Yes! We’ve found a new place for Brazilian churrascaria in Bridgeport, Rancho Pantanal Restaurant and Bar. Fitting for a place that specializes in grilled meat, it has a ranch theme, with dark brown tables and banquets with fence-like backs. Rancho Pantanal Restaurant and Bar is almost on the Stratford line. It’s nicer than the other Pantanal in Bridgeport, which I wrote about for CTBites here. Parking’s easier at Rancho Pantanal.
Rancho Pantanal’s salad buffet is filled with enough fresh and healthy foods to counteract the splurge of grilled steak. I chose mango salad, pico de gallo, fresh melon, pineapple, and cucumber. At the warm buffet, I showed restraint: yellow rice, black beans and fried sweet plantains.
(The warm buffet serves daily specials, stews of beef, chicken or fish, pork belly, vegetables, okra, yucca, plantain, rice, beans, pastas and lasagna. )
At the meat station, I asked for rare steak, and guy removed a skewer from the brazier, pulled off a steak pierced through its thick cap of fat to form a self-basting bundle. He sliced the meat quickly with super sharp knives and lifted it to my plate. I returned to the buffet and spooned fresh green chimichurri sauce over the meat. Next stop, the weighing station. My plate cost about $8 dollars. That’s a lot of food, I must admit, and I enjoyed every forkful. No dinner needed that night.
And yes, Rancho Pantanal does rodizio, the all-you-can eat parade of skewer-bearing waiters offering grilled steaks, pork, chicken (and hearts), sausages and more. It’s $25 per person.
I’d like to go back for happy hour, for caipirinhas, those evocative and transporting sugar cane rum and lime drinks. With it, small plates of garlic shrimp, fried chicken and grilled picanha. And mango salsa, tomato salsa, and tropical fruits.
Who wants to come along?
2025 Boston Avenue, Bridgeport CT (right on the border of Bridgeport)