Restaurants & Bars 9

Chima (Brazilian Steakhouse)

Bashful3 | May 28, 200807:13 PM

FRiends invited us to a 2/1 special during the opening week of this Rodezio type eatery. It is on the corner of 20th and JFK; we knew there used to be a day care in that site; it is also attached to Kennedy House Co-op, so we didn't know what to expect. We were there on its second day of operation tonight.

Not mobbed, but quite full. Place is enormous, but very tastefully designed. Regular price is $48.50 for dinner. At 2/1 I was prepared to be pleased no matter what, but was kinda blown away by the details here. Most impressive salad bar I have EVER seen. EVerything tasty, fresh, and in a way perfect, from the carpaccio to the al dente huge asparagus, , beefsteak tomotoes, great soup, calamari salad, hearts of palm, on and on and on.

Let me take a little break to describe the service, before I get to the meat. All servers, from our attentive waiter, to the manager(s), to the gauchos were spot on gracious, accomodating and thoughtful. Not bad for the second day of operation! No glitches. None.

Noise level was fine until about 8:30pm, but on the other hand there were many private smaller enclosures that would have been quieter. We were not rushed, and thoroughly enjoyed the ambience.

And, now, ta da--the meat!! In my younger days, I was a heavy meat eater. Out of shape, but I resolved to at least taste everything, except chicken (saving myself!). Started with a small piece of sausage. Grilled, savory--yum. Next came some sort of beef, maybe sirloin. Surprisingly tasty--marinated I guess, and more tender than I thought it would be. Our friends had their eye on the tenderloin, which they asked for, after watching me taste all the other stuff. Oh, what the heck, I had some also. We each had our choice of rare, medium or well, and for me to have so much rare meat that was just perfect was truly a treat. I hardly noticed that my husband ate no meat at all--just the salad bar. He was too busy watching me pig out on meat... Next, I didn't really want any parmesan crusted pork, but what the heck. Was I surprised--it was delicious. There were other cuts of beef, including flank, but I had to save myself for the rather large, well seasoned lamb chops... Oh, I almost forgot. Never could resist spareribs. These were lean, juicy, and oh so tasty. Finger licking good, and I did. Mildly disappointed with the poached salmon, but after all that meat, who knows... Top quality throughout, and I do know meat quality.

While this orgy was going on, the servers kept bringing different sides to the table: fried bananas, cheese bread rolls with dip, mashed potatoes, polenta strips, and other good hot veggies.

Dessert was extra--mostly $8 or $9, but who wanted dessert? Not me. Settled for cantaloupe and wonderful cheeses from the salad bar. Coffee was $2.90--strong, flavorfull Brazilian decafe.

A lovely evening. Would have been well worth $48.50 for the overall quality and ambience. Several families with small children.

Call 215-525-3233 for a reservation, and to ask for the 2/1 special through next Monday perhaps. Open 7 days a week, but not for lunch yet. Cost of salad bar without meat was $26 I believe, and well worth it. This place is a winner.

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