West Michigan fans of Brazilian steak houses won’t have to drive to Metro Detroit or to Chicago to get their fix.
Brazilian natives Leandro and Jucimar Lemos have opened Charcoal Grill Brazilian Steak House in Holland.
The buffet-style restaurant lets customers try up to 10 kinds of Brazilian-cooked meats at one sitting.
Charcoal Grill is similar to rotisserie-style restaurants common in Brazil – where meat is skewered on a spit.
The 164-seat restaurant, at 1012 Washington Ave, opened in June in a shopping center near Captain Sundae. It takes over the cavernous storefront previously occupied by Su Casa, a Mexican grocery and eatery.
"I had the idea to open the restaurant because there is nothing like it in Holland," said Jucimar Lemos, speaking in Portuguese, as her brother-in-law Carlson Lemos, translates.
She says the new restaurant is the only Brazilian steak house currently in West Michigan, a claim supported by a Google search.
The Brazilian couple arrived in Michigan via Massachusetts, where they worked in the restaurant industry for a few decades. The last 5 years Jucimar Lemos cooked at a restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard, the famed Cape Cod summer colony.
They relocated to Holland two years ago to be close to Carlson Lemos and his wife, Helena. Both also work in the restaurant.
"The people are kind. I love it," said Leandro Lemos, of Holland. "That’s why I try to bring a little bit of our culture to them."
He roasts the meat while Jucimar Lemos, the restaurant’s executive chef, whips up authentic Brazilian dishes from scratch.
The menu includes drinks like Caju, a cashew juice, and Maracuja, a passion fruit juice — along with desserts such as Mouse de Maracuja, a passion mouse, and Brigadeiro, a fudge ball.
Customers can try meats from top sirloin cab steak to Brazilian sausage; pork loin to bacon-wrapped chicken. The meat is brought out on large metal skewers to the tables, where it is carved for customers.
The buffet is $20.99 for lunch on the weekdays, and $25.99 for dinner and weekend meals.
Charcoal Grill is open Tuesday through Wednesday, and Sunday , from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The restaurant is garnering rave reviews on Charcoal Grill’s Facebook.
"The quality of the meat is immediately apparent with the first bite," wrote one customer. "The meats we enjoyed were filet mignon, beef ribs, top sirloin with the fat cap intact, pork loin, pork loin with parmesan, Brazilian sausage, bacon wrapped chicken breast, chicken wings and drums."
He added: "The best part was the grilled cinnamon and brown sugar pineapple. The price might be high for many people but if you give it a chance you might find value is both experience and in the food. If I ordered all the meat I ate today at any other restaurant I easy would have paid $40 for just myself."
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