For those carnivores out there.....Rei Do Gado is a virtual meat fest. Located in the Gaslamp, this churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) serves up a buffet "rodizio" style - think of it as a reverse buffet. That is the server(s) comes up to your table with a particular meat offering on a skewer and asks you if you'd like that particular item, after which he'll slice or remove it from the skewer onto your plate.
When you arrive at your table you first go and grab a plate and start with the first course, a very well appointed salad bar and fill up - but not too much, you don't want to miss the upcoming meat-fest! The salad bar has such items as hearts of palm, stuffed sun dried tomatoes, a kim chee salad (delici-yoso), marinated mushrooms, among many others. There are two types of soup (sorry too busy with the salad), and a buffet of various hot foods and starches including fried yucca, white rice, and mashed potatoes.
On each table is a double sided wooden knob, when you're ready for the meat to start coming you turn the green side up. Servers carrying skewers of meat and little oval cutting boards will then start coming to your table with their offerings; sometimes a cheese coated chicken leg or a bacon wrapped piece of filet mignon, sometimes with a larger cut such as a Tri-tip seasoned with only salt. Turn the knob over to the red side - "No Mas".......
From my seat I could watch all the meat being prepared through a glass window. The cook was constantly moving skewers around or shifting around the charcoal under the meats.
Among the hits; everyone loved the sun dried tomatoes, and I enjoyed the hearts of palm and the kim chee salad. The cheese covered chicken legs, bacon wrapped turkey and filet, and the tri-tip were tasty. The "baby-back"(looked like spareribs) ribs were very flavorful, but hardly had any meat, the pork loin was ok with just a hint of cumin, the home made garlic sausage was a dismal failure, there was heat, but no other taste, and the sausage was dry to the point of crumbling. The food today was much better than on my last two trips here, so things are looking up. Today we were seated in the "new" area of the restaurant, seems that Rei Do Gado is doing so well that they've taken over restaurant space next door! So two salad bars, two "cooking booths", and more space, so business must be doing well.
So how does Rei Do Gado stand up against other Churrascaria's I've been too? The flavoring and variety of cuts are below that of Roda Viva in City of Industry and Greenfields in West Covina. It is however, a great place to visit if you've never experienced a Churrascaria, or for taking visitors. I usually take visiting friends from Hawaii there. Or if you need a serious Atkin's diet boost, this sure is the place to get it!
Rei do Gado - Rei Do Gado
939 Fourth Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
HOURS AND PRICES
LUNCH SPECIAL (11:00 am-2:00pm) Monday to Friday $13.75 per person
Except on Holidays
LUNCH RODIZIO (11:00 am-4:00 pm) Monday to Friday $ 22.75 per person
Saturday, Sunday, Holiday $23.75 per person
DINNER RODIZIO (after 4:00pm) Sunday to Thursday $34.95 per person
Friday, Saturday, & Holiday $39.95 per person
SALAD BAR ONLY (11:00 am-4:00 pm) Monday to Friday $12.95 per person
( After 4:00 pm) Monday to Thursday $18.95 per person
Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Holiday $28.95 per person
(NO Salad Bar Buffet on Saturday & Sunday Lunch Time)