I wrote a review a while ago on the Espetus in San Francisco [not good] and gave the one in San Mateo a try when Dear Husband was REALLY craving "all you can eat meat" and since our favorite Texas De Brazil in Las Vegas was too far we came here. We made reservations for 5:30, but arrived around 5:05 and the seated us right away. Once they verified that we knew how the dinner worked we made our way to the salad bar area. This was really disappointing to me. They had very few options and the ones they did were not very good quality. For instance most churrascaria's have fresh mozzarella marinated in spices and olive oil, there's was just plain mozzarella balls in a bowl. They were dry and lacking any flavor at all. They offered vinegar and oil, but it literally was white kitchen vinegar and maybe low quality olive oil...there really was no taste at all. There was no fresh fruit and the salami consisted of one basic kind, and the prosciutto was extremely dry and had an off taste. I tried the beef "stew" but found the beef to be tough and grizzly. Hubby had the white rice and black bean/meat mixture which he really liked.
returning to the table they had brought a wooden platter of extras, fried polenta, plantains, and some very yummy cheese bread/balls. There was actually something else on the platter but I really don't remember what it was. Next we turned the wheel to green and the meat parade started. They had your typical offerings, chicken hearts, grilled pineapple, chicken breast and sirloin chunks wrapped in bacon, chicken and pork sausage, leg of lamb, beef ribs, flank steak, top sirloin, fillet mignon, parmesan crusted chicken, and my VERY favorite the garlic sirloin which was encrusted in garlic. Super yummy and tender a must for any garlic lover.
Our waiter was attentive but not overly friendly. The Gauchos were always making the rounds and if you said no to a few items they would ask which item you wanted and within a minute or two it would be at your table. The manager of the restaurant was in the thick of things. He was at each table checking on everyone and sincerely cared if you were being taken care of..either that or he was a REALLY good actor LOL. In fact he was bringing a few diet cokes to a table to help out and accidentally spilled one all over his suit and he took it all in stride he finished taking care of the customer first then went and took care of his clothes.
We ended up ordering 2 servings of the Petit gateau for dessert. Hubby and two of our kids LOVED it, but it was super super sweet and CHOCOLATY. I personally didn't care for it, but the ice cream is served on the side in a sugar/cookie shell [sorta like a lacey] and it was great..wish I could just order that next time. We knew how expensive most Churrascarias are so the bill was not a surprise to us. There was 4 of us we all drank only water, had the two desserts and our bill with tax and tip was $310. Hubby and I have already made a future date to return sans kids soon.
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