bite a natural — then do as the Brazilians do, and dip our next bite into the farofa, thus creating a flavorful ‘crust,’ imparting a whole new textural and taste dimension — and now it’s even better!
Whew! Time for a breather, so we flip our chips to Red (“Stop”), and relax. Perfect time to savor some of that Doña Paula Estate Malbec. This full bodied dry red from Mendoza, Argentina shows a gorgeous deep purple hue, evidencing its warm climate and thicker grape skins. An upfront bouquet of ripe plums and blackberry is smoothly followed by notes of spice, with a subtle finishing hint of coffee. It’s quite palatable, with great balance and freshness in the mouth and a smooth, lingering finish. An extremely versatile wine, this Malbec seemed to pair perfectly with each of the various cuts of savory meats.
We’re now getting full and thinking about calling it quits — but here comes some Garlic Top Sirloin, and we can actually smell it coming! Its alluring garlic aroma triggers an autonomic drooling of the salivary glands before it even arrives. Gotta try some of that! So it’s back over to Green, and the onslaught continues. Our olfactory senses proved right on point, as the Garlic Sirloin is magnificent. In fact, it might just be my #1 bite of the night. But then comes the Flank Steak, with its perfectly seared crust and buttery soft interior oozing natural juices – and I found a new favorite! “Try some Beef Ribs, sir?” Sure, why not. “How about some Cajun Ribeye?” Well, OK, but just a bite…
Wow, I can’t possibly eat another bite of steak — but that’s OK, because now there’s Chicken! Chunks of flame-grilled boneless breast, served plain and enwrapped in bacon. Then the signature Brazilian sausage, with its distinctive snap of the casing unleashing its juicy, smoky interior. Yum! The seduction continues: Pork Loin, savory Lamb Chops, and another Brazilian specialty, Chicken Hearts — definitely a top contender. You may have eaten some bland, rubbery boiled hearts when mom or grandma made chicken soup back in the day — but these little muscles take on a whole new persona, and deliver some serious flavor and texture when treated to the wood fire. Then, another surprise – fresh Pineapple, also grilled over the rodizio fire. It’s refreshing, sweet, and tart – ideally suited to cut through all that unctuous meat.
OK, I surrender – and I haven’t even tried the Lamb Sirloin, Pork Loin, Leg of Lamb, Parmesan Pork, or Pork Ribs yet. But alas, my stomach has reached capacity, and I must now regrettably turn the chip over to Red, and this time it’s Full Stop.
Wow, what an adventure – but it’s not something one might undertake every week. Fortunately, All Meats also offers a la carte entrées ($16-$25), from Sautéed Shrimp, Lump Crab sautéed in coconut milk, and sliced Picanha platter, to a prodigious 42-ounce Certified Angus Beef Tomahawk Ribeye carved tableside, which could feed an entire Brazilian Capoeira team ($119, including two sides). Also check out the aptly-named All-Meats Incredi-Burger, a half-pound tribute to the Burger Gods, house-made with seven cuts of steak, including tenderloin, ribeye, and sirloin! One thing for sure — you won’t leave All Meats full – but do try to save room for some homemade dessert, including the signature Papaya Cream (fresh papayas & vanilla ice cream), traditional Passion Fruit Solo (a refreshing and tangy tropical mouse), or the spectacular 18-layer Brazilian Rolled Cake!
All Meats is truly an unforgettable culinary experience. The restaurant also offers private party facilities, a designated kids’ playroom, and even a private shuttle van, so you can bring the whole party. So whether you try just the salad buffet, an individual entrée, the ginormous Tomahawk, or the full rodizio, I offer two bits of advice: (1) Come hungry; and (2) Come Hungry!
All Meats Brazilian Steak House is located at 20165 Powerline Road (in the Shoppes at Boca Grove) in Boca Raton, FL. Open for dinner every night, and for lunch Saturdays & Sundays. Private party facilities, kid’s playroom, and private shuttle van are available. (561) 617-1815. www.allmeats.com
Kenny Spahn is a renowned food critic, culinary columnist, and restaurant authority, and has been contributing to Simply The Best since 2004. He serves as President of Restaurant Placement Group, an exclusive recruiting and consulting firm for the Restaurant and Hospitality industry. www.RestaurantPlacement.com.