Tucanos: A Taste of Brazil Nestled in the Riverwoods


kidBy Jane H. Wise


The name evokes a study in contrasts from lush tropical rainforests to wide, sandy beaches to the grasslands of the pampas where cattle graze.

Steve Oldham had a dream of weaving theses threads into one completely unique Brazilian restaurant. It would showcase roasted meats, “churrasco” the way the gauchos do it, combined with the sizzle of Rio de Janeiro and its lush jungles and beaches.

Mr. Oldham’s dream became reality in January 2000 when Tucanos Brazilian Grill opened its doors at the Riverwoods Plaza. Only the views of Mt. Timpanogos through the floor to ceiling windows belie the Brazilian setting.

A painting of the restaurant’s namesake, the Toucan, greets guests as they enter. Dark wood reminiscent of the ebony and mahogany of the rainforest is coupled with dappled shading on the stone floors. Glass, tile and metal curve in wave-like motifs through the restaurant.

Tucanos has fused the art of South American “churrasco” or grilling with European seasoning and the best of North American cuts of meat.

foodBeef and pork roasts, ropes of sausages, chicken and turkey pieces along with vegetables and pineapple are skewered, seasoned or marinated, then grilled over open flames and brought juicy and hot to the table.

A continual procession of these savory items is brought throughout the meal. But there is more. A large buffet of Brazilian specialties accompanies the meat. Savory beans and rice, fried bananas, salads, roasted and mashed potatoes, breads, and hearty soups are only some of the selection.

olive-oilAs if that weren’t enough, Tucanos offers a selection of desserts from a Brazilian flan to chocolate fudge cake, carrot cake, and fresh fruit with caramel dipping sauce.

Jane Wise teaches legal writing at Brigham Young University and writes on food for the Salt Lake Tribune.


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