Gaucho Brazilian Steak House Northville, MI
If you say "all you can eat" and "steak" in the same sentence, then you might think of Golden Corral. Really the steak at GC is pretty good if you don't mind big crowds, noise, and bratty kids everywhere. But comparing GC to Gaucho would be like comparing a childs hand painting to the Mona Lisa. There really is no comparison. Here is our experiences, we've been twice.
The first time we went, we went for lunch. Lunch is $20 and the only thing lunch doesn't seem to have is beef tenderloin and leg of lamb. But really you are not missing anything, more on that later. So we go in, place looks great, and they seat us promptly. The table has cloth linens, which is a nice touch. A waitress comes up quickly to get our drinks (drinks not included in meal cost). She explains that the little cardboard circles (remember POGs?) will tell the meat carvers if we want meat or not. The green side says yes please, the red side says no thank you and everyone has there own steak POG. She explains that there is a "salad bar" and suggests we start with that.
Saying it is a "salad bar" really doesn't do it justice.You could easily make a meal with just the salad bar. If you want just the salad bar, you can have it for $15. They had several soups, bread, and all types of fancy salads and cold items. Some of the items we liked were:
- Cold asparagus, different but tasty
- Cobb salad
- Waldorf salad (YUM!)
- Cold Mushrooms, I think they were marinated
- Smoked Salmon
Quickly the gauchos, which loosely translated means cowboy but here they are meat carvers, start stopping at our table. All the gauchos are dressed in these great flaring baggy pants, a wide leather belt, fancy boots, and a bright white shirt. Love the look. Most of the gauchos are Brazilian so some times it was hard to tell what type of meat they were offering you. But you quickly catch on. They come up with these large skewers, a big chef's knife and a little plate to catch the drippings as they carve tableside. As long as your steak POG is green they stop at your table as they make the rounds and ask if you would like what ever it is they are carrying. If you say yes they will carve off a little bit for you. If you want more then just tell them, you want it medium rare, tell them. You want something different meat wise, tell them. Next to each our plates is a pair of tongs. Which you are supposed to use to hold the meat once they start carving it for you. We had to be reminded to tong the meat more then once. I think you lose some short term memory when a guy walks up with 5 pounds of hot dripping meat on a three foot skewer in one hand and a large chefs knife in the other.
Shortly after we went turned on the green light for meat, we were brought some fried bananas and some mashed potatoes with a garlic cream sauce. Both were excellent. The bananas were almost dessert like. The mashed potatoes went great with the steaks. Our favorite steak was the bottom sirloin. But all meats were good. Just some more so then others. It was nice just to try so many different flavors in a way that is totally different from other restaurants.
Now when we came for dinner, we came on Valentines day. Which looking back was likely a mistake. The place was just too busy. With so many full tables the excellent service during a normal lunch crowd became a chore in just getting a drink refill. Many times the meat carvers just passed us and our empty plates by. Also the couple extra meats they offered just weren't anything special, at least not for $40, double the cost of lunch. The tenderloin and lamb were good, but the bottom sirloin and others offered at lunch were just as good if not better. Even if the service was as good as lunch the cost just doesn't seem worth it. They would have to offer something more or reduce the price to make dinner a viable option in our opinion. I have seen some coupons for dinner like on St. Patty's day they had dinner for $30 plus a free drink. Which seems a little more reasonable.
So the bottom line: Will we go again for lunch? Most defiantly. Dinner? Likely not.
If you go, and we suggest you do at least for lunch:
Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse
39550 7 Mile Rd., Northville, MI, 48167
Link to map
(Coupons can be found sometimes under the new and noteworthy link)