Sunday, August 30, 2015

Leblon Brazilian Steakhouse

For my birthday (my mid-to-late 20's birthday, to be vague) I wanted to do something different. I had been driving past Leblon Brazilian Steakhouse in Greensboro for years, but was perhaps intimidated by this crazy idea of "all you can eat meat." When my dad suggested it for my birthday dinner, I decided it was time to ignore the "meat sweat" myths and see what this place is all about. To call it a carnivore's dream is an understatement. (That's not to say that herbivores wouldn't be satisfied by the ample salad bar and side offerings!) Dining here isn't just a meal, it's an experience.
The birthday squirrel with her Caipirinha!
When I think Brazil, I think Caipirinhas, a delightful drink with Cachaca (alcohol made with sugarcane juice), Lime and Sugar. I opted for the Hot Brazilian Caipirinha, adding Jalapenos and Cucumbers. When I'm promised heat, I want my face to melt off. It was the perfect amount of zing, not for the faint of palate. 

Do not be smitten by the amount of food you're offered prior to the meats. Know what you came here for. Parmesan Popovers are the size of your thumb, and quite tasty. Stick to 1. The salad bar offers standards like carrots, beets and mushrooms, but you'll also find cold marinated shrimp, mussels, parmesan chunks, mozzarella balls, and even major appetite whetters like Moqueca, a salmon and tomato stew, and Feijoada, a black bean stew with sausage, steak and rice. Being that this is all you can eat, you'd think "I'll try just 1 bite of everything!" But limit yourself to the seafood and Brazilian novelties - you know what carrots and mushrooms taste like.

Not following the rules very well.
You're given a coaster that's green on one side and red on the other. Green = bring on the meats. Red = I'm pacing myself. We were all very bad at this system. The servers would casually walk by with a juicy looking skewer, and we'd all say "let's have some of that!" as opposed to finishing what we already had on our plates and letting them circle back by. But one look at these meats and you would have done the same thing.

Favorites included Bacon-Wrapped Turkey, Garlic Filet Mignon and Skirt Steak. This isn't to say that the Top Sirloin, Parmesan Pork Loin, Prime Rib, Lamb, Baby Back Ribs, Chicken, Sausage and Bacon-Wrapped Filet weren't also my favorites - it's impossible to choose! You can even specify how you want the meat prepared - if you like medium rare, they'd shave it from one end - but every piece has a perfectly seasoned crust, and the marinades are robust with flavor.

Add to that cinnamon-sugar coated Pineapple, Fried Plantains, Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes to break up some of the richness. I couldn't get enough of these warm, roasted fruits! Just when I thought I couldn't handle another bite, it was time to get serious about some real dessert.

When there's a Dulce De Leche Cake offered, it's hard for me to pass up. This didn't have the wetness that traditional Mexican Dulce De Leche Cakes have, but it had all the flavor. Deep caramel between layers of spongey yellow cake, with a whipped caramel frosting - this is my kind of happiness. Chocolate Pie on the other hand, is loaded with Hazelnuts, Walnuts and Chocolate Chips. Let the vanilla ice cream melt on top and you'll be fighting over every last spoonful. The Creme Caramel Flan is a lighter dessert option, reminiscient of a Creme Brulee custard, with a slightly citrus Grand Marnier sauce.
Chocolate Pie, majorly a la mode
Dulce De Leche cake
Creme Caramel Flan














Apologies for the lack of meat photos. Nothing sat on my plate long enough for me to snag even one picture! I'm already looking for the next special occasion (ANY special occasion) to return to Leblon. It's an incredible deal too, considering all the food you get. This outstanding family-run business and exceptional food will have me dreaming of this meal for a long time.

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