Review: Rafain

Brace yourself for the parade of protein, which, like the salad bar, is ho-hum.

This Brazilian steakhouse is the third churrascaria to come to Dallas, though it’s the first location in the United States for the 47-year-old restaurant chain. (All other locations are in Brazil.) For those who are new to the concept, here’s a quick tutorial: for $34.95, you get an all-you-can-eat salad bar and a barrage of meats, brought to you by handsome gauchos (Brazilian cowboys), who wield sharp knives and skewers. Simply turn over your little round card to green and brace yourself for the parade of protein—16 cuts, to be exact, of pork (too salty), beef (too tough), chicken (too bland), lamb (too gamy), and the house specialty, picanha (just right!). The salad bar was as ho-hum as the meats, though it certainly looked like it had potential, with those big bowls on ice filled with hearts of palm, asparagus, greens, roasted vegetables, caprese, and prepared salads like shrimp and egg salad. (That last one was actually quite tasty; the rest were, frankly, just too cold to taste like anything.) The dessert buffet—an extra charge—drew raves from the staff, but we couldn’t get excited about chocolate mousse that “tasted like cake batter,” according to my tablemate, or a variety of syrupy sweet candied fruits. Interestingly, we found a simple rice pudding quite nice, with just a hint of cinnamon. Rafain’s saving grace is its eternally gracious staff, who took care of our every need and, thankfully, recommended a nice Argentinean Malbec. It’s hard to go wrong with that.

Get contact information for Rafain.

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