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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Carolina Kitchen, Cooparoo

2009 seemed to be the year of the Tapas. In twenty-ten there just seemed to be bloody Mexican’s (mostly rubbish) popping up everywhere and now, at least hopefully, we’re on the cusp of some kind of Southern BBQ wave. Granted, so far it’s only been the re-invention of The Smoke (formerly Blue Smoke) in New Farm, and now the a cosy little joint in Cooparoo called Carolina Kitchen.
Perhaps it’s not that cosy, though it certainly is little. Yes, it’s in Cooparoo, about a block back of Old Cleveland Rd, on the south-side. It’s on the corner of Noela and Macauley Streets, in what looks to be an old coffee shop. I must say, it wasn’t really what I was expecting, at least from a fit-out perspective; they’ve definitely drawn on the KISS approach to decor, with just three tables to seat four people each, a short bench and a smattering of US-theme prints. The one of Michael Jordon is the only one that comes to mind. Oh, and there was a copy of Jamie’s (Oliver) America Road Trip lying around as well. Most of the Kitchen is right there as well, at least the fryer, grill and an area where everything is plated-up or pack-away for pick-ups.
Anyway, the food. We went there a few weeks ago, me and my girlfriend. Fortunately this predicted “surge” in US-themed dining has come just as my fascination with all things American food-related reaches a crescendo.
A little while ago, maybe 18 months, I chanced across Man Vs Food on TLC (Fox). Actually, I first chanced it in the States a few years ago, but was only since I was afforded more regular viewing that I really got into it.
Perhaps riding off some the success of Bear Grylls and Man Vs Wild, Adam Richman is a chubby New Yorker who traverses the US of A to “take on America’s favourite pig-out spots”. As the name suggests, he versus food. Whether it’s the Suicide Six wings challenge, a two-foot burrito or any number of the outrageous food challenges littering the “great country in the world”. When I was in the States I saw a 110kg timber-cutter from Tasmania fail the Big Texan 72oz Steak challenge in Amarillo TX, and only a few months ago saw this guy, Adam, smash in 27 minutes!
Basically, this show has manifested a fierce obsession with America/Southern-style food – ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, burritos, burgers, onion rings, buffalo wings – everything!
I’ve already been to, and written about The Smoke, so when I came across a review for Carolina Kitchen in the Brisbane Times I soon lined-up a quiet Saturday night to check it out.
Encouraging, when we got there it was all but full, which as I suggested doesn’t take a lot, but there were perhaps a dozen people eating and waiting for take-away. Also encouraging was the well-fed black man, whose face adorns the Carolina Kitchen logo, working feverishly behind the counter preparing meals.
The menu is built around burgers and sandwiches, or hoagies as they’re known. There’s probably four or five of each. Though it wasn’t burgers or hoagies we were after, but ribs and wings. Aunt Lilly Mae’s ribs, as they’re known. Slow cooked in their “own special BBQ sauce” and served with Southern potato salad.
I’ve previously lamented the challenges of finding good ribs, so far it’s really only been Hurricanes in Sydney who have at least reach the same atmosphere as ones I had in America, so it was with optimistic anticipation I ordered a full rack, a dozen buffalo wings for my girlfriend (they’re like her kryptonite!), fries, corn bread and a couple of cokes, or for the modest Saturday night sum of $58.
Luckily we were able to grab one of the red-checked table cloth-clad tables and in 15 minutes our dinner had arrived.
The ribs, pleasingly, were good. They’re tasty, smothered in their special BBQ sauce. Still, they haven’t managed to get the meat to fall off the bone, which according to the Durham, North Carolina episode of Man Vs Food is mandatory for “riiibs, Carolinah riiibs”, and at least in my books, disappointing. Nonetheless, they’re good and certainly worth the trek across town.
The buffalo wings get a similar treatment – you can see the owner tossing them through the sauce in a metal bowl – which is different to how I’ve had them in the past. You also get a blue cheese dipping sauce, mild or hot. The fries have grated cheddar and some sort of salsa on them and are, again, pretty good. As is the corn bread, which I really have no comparison for, but did enjoy thoroughly. In the end, we didn’t get through it all, but were able to take the last few remaining ribs and wings home with us. While we were there we did see a few burgers and hotdogs wheeled out and they all looked pretty good.
Look, it’s nothing fancy, not a “going out for dinner” place, but a great little joint for a casual dinner. It’s neat and tidy, though small and kind of sterile. The people who run it, who I’ve assumed were a father, mother and son ensemble, were friendly, chatty (especially the dad) and helpful. Parking, not an issue, being set back of the main drag.
Check it out. For Brisbane Southern BBQ, 8/10.

