How To Get The Most Bang For Your Buck At A Brazilian Steakhouse

If you've ever eaten at a Brazilian steakhouse, you'll already know that it represents a sizable investment, since dinner for one can cost up to $65. Still, you're getting the entertaining churrascaria experience, complete with waiters bringing an endless parade of meats right to your table. Plus, it's all-you-can-eat meat! There are plenty of tips for getting the most bang for your buck at a Brazilian steakhouse, but they all boil down to two simple rules: Pace yourself, and save yourself for the good stuff.

If you want to make the most of your dining experience, be sure to avoid some common Brazilian steakhouse mistakes. Don't fill up on bread and other carbs, and do not give in to the temptation of the salad bar! The salad bar at most Brazilian steakhouses is no sad array of wilted lettuce, chopped vegetables, and croutons. It's stocked with all manner of tempting items meant to fill you up so you eat less of the pricier proteins. That feijoada may look delicious, but only take a spoonful. Are those marinated quail eggs? Just one of these will do. Pão de queijo? Set that cheesy roll to one side to nibble on later. 

Instead of diving into all of the delights on offer, you should take sample-sized portions of anything you'd like to try. Your best bets are salads with citrusy or vinegary dressings since the acid will help to cleanse your palate between bites of fatty meat.

You should also pace yourself with the meats

If you've had sufficient willpower to keep from filling up on appetizers, you're ready for the star attraction — the many types of meat. Say yes to the first few items, but flip your card to the red side and pause after five or six items. Take time to savor each bite. Once you flip the card back to green, you might want to consider saying no to every other item, but be sure to research what's popular at the restaurant, so you don't miss any delicacies. If you're determined to try them all, limit yourself to a bite or two once you start getting full. And bear in mind that some restaurants save the best and most expensive meats for last.

Prioritize beef over chicken and pork — you're dining at a Brazilian steakhouse, so beef is bound to be the restaurant's specialty. Lamb and seafood items also tend to be high-dollar, so you can say yes to those, as well. This doesn't mean that you should pass up all of the cheaper meats, though, as linguiça (Brazilian sausage) is a must-try, while bacon-wrapped chicken and parmesan-crusted pork are hard to resist. 

Whether or not to save room for dessert is a hotly debated topic. Some claim it's a waste of money but others argue that the range of delectable treats — from flans to cakes with guava paste or dulce de leche — is an unmissable part of the experience.