Pantanal - Barbecue Rodízio

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Pantanal is located at Avenida Roberto Freire, about 500 meters from Praia Shopping. From Ponta Negra, take bus 46, 54 or 66 (or take a walk).

Pantanal serves Brazilian barbecued meat in rodizio system.
The name is a reference to the Pantanal, the largest continuous area of wetlands in Brazil and the world. Strangely, Pantanal is not known for barbecue; barbecue is typical food in the Southern States of Brazil, particularly Rio Grande do Sul. The staff of the restaurant wears a hat which is typical from Pantanal.

Brazilian barbecue is prepared in skewers; the skewers make it easier to place the meat nearer or further from the fire, which in turn determines the speed of cooking of the meat. The correct timing of cooking is essential to guarantee the quality of the barbecue, specialists say.

Rodizio translates as something like "to take turns"; customers remain seated, and the waiters take turns to offer different pieces of meat. There are also other rodizios in Brazil, such as pizzas (very common in Natal), shrimps, ice creams, soups, etc.

Pantanal has two options: rodizio with or without picanha. Picanha is the upper part of the sirloin, and is considered, for its softness and flavorness, the noblest part of beef.
In May of 2006, a rodizio with picanha was going for R$ 14.99, and a rodizio without picanha was going for R$ 11.99. For dinner and weekends, there is live music, and a R$ 1 charge apply. This is cheap, even for Brazilian standards.
Because the food is good and plenty and price is good, Pantanal is always crowded. Arrive early (before noon) to avoid queues.

Below, some photos of Pantanal.

barbecue picanha rodizio

There are about 20 different kinds of meat. This includes beef, pork, chicken, sausage, etc. In case the waiter doesn't come to your table, just call him. You can specify whether you want one or two slices, with or without fat, rare or well done. Some pieces we recommend (the waiter always mentions the name of the meat, but the pronunciation may sound strange for foreigners; it may be recommended to write down some names and show to the maitre): picanha (picanha invariably comes with a crost of toasted fat; you may ask the waiter to slice picanha "sem gordura" - without fat; picanha is shown in the middle photo above); fraldinha (juicy); cupim (cupim is that ball meat in the back of the cow's head; cupim must be cooked first, then barbecued; it takes a long time to prepare it, but it becomes very tender); coração de galinha (chicken heart); costela de boi (barbecued rib; this is the favorite dish of President Lula; again, it takes a long time to prepare it properly).

natal restaurant buffet

Besides meat, the waiters also go about offering other garnishments, such as macaxeira frita (fried manioc), pão de queijo (cheese bread), etc. They also serve desserts, but these are charged separately.
Also, in the middle of the saloon, there is a self-serviced buffet of salads, rice and other dishes.

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