Carolina Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Smoke BBQ, Methyr Road, NEW FARM

I like my teeth. They’re good, they certainly won’t make it into the next campaign of Colgate commercials, though for au naturale, they’re OK. At least they were.

We’ll cast back to the Fall of 2003...

Second year Uni. I was living at The Beetroot Patch in Forest Hill, splitting $110 rent between four of us, not paying a nickel for power and with nae a care in the world. I’d just split with from my girlfriend of more than a year and was embarking on a rampage and gearing up for a night on concrete at the UQ Gatton multipurpose hall for the weekly Wednesday night dance (there was no rampage and we got back together a few weeks later).

Having, presumably, finished a six pack of icy/warm Carlton Colds back in the halls, and likely have moved on the sweet sugary goodness of orange UDL cans, somewhere into the night things went terribly wrong.

I’m fucked if I can remember when exactly, actually, perhaps it wasn’t that late, but one young chap, we’ll call The Glass Eater, decided the most appropriate thing to do would be to pick me up, arms behind my back – I think they call it a sleeper hold – and march me around the dance floor, barging into people. This was not appropriate.

Near completing a circumnavigation of the hall and approaching a safe landing it all went to shit. Instead of being brought gracefully back to ground, The Glass Eater, caught an edge and tripped. Fortunately for him, I was there to cushion his fall, or more specifically my front teeth were.

Immediately I made a beeline for the bathroom, knowing from the pain and the taste that in the least I had pretty badly cut lip.

Oh Lord, it was so much worse...

I’d first washed my mouth in the running water before standing up out of the sink to look in the mirror, and fuck me! Gone, at least mostly, were my two front teeth and the one just to the left of them. Each had been snapped off about half to three quarters the way up and blood was pissing from each, as well as my lips. The cold water on the exposed nerves was torture.

Over my shoulder some stand-in professor of dentistry suggested that if I could find my teeth and put them in my mouth they could be saved. It sounded like a long-shot but without a moment to spare we shot back to the dance floor to search for the little bastards.

It was dark, too dark.

We headed for the stage to get the DJ, DJ Veetone, to hit the lights.

Being mid-evening, and presumably having already warn a tirade of abuse and a few empty tins he wasn’t the least bit interested in entertaining our request.

“Why?” questioned the mouse-clicking turd, looking for his next excuse to tell us to fuck off.

Smiling, with a middy of bloody staining my front, I replied “To look for my teeth!”

“Jesus!” On came the lights. And off went the music.

Perfect. With the lights on and music off prematurely, everyone in the room, all 100, 150 or so, shifted their attention to the front of the room... and my fucking smashed up grill.

We scrambled back to where it, I, went down, the hoards parting in two – Moses-style.

With the best part of four or five minutes having now past, the chances of finding my once pearly whites was slim. Too slim.

Enough time had passed for at least an “Every Rose has it Thorns” or “The Music” or whatever that jerk-off was clicking to play through, and all that now remained were the faint chalky marks where enamel and calcium cruelly met concrete; danced into oblivion.

From there, it was a trip to hospital, many trip to the dentist and a bill for about three grand.

Fast forward seven years and the estimated life expectancy of the initial work, and I’m swiping my credit card on my eighth visit in twelve months ringing up a total somewhere in the vicinity of $11000!

