Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Don't be deceived by my photos. I worked very hard that day to take hundreds of photos so that I could get one right. Like I have said many times before, I try to make the photos look great but that does not mean the food is as well. Can't judge a book by it's cover. You have to read the whole review to find out what I thought! ^_~ Ms. Lin and I had been debating on where would be a good place to go for lunch. We decided to go to Espetus in SF. This is a Brazilian BBQ Restaurant. For those of you who have never been, they are usually all you can eat. The meat is usually brought to the table side by Gauchos. There is a usually a trinket/item on the table that can be flipped from red to green for when you are ready to have meats brought to your table. Mine usually stays green! ^_-
They aren't really that busy for lunch, but we booked a reservation just in case. The decor is clean and nice. I felt the actual server was greatly lacking. The Gauchos were nice, but our actual server was quite negligent and had an attitude. I have noticed that this has been somewhat of a trend in SF. Don't get me wrong, there are many times they were very nice but I seem to meet snootier ones in SF. Maybe it's just being in a city? Who knows.
There is a Salad Bar in the back. They have a decent amount of various foods that are meant to fill you up so that you won't eat the meat! I normally take a quick browse and pick up some tidbits. Be sure not to fill up on the fillers, you are there for the meat! ^_- I am guilty for grabbing some rice to eat with the meat since it mellows the saltiness and allows more flavor to come out. They really didn't have anything too special at the salad bar. It's NOWHERE near impressive as the ones in Fogo de Chao.
For lunch they didn't have as much rotation in the beginning and then suddenly all the meats start coming out at once. It was actually really difficult to take pictures of the meat as they are cutting them or plating them. Luckily I just kept clicking until I got one right. =) The Picanha, flavored Sirloin caps, is my favorite. I think this was the only thing here that I really enjoyed. Ms. Lin relished that they had Chicken Hearts. All I can say is blech! lol She enjoyed them, but they were not anything special. A lot of the meat was overcooked for my taste. I finally got some Medium-Rare Picanha, which brought my mood up.
We both agree that this place is not that good. I guess maybe we are spoiled by all the great food in SoCal. Well the BEST place we both agree in unison is Fogo de Chao. YES, the BEST! They are always great in service and the quality of food is superb. The BEST thing about Brazilian BBQ is the bread! They are called Pão de Queijo. Ms. Lin can NEVER resist them. I always yell at her for filling up on bread, but not for long as I will always be stuffing myself full of them with her. The Pão de Queijo here were only so-so. We love them so much that we will still eat the mediocre ones. They also served Fried Plantains, which normally are substituted with Bananas. The ones her were okay and they brought something new. I believe it was Fried Yuca/Cassava, which was something different.
My general recommendation is to come during lunch because it's cheaper, but be aware that you get a lot less meat choices. It's a give and take. The Parmesan Pork Tenderloin was a little dry and rough for my favor. Like I said, they tend to overcook the meat and lose a lot of the succulent texture. The meat was also quite salty at some points. Ms. Lin liked the Chicken Wings. We both didn't really like the Homemade Sausages.
All in all the food was only so-so. They also mixed up our bills at the end. First off, there weren't that many people there. This just shows you the level of competence there. I talked it over with Ms. Lin today and she agreed that the place wasn't that great. We again agreed that Fogo de Chao is the best. The price for lunch was not bad, but I think I'd rather just wait until I am back in SoCal for better food. I brought up the point that they are one of the very few places in SF, within the city, for Brazilian BBQ and she agreed. I guess for those of you who live in SF you will have to settle for this, but wait until you try Fogo de Chao! YUM!