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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Life + Arts

Meat your maker at Montrose steakhouse

If you only visit one steakhouse in your entire life, make sure it is a Brazilian churrascaria — and if you’re on the lookout for a superb steakhouse in Houston, look no further than Nelore Churrascaria in Montrose.

So few words do it justice in describing the experience at Nelore; Meat-a-palooza, steak-gauntlet, a carne-carnival — you can take your pick, but none of them come close to embodying the ridiculous portions and variety of protein that will pass before your eyes.

The concept for a churrascaria is simple: First, sit down and flip a marker indicating you are ready to be fed, then waiters carrying meat on skewers will come to your table and fill up your body to its fullest capacity.

Let me just say this: In order to get the full experience and thoroughly enjoy your dinner, fast the whole day so you can make as much space in your stomach as possible.

The style of service at Nelore is known as gaucho, where waiters simply bring you wave after wave of skewered meats to be carved tableside.

Like a steak brothel, the 15 cuts of meats offered are paraded in front of you for you to choose, ranging from Parmesan-crusted pork chops, salt-crusted Ribeye, to leg of lamb (decisions, decisions, decisions) — thank goodness the restauraunt is all you can eat.

The quality of meat is incredible. The secret to the taste is found in how the meat is roasted on an open fire and the seasonings are kept to a bare minimum of salt, garlic and a few other light herbs. This allows the flavors of the meat to come through in its purest form.

Though this is not a place that’s famous for the salad bar, the restauraunt maintains its high standards throughout, serving Brazilian fare such as cheese bread, pickled vegetables and other foods that aren’t meat.

I am not trying to be anti-salad bar because they do have some great dishes, but with all do respect, this is a Brazilian steak house — the salad bar is merely meant to distract the diner until his or her food arrives.

For carnivores, like myself, who indulge in organ meats, ask for the chicken hearts. You might have to wait, but rest assured it is well worth it. With just a squeeze of lime, this is without a doubt the tastiest part of the whole bird.

This is an almost religious experience for any steak-lover. If there is a god and he or she eats steak, no other place would suffice than Nelore.

Places like these deserve praise, even though they might not get Kobe beef steak flown in like most high end steak houses do,

Nelore’s primalistic cooking techniques of a fire pit are simple, yet beautiful, and it’s truly a wonder why more restaurants don’t adopt this style of meat preparation.

If you haven’t slipped into a protein-induced coma and you still find yourself wanting something sweet, the papaya ice cream milk shake is the only way to go. I was surprised how much I liked it since I’m not a huge fan of the fruit, but trust me — you will not regret it after your first taste.

Sure, there’s a chance you might end up suffering a massive heart attack due from eating so much meat in such a short amount of time, but what a way to go.

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