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Porto Alegre and a Gaucho Feast

June 2, 2013

The South of Brasil is the home of Gaucho culture and with it the world’s best grilling of meat. Everywhere you go are Churrascaria restaurants where skewers of meat are carved off onto your plate at the table. The meat keeps coming until you are defeated by the sheer quantity.

In the Kitchen

In Brasil the spiritual home of Churrascaria is the Southern city of Porto Alegre and in this town one of the best is Galpao Crioulo. The restaurant is right in the middle of the city but we were relieved to find wide streets and ample secure parking right outside the restaurant.

A GAucho Welcome

A GAucho Welcome

As we walked up to the entrance we were greeted by a Gaucho server grilling meat in the traditional way on upright spits over an open fire.

Once inside the meat started coming, and despite making a small error in visiting the salad/sides bar, we revelled in at least 12 different types of meat carved at our table by a bunch of really friendly waiters. We were very surprised by the chicken hearts that were very tasty but the highlight was really the 3 or 4 different types of beef which was amazing. As a tip just focus on the meat and don’t fill up at the salad bar – don’t waste the space !

Spits cooking

While we were eating there was a display of Gaucho dancing including a guy spinning a bola blindfolded,  around a volunteer’s head. Rather him than me !

After we finished eating (and had rested long enough to be able to move) we went outside where there was more traditional dancing and singing round the outside fire.Dancing Outside

 

It was a fantastic Saturday afternoon and when we finally left we drove a few miles south before finding somewhere to spend the night and sleep off our meat sweats !

Muddy Water

We had one final stop in Brasil which was the holiday town of Cassino. The town is set up as a sea -side resort for Uruguyans and Argentinians but we just couldn’t see the attraction. It didn’t help that the sea was really muddy and the beach particularly windswept. It may just be the time of year but we were definitely not enamoured.

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