It’s with that long-winded tale in mind that I’m now particularly delicate about what I bit into; I cut apples, slice carrots and nibble every-so-carefully on anything denser than a scone.

So, you could imagine my disappointment when, after weeks of think about, and hours of long-weekend-eve anticipation I finally made it to The Smoke BBQ in New Farm (Brisbane. They don’t have a website) and bit into my Kansas pork ribs only to find them as tough as a two dollar steak (not $32 ribs). In that first instance where I should have been drifting away to BBQ pork nirvana, I instead found myself running to my tongue along the instead of my front teeth to make sure they were still intact. They were.

Bitch-teeth aside, these ribs weren’t what I was expecting, unfortunately.

I fucking love ribs. I’d tried to walk-in here about a month ago, having heard about it just recently and pretty keen to try it but was turned away as they were fully booked; a good sign. Finally last Thursday, leading up to the Easter break, I made a booking for my girlfriend and I. I was pretty please with myself.

I’ve eaten a few ribs. Plenty of average generic ribs, but also some crackers. Hurricanes Grill in Darling Harbour, Sydney ( punches out a mean set (we even saw one sweet looking mum-type lose her shit after missing her name call in the reservation line and losing her spot, such are power of these ribs). The Hickory House in Aspen, Colorado ( were pretty hard to beat, and despite being in the throes of death in Memphis, Tennessee (, ironically on the literal eve of the Swine Flu pandemic, I mustered the energy to indulge in the holy grail of ribs from the world-famous Rendezvous, joining such esteemed diners as Clinton, Elvis, the Japanese Prime Minister and The Rolling Stones.   

Each were slightly different, but all equally awesome. Most lathered in “secret” BBQ sauces, while the Rendezvous bore nothing but a tasty dry rub.

Perhaps what stood all of these above others was a pedestal of tenderness, and I think that’s the key, in my book. And moistness.

Granted, I haven’t been to Kansas, nor so little as eaten a Kansas rib prior. Perhaps in Kansas chewy-ass, jerky-like ribs are all the rage. For me however, they’re not. The flavour was great. I can’t deconstruct onion powder, from garlic powder, from cayenne from whatever but they were tasted great, and so did the sauce. For 32 or whatever bucks though, these emaciated little suckers just didn’t cut it.

Everything else though was fantastic. We started with Buffalo wings in original sauce, with sides of Blue Flame sauce (hot) and whatever the third and hottest sauce was. They were great. They were actually my girl friends choice, though I’d have ordered them anyway, and she loved them (didn’t you?!)! No qualms with juicyness or moistness here. While the HOT hot sauce was bearable, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the Blue Flame sauce, which still had enough heat in it.

We also had Chicken Cee-gars, which were basically the result of a cheeky Mexican getting a leg over an obliging Chinese; kind of a deep-dried, spring roll burrito. Stuffed with grilled chicken, corn, beans and God-knows what else they were cleverly wrapped awesomeness.

Rounding out the evening was a disappointingly ordered, though I’m told great, taco salad. Still, not you “authentic” taco salad I’m afraid, as I suspect crispy fried taco bowls are hard to come by around here ( – click this, you won’t regret.

In accordance to my “When in Rome” dining policy I had a Sam Adams, and my girlfriend ordered a nice red-something. A merlot I think. Actually, a couple of. They also bring out corn bread while you order as well.

In spite of the rib disappointment, I liked this place. The rest of the food was really good and the staff really helpful and nice too. To the extent, that when I went to pay our $114 bill and the manager asked how everything was and I politely told him “everything was fantastic, though the ribs weren’t great” he, after a quick chat about my rib-eating history and the intricacies of their ribs, docked the ribs from the bill, in an attempt to get me back and “try them again”.

I truth, I wouldn’t come back for the ribs, even if they were free. Fortunately, I would go back for the Buffalo wings and Chicken Cee-gars, and will go back to try the rest of the menu, which included BBQ smoked chicken, Texas beef rib (probably not high on the list), brisket and some kind of Tennessee, I think, or some other state-named, pork belly.

