Unless you are a vegetarian, you have not lived life to its fullest until you have dined at a churrascaria. Known world-wide for featuring the distinctly South American style rotisserie method of cooking meat called “churrasco”, a churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse. Churrascarias typically offer “rodízio” service, wherein “Passadores” (meat waiters) criss cross packed dining rooms at a feverish pace carrying skewers of savory, mouth-watering meat ready to be sliced right onto the plates of hungry guests. The entire concept owes its origins to the fireside roasts performed by the gaúchos of southern Brazil. Here in the United States, we have several upscale churrascaria restaurants from which to choose; among those restaurants, several have set up shop in the nation’s capital like Fogo de Chao, Texas de Brazil, and Chima Brazilian Steakhouse. With respect to churrascaria-style restaurants, Washingtonians likely prefer Fogo de Chao, but Chima Brazilian Steakhouse probably ranks a close second. While none of the area’s churrascarias made Washingtonian Magazine’s 2012 “100 Very Best Restaurants” list, Chima Brazilian Steakhouse - Washington delivers an outstanding dining experience that any true foodie could appreciate.
Chima Brazilian Steakhouse - Washington not only offers everything one would expect from a Brazilian steakhouse but also provides a few surprises. For example, unlike Texas de Brazil, Chima offers some of the best grilled salmon and swordfish you will find in all of Greater Washington, and trust me; we have some GREAT seafood here! The salmon at Chima will absolutely melt in your mouth. The bar scene at Chima is always lively. In fact, if you find yourself in Tysons Corner after a 2pm meeting that did not conclude until 4pm, you will hardly find a better spot than Chima to take in happy hour while you wait for Tyco traffic to subside. The restaurant’s ambiance is something to behold, replete with contemporary lounge chairs and a cascading crystalline video screen in the center of the dining room. Aside from the grilled fish, Chima also offers something that neither Fogo nor Texas de Brazil do, outdoor dining. Unfortunately, the service can be a bit slow and disorganized at times, but that is the only downside to the experience. In fact, I am of the opinion Chima serves better meats than Texas de Brazil, whose beef ribs are almost always too salty and too fatty. Texas de Brazil does, however, offer the best lobster bisque I have ever tasted.
But, again, while close, Chima still falls short of Fogo de Chão. Where the salad bar at Chima is outstanding, capable of satisfying even the more discriminating foodies among us, the salad bar at Fogo is simply amazing. Chima serves very good meat. Fogo serves near perfect meat. Fogo de Chão offers the complete “Big City” dining experience. The wine list at Fogo is far superior to both Chima and Texas de Brazil. Finally, Chima’s location almost deters visitors. During the work week, Tysons Corner can be nearly as unnavigable as sections of the Potomac River itself; moreover, without the complimentary valet, parking at Chima can seem like “Mission: Impossible”. Getting to and from Texas de Brazil also presents its own challenges, but the location of Texas de Brazil at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax provides for ample parking. Now, unless you are totally averse to travelling by Metrorail, Fogo de Chão is fairly accessible throughout its hours of operation, but unless you are Irish, forget about parking near Fogo during the week, particularly during the spring or summer months.
Chima Brazilian Steakhouse - Washington
8010 Towers Crescent Drive
Vienna, VA 22182
Amir Clayton Powell is an author, advocate, entrepreneur, father, husband, servant of God, and warrior. By the by, he also happens to be the Publisher of The Old School Journal™ (TOSJ) as well as the Founder & Chairman of A C Powell & Co. LLC. Find A C on Twitter: @AClaytonPowell. Follow TOSJ on Facebook & Twitter. Check out books and other essays by A C Powell here: www.lulu.com/spotlight/aclaytonpowell.com.
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