galpaogaucho-3029Upscale dining with top notch service and so many exotic, yet familiar, flavors to indulge in. Galpão Gaucho, located at 2318 North Loop 1604 W., has everything you need for a luxurious night out or a new happy hour hotspot.

Ahhh, Brazilian steakhouses, there’s truly nothing like them. Salad bars that go on for miles, and meat that dances about the restaurant waiting for you to feast upon – similar to that kitchen scene in Beauty and the Beast. If you’ve never been to a Brazilian steakhouse, here’s a quick rundown:

galpaogaucho-3043Upon arrival, you will undoubtedly spot the rectangular salad bar that’s beautifully illuminated and whispering your name. You’ll walk past this delicious specimen and take a seat at your table where a very well-dressed and well-mannered server will take your drink order. Very similar to the normal dining experience, yes, except when you want food at a Brazilian steakhouse, be ready for a carousel of meat, literally. Each person will have a small card that’s typically green on one side and red on the other. When you flip your card to green, the meat will begin coming your way and you can choose what you wish to eat. If you do not flip your card to red, a continuous supply of meat will arrive at the corner of your eye. It’s beautiful.

galpaogaucho-3055Now, back to Galpão Gaucho. Jacqueline and I arrived at 7:30 p.m. on a Friday, giddy with excitement for our first fancy meal in a while. Chairs were pulled out and napkins were placed on our lap as we ordered our first beverage. I ordered sparkling water (I was feeling extremely fancy) and Jacqueline ordered the drink of Brazil, The Caipirinha, which oddly translates to the “little country girl”, and features fresh limes, sugar, Brazilian rum and sugar cane.

galpaogaucho-3059After glancing about the restaurant that seats around 300 people, I walked over to the salad bar with the largest smile across my face. All of my favorite foods for the first course. Prosciutto, salami, parmesan chunks, fresh mozzarella balls, asparagus, tomatoes, cucumbers, large bacon bits, numerous toppings and dressings for salads and warm, soft pieces of bread. Honestly, I could just eat at the salad bar, mostly because my dream is to live off prosciutto and various cheeses, and sparkling water, of course.

galpaogaucho-3072-2I may or may not have made a second trip to the salad bar before Jacqueline and I both flipped our cards to green. Once that happened, beef ribs, bacon wrapped chicken, sausage, filet mignon and other meats came to our table. Jacqueline and I were opposites at the beginning; I would say yes to the filet mignon while she said yes to the chicken. Once our plates were covered with a portion of the 15 cuts of meat Galpão Gaucho offers, we turned our cards to red and just like that – the meat stopped.

Along with the meat, Galpão Gaucho serves mashed potatoes, fried polenta and fried plantains, and offer chimichurri and jalapeño sauces. The fried plantains are hands down my new obsession. The staff brought me new servings every 15 minutes because I took a bite in between each bite of meat.

Galpão Gaucho does an amazing job at making you feel as though you are the only table in the restaurant. We never had to ask for anything, everything always arrived before we had a chance to form a complete sentence, and it was relaxing to have a dining experience that was completely taken care of. We had one general server, but everyone at the restaurant was willing to help.

One of the main reasons Jacqueline and I were so thrilled to be at Galpão Gaucho was because of the salmon with tropical sauce. Unlike most Brazilian steakhouse that strictly stick to meat, Galpão Gaucho serves up an amazingly tender and moist salmon covered in a sweet tropical sauce.

galpaogaucho-3084Around 9 p.m. Jacqueline and I were staring at each other. Our meal satisfied us to our core, almost. Next up was dessert! Of course we had dessert! This was a time to indulge in anything and everything. We switched up our setting and took a seat at the bar where Jacqueline ordered the favela mule – a Brazilian twist on a Russian classic with vodka, ginger beer, lime and a splash of Cedilla acai liqueur.

galpaogaucho-3087-2Desserts at Galpão Gaucho range from creme brûlée to authentic Brazilian flan. The bartender was telling me about the papaya cream which has natural enzymes to help digest protein and it only felt natural to order it, plus is sounded healthy! The papaya cream was soft, sweet and the perfect ending to one of the largest meals I’ve had in a while.

Dining at Galpão Gaucho is a unique experience and a true indulgence. However, the happy hour menu, which features $6.50 specialty drinks and 8 oz. appetizers for $8.50 is always a good choice! The happy hour menu, which is available Monday through Friday from 4 to 6:30 p.m., features calamari, grilled chicken breast wrapped in bacon, grilled garlic sirloin, grilled sausage, grilled piranha and pork ribs. For the month of June, all appetizers are 50% off!

We want to offer you a chance to dine at Galpão Gaucho! First, like us on Facebook and tag who you’d like to take out to dinner on our featured Galpão Gaucho post and next, like Galpão Gaucho on Facebook to be entered to win dinner for two! Winner will be chosen Monday, June 29th!