Get a bite of Brazil at steakhouse coming to Kennewick

Steakhouse to feature traditional dishes from owners’ native country

UPDATE: Boiada Brazilian Grill is opening Thursday, May 30. 

It’s hard to contain the excitement and enthusiasm shared by two families planning to open what’s thought to be the Tri-Cities’ first traditional Brazilian steakhouse.

“We want to bring the music, the culture, the happiness. Brazilians are happy people,” Thea Dicenzo said. “We want people who come to our restaurant to feel good.”

Boiada Brazilian Grill will be at 8418 W. Gage Blvd. in Kennewick, tucked behind Summit Funding and close to Uncle Sam’s Saloon, in a building once occupied by nightclubs and a casino.

The owners are native to Brazil.

“We had a lot of people comment on the Facebook and say, ‘Oh, I hope the owners are Brazilian,’ and we are,” said Hisadora Ferriera, who is managing the hiring of new employees.

Boiada translates to ‘cattle,’ but for us, in Portuguese, it really is like a pack of bulls,” said Hisadora, who has worked at a Utah Brazilian steakhouse chain with her father, Adalberto Ferreira, for the past few years.

The family moved to the Tri-Cities to open the restaurant with their longtime family friends, Dallas and Thea Dicenzo, who live in Benton City.

“We were thinking of opening something in the food industry area before, maybe franchising, and then they came with this idea and we embraced it,” Thea said.

Adalberto has worked in the restaurant industry for nearly 20 years, in Brazil and most recently at Tucanos Brazilian Grill, which has its nearest location in Boise. He will be the “meat expert,” using his experience to focus on marinating and cutting the 17 kinds of meats and cuts that will be offered.

Known in Portuguese as a churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse is unique in the way it serves meals.

Meat servers will rotate through the restaurant with large skewers filled with various types and cuts of charcoal-grilled meat and honey-glazed pineapple.

Diners place a card on the end of their table indicating “green” as a request for more meat, or “red” if they are satisfied.

Dallas said most people consume two pounds of meat, on average, during a Brazilian steakhouse meal. About a dozen skewer choices will be available at lunch with the full 17 options for dinner. These will include sirloin steak, beef tenderloin, chicken, pork, seafood, lamb and chicken hearts.

The options don’t end there, as side dishes and salads will be offered in a custom-built station topped with a life-sized metal bull named Ferdinand, which was crafted by a Brazilian artist.

Calling it a “salad festival,” there will be both cold and hot, sweet and savory salads, along with traditional Brazilian side dishes like black beans and pork, stroganoff, deep-fried bananas and Brazilian cheese bread, all made by Adalberto’s wife, Graziella, and her sous chefs.

The meal and sides include unlimited servings for a flat price. The owners are still finalizing their menu rates but expect to charge around $26 for lunch and $36 for dinner. There will be discounts for children under 12 and senior citizens.

Traditional Brazilian appetizers and desserts will be available as a separate purchase, and Boiada will offer a full bar with traditional Brazilian drinks, including one served in a pineapple, and the national drink of Brazil, a caipirinha, made with cachaça, sugar and lime. Non-alcoholic drinks will include Brazil’s most popular soft drink, Guarana, and seven Brazilian lemonades, which are made with lime, and served with bottomless refills, like the meat.

The families expect to hire about 50 employees who will wear authentic south Brazilian attire, including meat servers dressed as a gaucho, known as a Brazilian cowboy. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant can hold up to 182 people and will include a banquet room, and eventually outdoor seating as well as live music.

Despite moving to the United States from Brazil decades ago, both families are passionate about introducing their heritage to the Tri-Cities.

“We want to bring the experience to the Tri-Cities from Brazil where people can come up and say, ‘Wow, this is amazing,’ because this business is everywhere in Brazil,” Dallas said. “We have about 650 million head of beef there, so we eat a lot of meat. We want people to leave here and say, ‘This thing was the best.’ ”

The families signed a five-year lease and are investing more than $200,000 into the project, in what they hope is the first of more locations for Boiada.

“I got a passion for this immediately. I think it’s because of the parents I have, and I just want to do this for the rest of my life,” Hisadora said. The restaurant is targeted to open in late May.

Boiada Brazilian Grill: 8418 W. Gage Blvd., Kennewick;  509-579-4430; Facebook.

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