Chima Brazilian Steakhouse in Fort Lauderdale

Of all Brazil's contributions to world culture--Carnival, bikini waxing, those swimsuits--I think my favorite is delivered on a sword. 

Brazilian barbecue, known as churrasco, is a uniquely South American kind of grilling, and thanks to Broward's huge Brazilian population, we can actually get authentic and traditional churrasco right in downtown Fort Lauderdale at Chima Steakhouse. But if you go, don't expect barbecue sauce, and forget about the bibs and plastic baskets of fries. Churrasco barbecue is nothing like the sweet, fatty American barbecues. It's more awesome, arguably tastier, and even slightly threatening. 

Eating this stuff is an experience. You get to the restaurant, sit down, and maybe wander off to the salad and side bar. When you sit down, they give you a disc: green on one side, red on the other. Throughout the meal, waiters wander around the dining room with swords of marinated and flame-grilled meat. If your disc is green side up, they carve some off for you. If it's read, they assume you're taking a break or slowly slipping into a food coma.

This is not a dining experience for vegetarians. Meat is the main show here--and a decent churrasco restaurant will have five, ten, even twelve cuts of prime meats floating around the dining room at once. Tenderloin? Check. Pork? Got it. Sausages? But of course. Chicken hearts? Hey, this Brazilian after all.

A proper churrasco steakhouse meal is a slow affair--give yourself a few hours to stuff, recover and stuff again. Bring good friends. Wear elastic.

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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