For my Birthday back in August, my husband suggested we try Chima Brazilian Steakhouse. It's one of several restaurant groups that have expanded to bring a new Brazilian twist to dining out. We had never been to a Brazilian steakhouse before, although many friends raved about the experience. Basically, in Brazilian "rodizio" style dining, servers come to your table offering various slow-grilled meats that have been roasted on spits, and you can try as many types as you like -- for one fixed price. What piqued our interest was the rumor that almost everything is gluten free.
Fortunately, the rumor proved to be true. I called the restaurant (their Tysons Corner, Virginia location) to make a reservation and inquired about whether they had a gluten free menu. While they don't showcase it on their website, they have a detailed printout of Gluten and Dairy Information they provide to interested guests upon their arrival at the restaurant. The person taking my reservation assured me that they accommodate gluten free diners frequently and that there would be many, many options we could enjoy.
We began with the restaurant's signature Brazilian cocktails, containing lime and rum. They even had a delightful "virgin" cocktail for the kids, combining lime and sweetened condensed milk. Then the fun really began...
We were invited to start at the salad bar. I think it was the most beautiful and extensive salad bar I've ever seen. You can easily make this a meal in itself, and some people do (the price for the salad bar also includes fish). There are traditional salads, as well as hot and cold vegetables, imported prosciutto, side dishes, soups, rice, meats, and cheeses. Everything is exquisitely presented.
Once we'd had this "appetizer" to whet our palettes, we were offered various grilled meats and seafood from "gauchos"(meat chefs) who carefully carved the meat onto our plates. Each diner is given a disc-shaped token to keep next to their plate to indicate whether or not they would like to be offered more meat. There are 16 types of grilled meat, and 10 of the choices are gluten free (the other 6 contain a seasoning with gluten). Choices include chicken wrapped in bacon (one of my favorites), sirloin, filet mignon, flank steak, ribeye, beef ribs, salmon, and swordfish. It was fun to be able to sample small portions of each and then get "seconds" of our favorite ones.
Just in case you need more food, several "sides" are served at your table, including traditional Brazilian cheesebread, which is gluten free. It's similar to Chebe bread, a popular tapioca-based gluten free bread you may be familiar with. It was a big hit with our son!
We found the prices at Chima to be fair, given the quality and quantity of the food. The fixed price is around $50 for adults and $25 for children. Dessert and drinks are available for an extra charge. In addition to the unique and wonderful Brazilian cocktails, Chima has an extensive selection of wines and champagnes from around the world.
This is one restaurant we've already found ourselves wanting to visit again, and we plan to take various family members there when they visit. It's a sophisticated, yet fun atmosphere where everyone can sample new things and choose exactly what they want -- sure to be a hit with everyone in your group!
Chima Brazilian Steakhouse has four locations in the United States and one in Brazil. You can link to their locations and their Gluten Free Menu (not even posted on their own site) on our page dedicated to Chima on GlutenFreeTravelSite.