Churrasco at Tucanos: A Carnivore's Paradise

img_0539If you know "churrasco" - Brazilian style bbq - then Tucanos will capture your interest the moment you walk in.  If you love fine prepared meat and have never dined out Brazilian style, where have you been?  A true "churrasco" (shoe-HAS-ko) served up round robin style is unlike any other dining experience you will ever enjoy.

Here are the basics of how this type of Brazilian restaurant works:

-In the center of the restaurant there is a large buffet style spread of salads, breads, fruit, rice, pasta, seafood, and more.  Tucanos calls their buffet the Salad Carnival.  The buffet is all-you-care-to-eat. (a very popular theme in Brazilian dining)

-Generally, you will have one server assigned to you that will take drink orders and ala carte orders from the menu.  They will check in on you from time to time like in any other restaurant.

img_0540-You will also have an army of severs coming to your table to offer you various cuts of meat, chicken, turkey, pork, sausage, and about anything else you can grill.  This is where the fun begins... Pictured here is the famous grilled top sirloin on a sword-style skewer being presented to our table.

-At your table you will have a "cue" that is about the size of a salt shaker which is painted green at one end, and red at the other.  You use this to play "green light/red light" with the meat servers.  You keep the green side up until you are satisfied and have had all-you-care-to-eat.

Tucanos does several things that makes the dining experience enjoyable.  They are conveniently located downtown in the Gateway shopping mall.  This puts them within walking distance of almost any major event in SLC.  They almost never have a long wait to be seated. Even on a busy Friday night, we arrived at 6:45 pm with a party of 4 and were seated immediately. (unheard of in Utah) The atmosphere is AWESOME because of a combination of happy servers, very tasteful decor, and a well designed dining room.  There isn't a bad seat in the house.

Last but not least, I love the price.  Tucanos offers a huge value at approx 20% less than other "churrasco" restaurants in the area and about 50% less than comparable restaurants in other major cities.

img_0537 Tucanos Espetos

Local Advice: Don't fill up on the Salad Carnival before you try all the cuts of meat.  Drink a Guarana' soda.  They only serve Antarctica brand - the best!  Never say no to the grilled vegetables. They are amazing.  And, don't miss out on dessert.  Brazilians have something called "passion fruit creme".  It is an ice-cream-like dessert that captivates me every time.

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Details: Tucanos,  162 South 400 West, Phone: (801) 456-2550,, Monday – Thursday 11:00am-10:00pm, Friday & Saturday 11:00am-11:00pm, Closed Sunday, $25 - $35 per person, Children 6 and under eat free.