Philadelphia Restaurant Week is my favorite time of year and happily it happens twice a year. I use this week as an opportunity to try to new, higher end restaurants that I would normally try. Let’s be honest, there are not many restaurants that are worth spending your hard earned money on and the ones that are end up being way to expensive for the average person. That is the best part about Restaurant Week. It allows the average person, making an average salary the chance to enjoy an evening out at a place a lot nicer than Olive Garden (people treat it like it is Steven Starr but it really isn’t.)
This evening I was able to patronize Chima Brazilian Steakhouse on 19th & JFK in Center City Philadelphia. When thinking about this evening is…YES…Please!
We started off ordering our cocktails for the evening and boy were they great. I am usually not a big fan of Sangria but I thought that I would give it a try. Mostly, because I was eating a more upscale place so I thought their Sangria might taste better. I LOVE being right. It was excellent. I ordered a white one and my mother ordered a red one (yes I do head out to dinner with my mother. My bestie and my husband joined me as well.) The best part…it was only $6 and it was HUGE
Now, my husband does not drink alcohol and usually drinks water because in most places it is free. However, since we were doing it up tonight he went a little crazy and ordered a soda!! It was Brazilian style sweet Ginger Ale. He really enjoyed it.
After we got our drinks we headed to the salad bar which was included in the Restaurant Week menu. The salad bar had everything from typical salad to prosciutto to fresh mozzarella balls the size of a golf ball to carpaccio. A person could have an entire meal of the salad bar alone (which my mother almost did.) Once we returned to our seats with our salad bar dishes the flipping for meat began. A bit of advice to the Brazilian Steakhouse Newbie…remember to turn your card back to “stop” once you have gotten a few meat items. The waiters seem to have “card-dar” and can easily zero in on the “yes” beacon calling to them. The unprepared could end up with a plate full of meat or a swarm of servers and not know what to do.
Some of our food choices this evening consisted of boneless chicken, Parmesan crusted pork, salmon with passion fruit sauce and swordfish with pesto sauce.
The best meat item of the evening was by far the top sirloin. Sadly, it was eaten to quickly for me to take a picture so you, my dear reader, will just have to imagine the most moist, mouthwatering, melt-in-your-mouth piece of steak you could ever eat and you will have an idea of what we ate.
In addition to all meat we had 3 dessert choices.
I ordered the cheesecake. I get nervous with cheesecake because it can be thick and dry or soft and mushy. This was perfect. It had enough firmness to remain solid but enough moisture to avoid being dry. Definitely a winner.
My mother chose the Sundae. Neapolitan ice cream with chocolate and caramel sauce, nuts, cherry and whip cream. This, to me, is a safe choice. It is pretty hard to screw up ice cream. But it did look pretty.
Lastly, my husband and my bestie ordered the Caramel Flan. According to them it was nothing special. I tasted it and it was just OK.
Not only was food excellent but the staff was amazing as well. They were very attentive and very kind. I liked that the restaurant was spread out and the tables were not right on top of one another. I have been to Fogo de Chao and it felt as though I was eating with the people sitting next to me the tables were so close. Not the case here. It was a very open floor plan with a nice, calm atmosphere. We are already making plans to for our next visit and to pay full price.
Definitely would give Chima 5 our 5 Forks!!