I will admit right off the bat that I am not a huge meat eater. Don't get me wrong, I love my protein, but only as part of a well-balanced meal that includes a decent amount of carbs and some vegetables for good measure. A Brazilian steakhouse with all-you-can-eat meat, therefore, would not be my first choice for a nice meal out. A previous visit to Gaucho Brazilian Barbeque had cemented this in my mind, as I suffered from meat sweats for hours afterwards from a meal that I didn't even particularly enjoy. Attractive, I know. I thought the meats were dry, overly salty, and altogether unimpressive. But my brother had been to Calgary's other Brazilian steakhouse, Bolero, on several occasions and mentioned it was quite good. Since it was his birthday recently, I couldn't say no when he wanted to go again. I balked at paying $40 for dinner, however, so I managed to talk him down to Sunday brunch at a reasonable $21.95.
When I stepped into Bolero, the first thing that I noticed was that it was dark. It actually reminded me somewhat of a lair, probably because there was no natural light. It took several minutes for my eyes to adjust but when I could finally see again, the decor was pleasant enough, homey and comfortable with a fireplace near the entrance. If you've never been to a rodizio type restaurant, waiters circle with samples of food while you signal yes or no with your colored cylinder, green on one side and red on the other. It's really more of a gimmick at Bolero, since each waiter will stop by your table regardless. Our rotating items featured more than listed on the paper menu, and included caraway seed French toast, garlic bread, lemon basa, top sirloin, bottom sirloin with garlic and parmesan, chicken drumsticks, bacon wrapped chicken, butter roast beef, sausage, pork ribs, lamb shoulder, and grilled pineapple, grapefruit, and vegetables. I am not sure whether I should be proud or ashamed of this, but I managed to try every single thing on that list except for the garlic bread (my #1 buffet rule: never eat a large portion of anything, because you never know what deliciousness will come your way next). My favorite meats were the butter roast beef and the bottom sirloin with garlic and parmesan, which I thought had the best flavor. The pineapple and grapefruit were a great way to break up the heaviness, with their natural sweetness brought out by the grill. Each skewer came around at least 2-3 times during our meal, which according to my brother was more frequent than at dinner. When I wanted to have another piece of the roast beef, I asked my waiter whether it would be coming around again, and he told me he'd make sure it came out soon. Sure enough, it came out within the next 10 minutes.
|Cold buffet items|
Top Pick of the Day: Grilled pineapple and grapefruit