Elaborate salad bars, endless meat skewers and green and red coins have all become synonymous with Brazilian steakhouse dining. The folks at the new Espadas De Brazil food trailer have taken that experience and shrunk it down to a more informal, grassroots level.
Based on traditional Brazilian churrascarias, Brazilian restaurants that specialize in skewered meats in an all-you-can-eat style, and Espadas De Brazil serves up high-quality grilled steak, chicken and pork.
“My husband was the general manager of a churrascaria for about 20 years in total, and I have about 10 years of restaurant experience as well,” owner Alina Figueiredo said. “We decided our dream of starting our own special thing could be a reality when we joined forces.”
Figueiredo said while Espadas De Brazil operates on a smaller level than a traditional churrascaria, it still offers an identical quality of food for a fraction of the price.
“Instead of going to a churrascaria and
spending $50 per person, if you come here as a couple, you spend about $35-$40 tops (combined), and you get probably almost the same experience,” Figueiredo said.
In addition to better prices for the style of food, Figueiredo said Espadas De Brazil also offers customers better
“We make sure to take care of (our customers) the way they would in a Brazilian steakhouse, where you just go outside, you say ‘hi,’ you start up a conversation, and you just clean their plates up and provide them with anything that they ask for,” Figueiredo said.
Unlike many food truck owners who aspire to someday open a brick and mortar, Figueiredo said she and her husband do not currently have any plans to expand in that manner.
“It’s just such competition right now in the restaurant industry, and we believe that we don’t have to be like another churrascaria in order to be big,” Figueiredo said. “Owning four or five trailers in the Austin area will be just as successful.”
Working out of a truck certainly doesn’t affect the quality of the food served at Espadas De Brazil. Although it isn’t an all-you-can-eat set up, the portions are enough to make customers full.
The sides alone are phenomenal. One in particular, the Lua Brazilian cheese bread, is delectably satisfying. It has a fairly mild flavor, and the cheese serves as a catalyst for maximum moisture in the bread, which goes exceptionally well with grilled meat.
Another notable side dish is the mandioca frita, or yucca fries. Although there are only five per order, they’re huge and delicious. The crunchy breading on the outside, the greasy fried yucca on the inside and the drizzle of spicy mayo over it all result in a side that’s far better than the truck’s
There’s no question that the food at Espadas De Brazil is good. The problem is, once you get past the sides and onto the entrees, the options get significantly more expensive, mostly ranging from $12 to $18. This is understandable, as quality steak and pork usually cost at least that much, if not more, but many West Campus residents will not be able to afford these meals on a regular basis.
That isn’t to say you can’t still dine at Espadas De Brazil on a budget. The picanha sandwich, in particular, is a great option for students who want to enjoy good steak on limited funds. The sandwich contains fresh-sliced top sirloin, melted American cheese and a mixture of sauteed veggies and tomato on a warm hoagie roll. The sandwich is like a higher-quality Philly Cheesesteak, and it’s fantastic. It costs $9.50, which students regularly drop on sandwiches at Fricano’s Deli. It’s well worth the price.
Espadas De Brazil has the potential for success in Austin, but the key to their success and expansion may be in marketing their high-quality meats to Austin professionals instead of students.
- Espadas De Brazil
- Location: 2512 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78705
- Rating: 8/10