A tip that I have picked up over time when looking for good places to eat, is I think a universal one. If the restaurant is busy, you know you are on to something good, but, if the restaurant is busy AND is filled with locals – you know you have hit the jackpot!
This is the case when C and I stumbled upon Restaurante Carne de Sol on the W3 in Asa Norte. We had been in Brasilia for almost two weeks and had yet to find a good local restaurant. However, we were on our way to Carrefour when we saw this bustling little restaurant, and we decided there and then to forget about our shopping and go for lunch, and we were glad we did.
Located on the side of a main road, Carne de Sol is not a pretty restaurant, but what it lacks in beauty it more than makes up for with its buzzing ambiance and great food. I am not even certain if they are open for dinner, but it’s heaving during lunch time. On the weekends it seems to attract large family gatherings and groups of friends, and during the week it caters more to the offices and shops around the area.
Carne de Sol is a churrascaria or a restaurant that specializes in grilled meats. Unlike the upscale Fogo de Chão that I mentioned last week, Carne de Sol is a far more laid back and casual restaurant that serves an la carte menu, but serves it family style. You choose what type of meat you want, and what type of side you want to accompany that meat and the it is all placed in the middle of the table for you and your friends to share.
We have had a few different cuts of meat here – but so far the star of the show has been their ‘picanha’ with onions. Picanha is a cut of meat that you don’t usually get outside of Brazil, but it is found near the rump of the cow, it is incredibly tender and also has a layer of fat which makes it moist and that much more tasty! The meat is served on a sizzling skillet which keeps it hot during your meal and I am convinced adds a little extra flavour to it as the onions caramelize around the beef.
The typical side dishes that you can choose from is white rice, fried potatoes or yuca, beans and a large salad. The last few times we have also ordered their grilled cheese – which is fast becoming my favourite! It is a type of cheese called Quejo Coahlo which is very similar to the European haloumi in that it is slightly salty and has a very high melting point, so you can grill it untill it gets this lovely brown and crunchy outer layer.
No lunch in Brazil would be complete without a chope, or Brazilian beer. I am not really a beer drinker, but since moving here, I have definitely acquired a taste for chope. It is served ice cold and in small glasses (to make sure it doesn’t get warm) and is incredibly refreshing in this heat.
Over the last few weeks, we have found a few other churrascarias like Carne de Sol, but none of them live up to this restaurant. The service is friendly, the food is delicious and the beer is cold. There is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon in Brasilia
Carne De Sol
Tel: 3272 3135
Address: SHCGN 712, BL D Lj 9, Asa Norte