The Smoke BBQ was good, no doubt. Most or what we ate was great, the restaurant, while kind of taking a kind of smart, minimalist approach to decor (no antlers or stuffed coyotes), is nice and the people all seemed, well, pretty good, and in the shallow pool of American, even Mexican to a degree, dining in Brisbane, it’s, I guess, at the top. It’s better that McDonalds or Lonestar!

Give it a crack. Oh, and book first. 7/10.  

The Smoke BBQ

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lismore Pie Cart

I'm perhaps not qualified to make this first statement regarding the fine city of Lismore, having barely been there at all, but I will anyway; excluding work, there is absolutely no reason comprehensible to visit there. I have only been there a handful of times and only recently since I've had to go there for work, still nothing much there catches my eye.
For the unimformed, Lismore is in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, slightly inland from Ballina. I think it trades as a city, but hardly warrants the tag. It's kind of one of those awkward regional centres, too big to be void of any small-town country charm, but not big enough or even socially diverse enough to disguise it's preeminant demographic; riff-raff. If you were to drive through the CBD during a weekday you'd see very few professionals but a shit-tonne teenage mums, some felons dragging back a few darts outside the courthouse and a whole mess of ink.
So, once every month or so I haul my arse up there to check in on a few customers, I roll in and I roll out as quick as I can, there's not a lot going on there. I've only once had to spend a night there so the it's really only lunch that I ask of Lismore.
A few trips back I was driving around, looking for a safe place to eat, when I chanced across the Lismore Pie Cart. I can't tell you exactly where it is, in part for laziness of looking it up or describing where it is, but its somewhere in the CBD, which isn't terribly big, and is basically a big silver caravan, chock full of pies.
I've since made a couple of trips back there and, well, it's pretty good.
They're not your regular pies, kind of a mash between your regular meat pie and those old traditional British pork pies, at least in shape. I can't remember which I've tried but safe to say they're all been pretty good. There's a load of different ones, your standard gear like pepper steak, steak and kidney, chunky steak, then a few more "exotic" numbers like Thai chicken curry and a couple lamb ones, too.
They've got an pretty unique kind of pasty as well. I'm fucked if I know exactly what's different about, perhaps it's extra buttery, I don't know, again though, it's pretty good.
As well as regular savoury meat pies they also have a few sweet ones, apple, apple and custard and, my favourite, peach. You don't see a lot of peach pies getting around, so I always grab a couple; one for lunch and another for whatever lonely-ass motel I'm likely to be holed up in that night.
Price-wise, I think they're in the vacinity of $4-$4.50.
There's not a lot more to really say about the place, for all intents and purspose, it's just a pie shop, but a good one. I wouldn't go so far as to say they're the best pies going around, but if you ever have the misfortune of one day driving around Lismore, keep your windows up and the doors locked and try if you're a bit peckish, swing by the pie cart, they go alright.
Lismore Pie Cart, meh, what's it matter; 8/10.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Peasant, The Barracks, Petrie Terrace.



I went to dinner here last night with a friend and needless to say, but I will, it blows. As with pretty much every tapas joint around it's pretty new. I don't know how new, perhaps less than a few years. It's at the relatively-new-itself Barracks precinct at the top of Caxton Street, Petrie Terrace/Paddo. It’s just across the way from the Coles there where we do most of our shopping, so for a while now I’d wanted to go there. I’d read a couple of reviews and apparently it was the shit.

I’ve been to Spain, just once and only for a few days but my only culinary experience still with me is one I’d care to forget.

