If you’ve never eaten at a Brazilian steakhouse (churrascaria), this is the best strategy to follow, according to Josiane Ballin, co-owner of the newly opened Boiada Brazilian Grill in downtown Spokane at 245 West Spokane Falls Boulevard.
When you visit for the full authentic experience of all-you-can-eat barbecue – rodizio churrasco – you’ll be able to enjoy an endless parade of mouthwatering meats, presented on skewers and carved right at your table by the gaúchos (Brazilian cowboys) – aka, Boiada’s chefs.
Each cut of meat is Brazilian-steakhouse style, seasoned and grilled in a specific way and time to seal in the juices, which is what makes Brazilian barbecue so unique and delicious.
In centuries-old tradition, the main attraction is the beef: Picanha (sirloin cap steak), Filet Mignon, Beef Ancho (ribeye), Alcatra (top sirloin steak), garlic beef and more.
You can also select from leg of lamb, lamb chops, pork sausage, parmesan pork, bacon-wrapped chicken, chicken thighs and even grilled shrimp. (Hence, the “pace yourself” advice!)
How it works is you’re given a card at your table. The card has two sides: red and green. When you’re ready, turn your card to green and the gaúchos will start bringing out the meats, which you can have as much of as you’d like.
If there’s a particular cut you love, let them know and they’ll keep grilling up and carving meats according to your taste: rare, well done, etc. When you need a break, simply turn your card to the red side.
You’ll want to save room, though, because the all-you-can-eat experience includes Boiada’s Fresh Market Table, featuring approximately 30 different sides made fresh each day, like Brazilian-style rice, feijoada (Brazilian black bean and pork sausage stew), an array of salads and greens, seasonal soup, and their most popular item: gluten-free cheese bread.
“We’re basically a gluten-free restaurant because bottom line: we’re meat and vegetables,” said Ballin.
While you’re there, don’t forget to try Brazil’s most famous cocktail, Caipirinha, made with the spirts from natural cane Cachaça and limes. Another bestseller is their refreshing Brazilian lemonade.
Though some people may find it ironic, Boiada has quite a big vegetarian following because of their Fresh Market Table.
There’s even salmon with passion fruit sauce and veggies that can be ordered á l carte for those who only eat seafood.
“This is a place for everyone to enjoy, a happy and joyful place,” shared Ballin.
For her and co-owner Hélio Vieira, who both grew up in the south of Brazil where this style of barbecue originated, owning their own churrascaria and sharing their food and culture with other communities is a dream come true.
“I’ve been managing projects for many years, but this is THE project of my life,” said Ballin.
Ballin handles the administration and management side of things, and Vieira, who’s worked in the restaurant business since 2004, starting with a Brazilian steakhouse, runs the operations.
This is the second Boiada Brazilian Grill location for Ballin and Vieira. They opened their first location in Kennewick, Washington, just a few months before COVID hit. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, they quickly became well-known for their quality of service and food.
In researching a location for a second restaurant, they saw massive opportunity in downtown Spokane at the more than 7,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Maracas Mexican Restaurant on Spokane Falls Boulevard. It’s strategically located to serve the city’s diverse communities and right across the street from the Spokane Convention Center and First Interstate Center for the Arts.
With its warm, inviting ambiance, friendly staff, and one-of-a-kind dining experience, Spokane’s first churrascaria is a perfect gathering spot for large groups, date nights, special occasions, and family meals.
“Kids love our restaurant. They think it’s fun,” said Ballin. “They love our cheese bread; they love the meats. There’s also a whole roasted pineapple on the grill and the kids love it.”
Kids 6 and under eat free and 7–12-year-olds are half price with the full rodizio.
“We’re very happy with the way the community has welcomed us,” shared Ballin. “We always want our customers to come back and bring their family, their friends, their colleagues. That’s our goal: that you visit Boiada once and you want to come back.”
To learn more about the dining experience and to view their hours of operation (including weekend brunch when breakfast items join the Fresh Market Table), visit boiadabraziliangrill.com.