Nelore – Brazilian Steakhouse: A Meat Connoisseurs Nightmare?
Finally made to a Brazilian Steakhouse – Nelore in Winter Park.
My first impression – expected a stately formal ambiance I envision when I think of a ‘steakhouse’ rather than the contemporary vibe I felt. Don’t get me wrong. I love modern. However, some settings especially when it comes to tradition and cultures; I am a stickler for proper etiquette and ambiance. A Brazilian restaurant should scream Brazil the moment you step into the doors of the restaurant. Why emphasize on the culture then?
Now if I may, the food? I confess that the best part of the entire experience was the service. Even though it is technically a ‘buffet’, the staff was pleasantly charming, and extra attentive of our table needs.
I love, love my meat and copious amounts of meat seemed like a match made in heaven. To my utter disappointment, the selection of meats I ate left me cold, as the meat was so salty that it overwhelmed the entire dish. The bacon wrapped cuts of chicken and beef filet were hard to digest, simply because of the saltiness. I gladly accepted the petite pork sausages, one bite made me realize that they tasted like supermarket breakfast specials. Disappointing!!
I looked forward to eating the Rib Eye; it one of my favorite cuts of steak. You really can’t go wrong with this cut as it has marbled layers of fat in it, rendering it juicy with each bite. Unfortunately, the steak was well done to the point that it tasted like rubber to me.
The rather cheaper cuts of meat, flank and top sirloin were cooked medium rare. They were the only cuts worth relishing.
The salad bar was extensive with both hot and cold dishes, over 40 variations. The only ‘Brazilian’ dishes they offered were the black beans and yuca mashed potatoes. The rest of the spread was like any other salad buffet. One ended up gorging more on the salads than the meats itself. Since, the service was slow in spite of turning the round puck ‘green’.
My family and I walked in eagerly with smiling faces, waiting to satiate our starving bellies and greedy hearts with the gluttony of meats offered. Sadly, half way down the meal, we accepted defeat and were ready to walk away since the saltiness and the sub – standard cuts of meat left a revolting taste in our mind.
The concept is unique in theory; however the delivery still needs fine tuning. Well, at least I can check it out from my bucket list. Personally, I much rather buy a great cut of meat, grill it to perfection in my own kitchen than subject myself to a sleuth of cuts which at best are sub-standard in taste and quality. Make no mistakes; however, I will not be visiting another Brazilian Steakhouse for a long time.