Skip at least one meal before feasting at Texas de Brazil, a churrascaria —or Brazilian steakhouse. This restaurant is located on the south side of Seoul, just across the Han River from Yongsan.
This Texas de Brazil is one of two dozen locations, with operations mostly in Florida and Texas. The Seoul location is the only one in the Pacific. I have been to several churrascarias in my worldly travels and can confidently say that Texas de Brazil has by far the broadest menu.
For those who have never been to a Brazilian steakhouse, be forewarned. It is not a cheap meal, but definitely a great value. You start off with a salad bar—I stopped counting after getting to 30 items! Knowing what was coming, I didn’t fill up my plate too much and did not go back for seconds. I highly recommend the grilled peppers and smoked salmon. The lobster bisque was good, too, but I admit I only took it for the “Seinfeld” reference.
The fun begins once you finish your soup and salads. A “churrascaria” is a special grill to cook meats. The food is roasted on a spit and, when done, food servers—excuse me, “carvers”—go from table to table carving and serving meat right off the spit.
Texas de Brazil serves 15 (!) different meats. I didn’t try them all, but did a mix of my favorites and some experimental choices. The fifteen options are a mix of cuts from different animals—not just steak at this steakhouse. When the carver with the excellent filet mignon came by I could point to exactly where I wanted my portion cut. The lamb chops were also great. I tried some Brazilian sausage—spicy, but not too hot. I was pleasantly surprised by the Parmesan crusted pork loin; so I had another when the carver made a second visit.
I could keep going with the descriptions, since I was there for almost two hours and had plenty of time to sample. When I was ready to stop, I flipped a large green pog near my plate to the red side—telling the carvers to stop bringing meat and start asking about dessert. My group of six figured we only had enough room to share two desserts—which we could not finish. Although not made on the premises, the fudge cake and the white chocolate blueberry cheesecake were worth loosening the belt one more notch.
Texas de Brazil serves wine and liquor, but that costs extra. The staff was very friendly and all spoke very good English. I spoke with Mr. Cho, the General Manager, about group events and he said they have private rooms that can accommodate up to 50 people.
Both your cardiologist and your banker would not recommend you make Texas de Brazil a weekly visit. It’s a lot of very good, very rich food, best enjoyed on special occasions. There are two prices for adults. Weekday lunch is W 32,000 (about $30), while weekend lunch and dinners are W 58,000 (about $50). There are deep discounts for kids, but I’d leave them at home so they don’t see you pigging out.
To get to Texas de Brazil from Yongsan, cross the Hannam Bridge and turn right on Sapyeong-daero (going home take the Banpo Bridge). If coming by metro, Express Bus Terminal is the closest station, but both Banpo and Sapyeong are easy walks, which is highly recommended after such a big meal!
Oh, and about that name. Supposedly, it’s a combination of “Southern Brazilian cuisine” and the “generous spirit of Texas.” Texans may be spirited, but they are rarely generous.
Hours: Lunch 11 to 3; Dinner 5:30 to 11
Address: 118-3 Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Telephone: +82 2-6282-5000