A few years ago, in between a two week pilgrimage through France chasing the Rugby World Cup and a cirrhosis inducing stint in Munich for Oktoberfest, my mate and I stopped over in Barcelona to sample their wares. I had no real agenda and was just happy to have a look around, try their food and drink their beer, Cookie however, come hell or high-water was insistent that we go this dingy little back-alley bar called L’Ovella Negra, or Black Sheep. Actually, this is hardly culinary at all.
After walking through a maze back and side streets we eventually ducked through the ancient stone doorway and took our seats. The reason we’d come here, we the main reason, was to drink sangria. The second was so Cookie could by a t-shirt.
Until a fortnight earlier when we were camped in a cabin next to a lake somewhere in the middle of France drinking some awful red-wine syrup from a box I had no idea what sangria was. Perhaps even after that it still wasn’t clear, save for the clear similarity to red wine goon punch.
Anyway, we hooked in. Over the next few hours we worked our way through jugs of the shit before things inevitably came to a head. Returning from an extended trip to the gents, I announced to Cookie that we should probably get out of there, and get out while the gettin’s good.

That’s it. That’s all I remember. What a fucking waste.

I’ve been to a few tapas joints here though. A great one in Neutral Bay called Fire Fly a few times, another in Byron and an Ok-food-shit-service one in The Valley, cleverly named Spanish Tapas Bar; I was looking forward to this one.

From the outside it looks nice, it’s new obviously, but it’s well fitted out and always buzzing activity along the bar that lines the forecourt. It also ties in with a kind of sister restaurant called Libertine, a trendy little French-Vietnamese joint. I’d eaten there once before a Wallabies match and it was pretty good, so I figured it’s little brother from another mother (and father) would be pretty good too.

We arrived late. Quickly we were ushered out through the main dining area to the garden area and were seated next to about a dozen punk-arse chicks celebrating, presumably, an 18th. Fantastic. But that’s no fault of the restaurant’s.

We ordered drinks. A Spanish ale and a white wine Sangria. Moments later the waitress returned to tell me they were out of that beer, so I ordered a Spanish Lager instead.

The menus are all scribed in chalk on little chopping board-sized black boards. I can’t remember everything that was on there, other than what we ordered, but I certainly remember something that wasn’t on there; grilled haloumi. It doesn’t bother me as such that I wasn’t able order it, as it does that, fundamentally, every tapas should have it on their menu. It just didn’t seem right.

The problem with tapas for two is that unless you’re packing a Marlon Brando sized appetite you kind of miss out, completely, on what tapas is all about, that being, being able to sample a little of everything. That said, we chose carefully, four dishes;

Tomato and smashed olive salad for $15, a tasty little mix of novel black, yellow and red cherry tomatoes, with kalamata’s. Refreshing but perhaps in need of seasoning.
Seared kingfish escabeche with white gazpacho, $16. Escabeche? We’d no idea, but what we got was essentially sashimi. It was nice.
Braised octopus and kipfler potatoes, $12. I chose this but wasn’t a fan. The flavours were good, but the texture of the octopus, this dish in particular, really didn’t sit well.
Pork, fennel & raisin empanadas served with romesco, $13. Again, neither of us knew exactly what empanadas were, but pork and fennel is (usually) always a great pairing so we ordered up. I’ve since Google-d empanadas and I can only suggest what we got was an empanada only by name. For those who’ve ever made the trip from Brisbane or Toowoomba to Goondiwindi you’ll be familiar with the Captain’s Mountain BP, in which case you should also be familiar with the Captain’s Mountain BP hot-box. What arrived looked like it had spent the best part of a week warming in that exact steaming bain marie, and had been cooked in the same deep frying oil that was churning out crispy, golden nuggets of MSG back in ’05. They were terrible.

The service was generally great, with dishes appearing within moments of the order being placed, though none of the dishes were particularly exciting.

Somewhere in there we ordered a carafe of red wine Sangria, which in tactful moderation was remarkably but perhaps no surprisingly refreshing.

Eventually, when we decided to split. After three attempts the waitress eventually got us the right bill and we left. For a modest sum of $108 I’d struck Peasant off the list of places to eat. I won’t bother again, which is a shame. So, in the pursuit of a good tapas in Brisbane, the search, continues. Thankfully, I think there’s a few to work through yet. Surely, the only way it up.

Peasant. Four out ten. At best.

