Over the past decade, I’ve experienced the joy of dining at churrascarias (Brazilian steakhouses) on multiple occasions across the United States. They are, in my opinion, one of the best places to eat if you have any love for fire-roasted meats. The churrascaria that I’ve experienced the most and am most familiar to people is the well-known chain Fogo de Chão.
It’s been almost five years since Nashville had a churrascaria to grace its presence. The last one that in the area was Fire of Brazil, which lasted for about 2 years and finally closing its doors in 2006. Since then, there has been a gaping hole and a longing for a churrascaria in Nashville. Over the years, there have been posts on various forums on whether Nashville was going to have another one. That time has finally come and the name of the churrascaria is Bombasha Brazilian Steakhouse.
Bombasha occupies a fairly small space off Belcourt Avenue near Belmont and Vanderbilt but is easily identifiable by its large black canopy with the logo emblazoned across it. Large glass windows frame the front and inside, you’ll find a multiple cozy dining rooms colored in earthen tones, brick foundation walls, and wooden floors and beams. There is a full-service bar located in the middle of the restaurant that serves everything you’d expect at a bar plus Brazilian/South American imported beverages as well as caipirinhas (Brazil’s national drink) and the restaurant’s own cocktail, The Bombasha.
Being seated towards the front by the hostess, our server immediately introduced himself and ran through the gist of how Bombasha‘s dining experience worked. Bombasha is a buffet restaurant, meaning there is no menu. For a prix fixe of $32.90, you are presented with a three-course meal consisting of unlimited visits to the salad bar, unlimited sides, and unlimited servings of various fire-roasted meats. If you or your date is a vegetarian or would rather not eat any meat at all, the price falls to $19.90. I remember dining at Fogo back in the early 2000s and finding that the equivalent meal would cost you $45. In the latter half of the decade, the price rose to around $50-$55. Having the option to experience a churrascaria for $32.90 is definitely worth it… especially when compared to Fire of Brazil’s price when they were in Nashville in 2006; it ends up being $7 cheaper. After your meal, if you have room, desserts are available but unfortunately I opted not to see a dessert menu.
At every table, each seat has a coaster with the red side face-up by default. The other side of the coaster is green. The purpose of these colors is to indicate to the passadores (meat waiters, also commonly referred to as gaúchos) whether to serve you. While dining, these gaúchos dressed in black and blue are constantly searching the premises looking for a green colored coaster.
I would like to believe that the majority of the people who come to churrascarias are there for the fire-roasted meats. I acknowledge that some of them are there for the salad bar and if they are, it might be the only disappointing factor of Bombasha. It’s not to say that Bombasha’s owners aren’t making an effort… because they are but given the limited space it’s pales in comparison to places like Fogo or even a restaurant that focuses on salad bars (like Jason’s Deli). Haley was one of those who was a bit disappointed in the available choices, but I on the other hand enjoyed everything on the salad bar. They even have deliciously unique items such as: hearts of palm, marinated artichoke bottoms, salami, prosciutto, and tabbouleh.
Even the sides were very authentic from what I’ve had in the past. All of it (that I can recall from memory) was there: rolls, mashed potatoes, jasmine rice, black beans, fried yuca (similar in taste to potatoes), and fried plantains. They were all very good but I barely ate more than a bite of each in fear of being too full on “filler” foods. My favorite of them all were the fried plantains.
But let’s get real here; I wasn’t there for a salad bar… or the sides. I was there to re-experience the meats that I haven’t had for at least 3 years now. With one flip of the coaster to green, the gaúchos were at my table faster than I could say “bem-vindo”. Most everything I could remember from my past churrascaria experiences were there: picanha (top sirloin, Bombasha’s signature item), filet mignon, “garlic steak”, frango (chicken) wrapped in bacon, lombo (pork loin) coated with Parmesan cheese, and linguica (Brazilian sausage). The only items that I didn’t see available were costela (ribs) of beef, lamb, and pork varieties as well as lamb chops… but that’s ok because the other meats are more than enough to satiate any appetite.
Every single meat item was absolutely perfect with the exception of two: the lombo (pork loin) and the frango (chicken). Those two cuts had nice flavor but were a little dry. In Bombasha‘s defense, I did arrive around 9:15 PM that evening and they close at 10 PM. So I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and will assume that had I arrived earlier, the pork and chicken would have been moister to my liking. Everything else was so very delicious. My favorite items were definitely the “garlic steak” and the picanha. I’m not quite sure what kind of cut of beef the “garlic steak” was supposed to be but was awesome! The heavy coating of garlic mixed with the natural juices of the beef made for some of the tastiest morsels of beef you could imagine. As for the picanha, every slice that was offered to me was exactly medium rare and seasoned to perfection. Extremely tender, juicy, and flavorful, this was some of the best I’ve ever had. What I find humorous is that I never said “no” to the gaúcho that served the picanha. Every time he came close to my table, he stopped and asked me if I would like a slice even though my coaster was red. I probably had a little more than a whole picanha to myself that evening.
Lastly, I’d like to mention that the service at Bombasha is superb. Every staff member was extremely polite and made me feel welcome. Even one of the owners, Christy Rodrigues came over to ask how we enjoyed our experience and chatted with us for a couple minutes. Little things like are particularly nice in my opinion and help you feel like more than just a customer.
Bombasha is a welcome addition to Nashville. I’ve already announced it to all my friends and family and I plan on returning with them in the future. Although Bombasha has only been open for a few weeks now, I’m crossing my fingers for their success. Speculation on why the previous the churrascaria, Fire of Brazil, closed was based on the fact that nobody wanted to pay the fixed price for the experience. Of course this is just a rumor and if it is actually the reason that it closed, then Bombasha has them beat. No longer will I have to drive a minimum of three hours to get to the nearest churrascaria. I can now enjoy the convenience (and deliciousness) of one right here in Nashville.
|Bombasha Brazilian Steakhouse
2000 Belcourt Ave
Nashville, TN 37212
Bombasha’s Facebook Page
Bill Total: $68.50 For Two w/ Tax