A good friend of mine wanted beef. Another one is on a budget. So rather than head to Bolero, we decided to try the $25 Churrascaria Special at Cravings instead. This ended up being a big mistake.
Cravings is a "market concept" restaurant - like Movenpick's Le Marche, or sort of like Sunterra. In the evenings, they run an all you can eat special of Churrasco and Salad Bar.
We were sat promptly, and the service was pretty prompt and friendly, esp for a market type of environment. The whole place looks like upscale cafeteria - pretty sterile, and not that inviting. But it was clean.
The menu wasnt quite as extensive as Bolero -they have 7 meat choices on the menu. Picanha (sirloin), Alcatra (sirlon), Cordeiro (young leg of lamb), Costels de Porco (pork ribs), Frango (chicken and turkey drumsticks wrapped in bacon), Linguica (chorizo), and Lombo (pork loin). Seemed decent enough to me, we told the server 4 specials, and were directed up to the grill station to place our order.
When we got there, we were told they were about to run out of a lot of items. It was 8pm on Saturday. There was no Picanha, no pork ribs, no chicken, but they could substitute ribeye for picanha. We ordered a variety of samplers, and went to the salad station.
The salads were decent - a wide variety of standard salads (potato, pasta, thai, greek, veggie, tossed, beets, fruit, and a couple more), and they werent bad. Not great, but not bad.
A server brought our meat to us - and this is what we discovered.
1. The Alcatra was disgusting. Overcooked (we had asked for medium rare), unseasoned, it was described as chewing leather. I thought it was more like construction paper. Bland and inedible.
2. The Chorizo was good. Fairly lean actually, not dripping in fat.
3.The ribeye was overcooked, but at least it was sort of seasoned.
4. Young leg of lamb was actually rack of lamb, and was excellent.
Two of my friends had ordered just alcatra and chorizo were so turned off by the alcatra, that they didnt eat anymore. I had skipped the Alcatra, and had a decent experience, so i went back for seconds.
Sadly, they had run out of everything except lamb, ribeye, and lomo. This is a bit disappointing for an all you can eat special (especially since they gave me the last lamb, and didnt have any for my other friend), but they tried to accomodate us as best they could. To be honest, all the service at the restaurant was excellent. The problem was the food. When i asked for my ribeye medium rare, and seasoned, i was told of course, and proceeded to watch them pull a couple pieces of ribeye from under a heat lamp that had been pre-cooked, slapped on a grill for 10 seconds a side with salt, and served up with my lomo and lamb. This was really disgusting to me. It was over done (medium well-well), and didnt taste very good. The lomo was super dry (heat lamped as well), and poorly flavoured. The lamb was good again. One guy got some dessert (which he didnt have to pay for, but we think this was an accident), and we called it a night.
For 25 bucks, i expected a lot more. Spend the extra $10 and go to down the road to Bolero, which isnt perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but is infinitely better than here.