Peasant on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 6, 2010

Grill'd, Rosalie

Never been a massive fan of burgers. I could count the number of McDonalds burgers I've eaten on one hand, in part because they were pretty light-on for franchises around the little country town were I grew up, but mostly because they're shit. Vegemite, coriander and Big Macs, I hate them all.
Recently however, there's been a bit of a swing towards the old burger. I'll attribute this to the relative convenience of Oporto's Neutral Bay to my old house in Sydney, and a shift away from Subway following a  stop at Subway North Richmond towards the end of last year. 
North Richmond is about an hour from Sydney, north-westish, at the bottom of the mountains on you're way to Orange, Mudgee, Dubbo etc. It's a shit-hole. Apart from few poor souls who live there because they work for The Land newspaper, the local inhabitants are as rough as hessian undies.
One this one occassion I was hauling arse to Mudgee for work. Between Sydney and Mudgee there's few, if any, decent places to stop so Subway was really your last shot for the next two-and-bit hours. Anyway, I was sitting down chewing my way through my second six inches of pizza-rie goodness when two of the most obscenely fat people, a couple, the guy with a dragon tattooed on his forearm (I pressumed from his favourite Chinese menu), lumbered in. They ordered three foot-longs, a bag of cookies, sat a table across from me and proceeded to stuff 3/4 of it all into the mouths and the rest across their fat faces.
"Is this it? Is this what've become?" Well, it wasn't, the lad, he had the best part of 60 kegs on me, but for a moment the three different small goods and orange cheese I was eating just didn't taste the same.
I won't say that was the last time I ate Subway, it wasn't, some times it's just the best of a bad bunch, and it's still the safest fast food to eat in Moree, but it certainly slipped a few pegs. I do also have fond memories of Subway, though that was less about their menu and more about the convenience of one of my school mates working there, offering a safe-harbour, of sorts, while I tried to manage an illicit student-boarding mitress trist during my final year at boarding school. Another, inappropriate, story.
And, thus this trend to burgers. That and watching a shit-tonne of Man v Food on Discovery Travel and Living. That man is a machine.
My other house mate first dragged me to Grill'd. She'd been bangin' on about it for ages, so one hung-over Sunday we finally headed down to Rosalie for lunch (they're everywhere though).
There's a pretty expansive menu, massive beef burgers, Moroccan Lamb, chicken, for the pale, they've got vegetable burgers ... however in my state that day I opted for the Mini Moo (they've all got clever names like that) with salad, which is pretty much a beef patty, tomato, cos, cheddar and their (of course) famous "spicy" sauce.  You can get any of them on a traditional sesame bun or a panini. I just go the traditional, you don't need to go all la-di-da, confusing shit with "fancy" buns on a simple old burger. (Same goes for serving bacon and eggs with focaccia; Benson's Cafe, Orange I'm thinking of you.) For the difficult, you can get Gluten free as well.
That and a side of their chips pretty much sorted me out.
I've been back there probably a dozen time since over the last few months and just ordered the same. The burger's big enough, and their chips are massive, and bloody good too; lightly battered, seasoned, and I think some kind of oregano and thyme set-up.
They're just good. I at least tell myself there's an element of health to them. They're not dripping with fat anyway or full of gristle. And, as has been my litmus test in the past, they seem to be relatively free of fatty patrons.
They're worth a look. Handy for lunch, and opened for dinner. Though I've never quite felt the urge, they're also licensed and have a fridge full beer and wine next to the Euro soft drinks and vitamin waters. They're fresh, quick and reasonably priced.
Perhaps the only mark against Grill'd is that the last time I was there we saw one of our "darlings of the pool" there with one of our brilliant, though nonetheless tip-rat Wallabies, which really just unsettled me. Still that's no fault of Grill'ds. Burger-wise; 10/10.

