(Clumsy as it may be, as an act of generosity, such a gesture stumbles into the general vicinity of the Way of the Gaucho. Perhaps there is hope yet for these servers. Attempting to minimize diners' agony is in itself a noble aim worthy of a gaucho.)

The kitchen grills the meats over a mesquite-wood fire. I have no quarrel with this in theory, but at Brazikat every piece of meat — top sirloin, filet wrapped in bacon, the fabled picanha (the same fatty rump cut I prepared for my American temptress so long ago), chicken wrapped in bacon, pork ribs, pork tenderloin, prime rib — tastes of mesquite and nothing else. The flavor lingers on your tongue for hours, as bitter as a jilted lover.

Whichever mesquite meat you try, the gauchos cannot ensure a consistent cut. Your picanha might be luscious or it might have the texture of tree bark. A thick slice of prime rib might be 50 percent fat.

Mixologist Rich Thierry making The Pomegranate. Slideshow: Inside Brazikat Brazilian
Jennifer Silverberg
Mixologist Rich Thierry making The Pomegranate. Slideshow: Inside Brazikat Brazilian
Brazikat in Clayton next to The Ritz in Clayton. Slideshow: Inside Brazikat Brazilian
Jennifer Silverberg
Brazikat in Clayton next to The Ritz in Clayton. Slideshow: Inside Brazikat Brazilian

Location Info

Map

Brazikat Brazilian Steak & Seafood House

172 Carondelet Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63105

Category: Restaurant > Brazilian

Region: Clayton

Details

Brazikat Brazilian Steak & Seafood House
"Feast of Meats" (per person) $39.95
"Seafood Feast" (per person) $49.95
"Surf n' Feast" (per person) $59.95

Slideshow: Inside Brazikat Brazilian

172 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton; 314-727-1007. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-midnight Fri., 4-11 p.m. Sat., 4-10 p.m. Sun. (Bar open till 11 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 1 a.m. Fri-Sat.)

The less said about the seafood, the better. I shudder to think that Brazikat might convince a diner new to the churrascaria experience that ahi tuna (encrusted in inedibly salty Cajun (Cajun!) spices) and salmon (overcooked to the point where it tastes like low tide) are Brazilian. The Parmesan shrimp — I awaken in the middle of the night from nightmares about the Parmesan shrimp.

There are "Muscles Marinara."

(The American palate never ceases to amaze me, but I want no part of this dish.)

Often, I am simply embarrassed at Brazikat. The "Brazilian Mashed Potatoes," flavored with cheddar cheese and paprika, that accompany your meal are no more a part of this Brazilian's life than our supposed fondness for waxing — and are approximately as appetizing. The caramelized bananas, another accompaniment, which the other gauchos insist upon as palate cleansers, do nothing of the sort. The "35-Item Gourmet Food Bar" is but a salad bar with random additional items (pasta salad, soup, a chicken stir-fry). I do not think the number of items equals 35, though I confess I'm unsure if I should count the two containers of identical croutons separately.

Perhaps I should overlook these flaws. I am old now. It is time for a new generation of gauchos to find a new way in the world. Yet the fact that diners are paying $39.95 for the all-you-can-eat meat dinner, $59.95 for the combined all-you-can-eat meat and seafood dinner, enrages me, and for a moment I feel as young and full of fire as that day when my mother first handed me my gaucho pants.

This Brazikat is too cynical an operation for this gaucho. Besides, I have done my part for the churrascaria arts. These gaucho pants — they do not fit me any longer.

Slideshow: Inside Brazikat Brazilian

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