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Rodizio Rico

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published December 13th 2010
Dining at Rodizio Rico isn't like dining in other restaurants. It's more of a cross between dining in a restaurant and eating off a street food stall alongside some kind of mini carnival. It may seem like there's acres of difference between these two experiences - which would be the truth - but there is a very happy place where they meet, and this is Rodizio Rico.

Firstly you arrive. So far, so familiar, right? Then, if it's a busy night you hang out and have a drink near the entrance, which will probably already be a bit flavoured with BBQ smoke. You should go for a Brahma beer or a rum cocktail (there have a choice of several). If it's not so busy meaning you're quite early then you'll be taken to your table and sat down with only a knife, fork, a laminated card that's green on one side and red on the other and the rest of your party for company. And it's time to hit the buffet of side dishes. Because this restaurant only has three things on the menu as much as you can eat of everything/ vegetarian and under 12s.

The buffet of side dishes will become your main source of sustenance if you're vegetarian, but don't be dismayed by it being referenced to as a buffet of side dishes, there's plenty on offer, both hot and cold. These are your traditional Brazilian sides: rice, beans and farofa (manioc flour), salads or all sorts, both simple and complicated, croquettes full of everything under the sun, chips and fries, and fried bananas. You have to try one. If only so that you know what they're supposed to taste like.

Once you're seated back at your table with your 'sides' piled high, you'll be visited by one of Rodizio Rico's passadors (which means meat carvers), who'll brandish a skewer of meat and a big knife at you and offer you a slice of what ever they have, which could be leg of lamb; beef in a variety of cuts - from silverside to picanha, the heart of the rump; pork or exotic sausages; chicken thighs, chicken wings or chicken hearts, which are a local speciality and, like the fried bananas, worth trying 'cause they're authentic. Once the first passador has passed, another will follow, and another, and another etc. until you turn your piece of laminated card onto red, meaning stop offering me delicious meat, and have a meat-sabbatical.

If you can save space there are authentic desserts in a cabinet you can appreciate, if not actually manage to digest.

The haze of BBQ smoke may make you feel a little woozy and over stimulated but that might just be the beginning of a case of meat sweats...but it certainly adds to the feeling of it being a bit like carnival.

Carnivores eat your heart out!
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Why? Because people are meant to be carnivores! (sometimes anyway!)
Where: 77-78 Upper Street, N1 0NU, nearest station Angel
Cost: 23.50 for all you can eat - which is the way to dine
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