For many, such a place exists in Concord. It’s called Brasas do Brazil.
Located at the far end of Park and Shop, this upscale eatery has been pleasing diners since it opened six years ago. Though expensive, the complete dining experience has led to return visits from satisfied patrons.
When Andreia Drumm and her husband Deidson De Camargos started Brasas do Brazil, neither of them had ever been employed in the restaurant trade. Their inspiration came from De Camargos’ mom, who was a skilled cook in Rio Grande in Brazil. Her recipes have been the foundation of a diverse menu.
Back home in Brazil, lavish barbecues provided a means of celebration for special occasions. The couple imparted this same spirit when opening the Concord operation, which can accommodate large groups of up to 200 guests.
“We want everyone to have a memorable time at our family-friendly place,” Drumm says.
Such an attitude might explain why Brasas do Brazil has prospered, while many other restaurants have failed during the COVID-19 era.
Things start with cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks derived from fresh lime, pineapple, strawberry, mango and other tropical flavors. I sampled several concoctions featuring Brazilian-made rum. Its clean taste pairs well with fruit juices. Our table ordered the Rio Caipirinhas sampler of four different types. All were excellent.
After that, we ventured over to the expansive buffet, filled with fresh salads, vegetables, hearts of palm, olives, smoked salmon, quality cheeses, etc. One could find similar displays at high-end establishments such as the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley.
The Brazilian rice featured a hint of fried onion and garlic. The black beans with pork were also excellent.
We tried our best not to fill up on the buffet and the fantastic house-made rolls. We realized the importance of saving room for the main course of Brazilian BBQ that soon followed.
The main event
Inside the kitchen is a large pit filled with mesquite coals, where they roast assorted meats, pineapple and shrimp rotisserie-style. My concern that these items would be overdone was soon forgotten as the servers provided us with meats cooked medium rare as requested.
Courteous, well-trained servers came by our table with, at last count, 15 specialty items. All of the meats were flavorful. It was surprising to learn only sea salt flavored most of them. My favorite were the beef ribs that were so thick, large pieces could easily be sliced with tongs provided each guest.
One after another, we sampled sirloin, flap meat, filet mignon, lamb chops and various cuts of pork. Chicken breast options were available as well, but our eating capacity precluded wanting to try them.
But we did opt for the roasted pineapple. Seasoned with brown sugar and cinnamon, it helped clean our palates from the other barbecued foods.
Not to be forgotten were the skewered 21-25 sized garlic shrimp. They were delicious and surprisingly non-rubbery. We could have easily made an entire meal of them.
As our evening at Brasas do Brazil concluded, we reflected on the combination of Brazilian culture, delectable food and outstanding service that made our trip to this establishment like no other.
Even though we were full, the desire to sample deserts remarkably remained. Since counting calories was out the window, I had to try the sinfully rich chocolate truffles. Also noteworthy was the Brazilian-style flan with brown cane sugar flavors. These homemade delights perfectly concluded an evening of feasting at this gourmet paradise.
Brasas do Brazil is open 5-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, staying open an hour longer on Friday. They open at noon on weekends, closing at 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 p.m. Sunday. The restaurant is located at 1631 Willow Pass Road, Concord. Reservations available at 925-822-3474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Richard Eber at email@example.com.