Who likes meat? Who likes tender juicy slices of grilled meat? Yes? Then make a point to try Em Chamas Brazilian Grill, 6101 NW 63rd Terrace, Kansas City Missouri 64151. You might not want to take the whole family, as it is a bit pricey ($29.99 per person for carnivores, $19.99 per person for herbivores), but for your next special occasion for a party of two, it’s a great choice.
If you’re unfamiliar with how rodizio service works you may be a bit confused at first. When you are seated you will find on your table a drink menu, a list of grilled meats you will be served and a ‘coin’ for each person. One side of the coin says ‘yes please’ and the other side says ‘No thank you’. This signals the gauchos (the meat servers) who walk around slicing off freshly grilled chunks of meat to each guest, whether or not you would like more meat at that time or not.
So, if you haven’t stuffed yourself full of beef short ribs, grilled lamb, Brazilian sausage, spicy chicken thighs, or your choice of 10 other grilled meat selections, you can turn your coin to ‘si, por favor’ and a Gaucho will come to your table and slice you off a delicious portion. If, however, the meat sweats have set in, or maybe you just need a breather, you can turn your coin to ‘nao, obrigado’ and they will pass by.
Each rodizio service comes with the vast salad bar, which offers several Brazilian vegetable dishes both cold and hot. Some of the choices are a garbanzo bean salad, green beans, sweet and sour bell peppers and onions, white rice with black beans, and even mashed potatoes-for those who are a little less adventurous.
Don’t waste too much precious tummy room on the salad bar, the selections are numerous, yet mediocre. The real deal is yet to come. Once you have gotten your first course from the salad bar and your coin signals you are ready for the meat course the gauchos will begin stopping at your table and slicing away.
Enter: Meat Heaven. Each delectable little slice is the perfect shade of medium rare. They are fork tender and juicy. Upon first bite it is really almost unbelievable how delicious it is. The lamb is outstanding, all the beef choices are perfectly grilled and seasoned, and the chicken thighs were just spicy enough to require the finishing of the first glass of wine which led to the next.
The only meat that did not seem as if it was handed directly down from the Brazilian meat gods was the chicken spiedini, which came out dry and bland. Go figure, because it’s an Italian dish anyway.
Em Chamas has a great wine list and also a full bar. Their drink menu offerings focus on South American cocktails and wines. They offer six different versions of the Caipirinha, the traditional cocktail of Brazil, along with a long list of fruited rum and tequila drinks. The dessert tray is less ambitious and offers traditional desserts like a cheesecake, a caramel flan, key lime pie, and a double chocolate cake.
Em Chamas has a great quiet romantic ambience while still providing excitement throughout the visit. The salad bar is sort of like a bag of mixed jelly beans. There’s so many different colors and flavors, you know you can’t try all the choices so you just have to hope the ones you choose will be some of the tastiest. And there’s constantly something going on.
The gauchos are always coming by with some new experience for your palate and you never know what’s coming next. If you like meat, and you like to try new things, take the trip. You won’t be disappointed.