Grill'd on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Pork Sword: Mundo Churrasco, Bardon

The Pork Sword: Mundo Churrasco, Bardon: "I've never been to Brazil, but I think I'd like it. I've heard good things. I don't know a lot about Brazil. I know where it is, I know they..."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mundo Churrasco, Bardon

I've never been to Brazil, but I think I'd like it. I've heard good things. I don't know a lot about Brazil. I know where it is, I know they speak Portugese, I know they've lent their name to arguably the most important advancement in female grooming since soap.
A few years ago I learnt something else. They can cook like bastards! Some of them.
I first went to a Brazilian BBQ, or Churrascaria back in Sydney. Man-alive! This one was in Leichhardt, on Norton St. Braza Churrascaria. Fuck it was good.
About twelve months later I went back there with a few friends from out of town for a late Sunday lunch, on the back of an already hellish weekend.
This place was the shit. Nineteen, that's NINETEEN different meats and cuts, and legitimately hot Brazilians bringing them around to. Things escalated. We left about two and a half hours, three bottle of outrageously-priced Chardonnay and our weight in meat later.
From there things deteriorated severly. If getting march from The Oaks, Neutral Bay before 7PM wasn't proof enough to quit, a sobering moment during "time-out" at Scruffy Murphy's at 2AM was.
Still, that few hours at Braza was one of the best eating out experiences I've had.
So, when I was driving back from Mt Coot-tha one afternoon with my housemate and his girlfriend through Bardon and spotted Mundo my heart skipped a beat as memories of that dreadful day came flooding back.
The next weekend we set Sunday aside to take a look, and try and recreate that fateful day in Leichhardt.
Man, was I disappointed. Actually my disappointment started before we even got there. I looked at their website beforehand and was well aware before I even set foot in the door that at best we'd be dining on five meat cuts, three of those beef.
I'll admit, I'm particularly lazy, but I'm not going around opening restaurants and creating these facades of amazing South American, meaty treats. These guys have really given this a half-arse shot. The inside looks legit though, again having not been to Brazil. It's nice.
They start off with these side dishes, Carreteiro rice, Brazilian potato salad, cassava chips, brazilian beans and chips. They're OK, but that's not why you go to Brazilian BBQ. I wasn't particularly taking much notice of the last time I had it, so I can't really comment on them.
The real reason you go to Brazilan BBQ is for the meat. Apparently, it's a cooking style from the old Brazilian Cowboy, aka Gaucho. They were battlers, didn't have a lot of money, and didn't exactly have any refridgeration while they were out shifting cattle and practicing their pseudo karate dancing. So, they would cut little strips of meat of a carcass, spear it, rub all kinds of spices and shit all over it and cook it over a fire, like a big-arse sheesh kebab.
That's perhaps not historically accurate, but the long then short of it is they were on to something.
Worse still than my inept take on the history of Churrascaria is Mundo's attempt to pull it off. They're rubbish. For starters there's the meat selection you can count on one hand. Seriously, for them to be worth their salt you need to be into, at least, two-hands territory, maybe even a foot.
While I think you can order from a menu, they whole attraction of this is to pay your cash (I think 35 bucks in this case) and just go nuts. The BBQ henchmen march around with their stakes of meat, offering and sawing off little morsels onto you plate. In doing this you want to be eating more that just beef, otherwise you'd just go and get a 35 buck steak. Admittedly, there was one lamb and one chick option, each which manage to salvage, to an extent, the sad attempt they'd made with the beef. Seriously, fucking Brahman hump? Does that even count as meat?
Perhaps, it all became clear as to what, or who was behind this folly when the whitest, oldest lady this side of the Andes came around to each table, introducing herself as the owner and asking how everything was. She was sweet, I guess, but less Rio, and more Ipswich, in which instance she was possibly punching above her weight.
Needless to say, it wasn't great. We did walk away full, largely on principle, though the foul taste of disappointment was the last thing left on our pallet.
Would I recommend it? Maybe if you'd never tried it before and had no comparison of the potential awesomeness you were missing out on. Sure the experience is novel, but the food, not great.
Mundo and Old Lady, step your Churrasco game up! 5/10.

Mundo Churrasco on Urbanspoon