Ok so this one took longer than it should have BUT in March, I was very lucky to be invited to a tasting with the Houston Food Blogger Collective at the Brazilian steakhouse, Chama Gaucha. This was my first event with my new foodie family, so I was naturally very excited and what a place to kick-off new adventures with!
The Houston location was the third addition to the Chama Gaucha family back in 2011 and is situated on Westheimer, close to the Galleria/Uptown area. Owner João Carlos Ongarotto has three other restaurants located in San Antonio (the original), Chicago and Atlanta.
This Chama Gaucha restaurant is large, with a similar decor to many other Houston-based steakhouses; white tablecloths, dark wood, a large wine cellar and a vast amount of seating. It also offers private dining with large projection screens for corporate clientele and a new a la carte menu, available at the bar.
Like all good Brazilian steakhouses, Chama Gaucha cooks its meat churrasco style, which is brought to your table on skewers and carved in front of you there and then. But before I talk more about the meat, let me tell you about some of their other delicious offerings…
First up is one of my favorite parts: the Pão de Quiejo (cheesy bread rolls to you and me.) I always look forward to the Pão de Quiejo when I go to Brazilian steakhouses, in fact, I could probably fill up on these alone but that would be beside the point when you’re really here for the tantalizingly tasty churrasco style meat.
Next up is the salad bar, where do I start?! That’s the question you ask yourself when you head over to this all you can eat, help yourself appetizer bar. They have more than 30 different dishes to choose from, with everything from a charcuterie section, salads and veggies, to a creamy lobster bisque. Hold my caipirinha, I’m going in!
Now, onto the important stuff… the meat.
When you turn your card over they come round fast with the different cuts of meat, so make sure you’re ready! I tried the ribeye, filet mignon, Costela (beef rib), Cordeiro (lamb rack), Fraldinha (bottom sirloin) and the shrimp. The ribeye was definitely my favorite cut, it was perfectly seasoned and cooked a juicy medium rare. If you’re not a huge red meat fan though, the shrimp are big and grilled to perfection.
You can also choose from an array of side dishes but once you try the charred asparagus you won’t want any of the others. Seriously, I have never had asparagus that tasted so good! If you prefer something a little sweater with your steak, opt for the grilled pineapple, which comes with a sprinkling of cinnamon and adds a fruity twist to your savory plate.
To finish up, they have an assortment of your typical desserts: cheesecake, creme brulee, chocolate cake and all are big enough for two people to share.
Fun fact: Churrasco style cooking dates back to the 17th century from the region around the Rio Grande. Travelers or “tropeiros” would heat the meat from their cattle over hot coals, seasoning it with a little ash and over time, this has become the barbecue style cooking we know today.
Lunch, dinner and happy hour menus. Open seven days a week. Huge dining area, private dining for special occasions and corporate events.
Locations: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, San Antonio
Houston Location: 5865 Westheimer Rd, Houston, Tx, 77057
Insta-worthy? Yes but the lighting isn’t the best.