For our first official dinner in Ipanema, Rio, Koji, Mere and I chose what we thought would be the most obvious orientation to Brazilian cuisine: churrasco.

Porcão churrascuria (“Pig Pen” in English) was founded in Rio in 1975. Here, you pay up front for an all-you-can-eat buffet (consisting of salads, cheeses, cold meats, Brazilian vegetables and even sushi) as well as tableside meat service. During dinner, each person has a coaster to rest next to their place setting. When the coaster is green-side-up, it means you’re ready for more. When the coaster is red-side-up it means you’re down for the count. We’re not sure how well this system really worked, though…. no matter which side our coasters were on – we were always getting more meat on our plates!

The line up: Roast Strip, Picanha, Sliced Sirloin (from Argentina!), Beef Steak and Saddle of Lamb (from Uruguay) and chorizo, chicken breast, sausages and short ribs….

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