Jane Wise, utahvalley360.com
Enter the Rodizio Grill, a Brazilian restaurant located in the University Mall in Orem, and you’ll be entering one of America’s most unique Brazilian steakhouses. Patterned after fine restaurants in the southern grasslands of Brazil, owner Ivan Utrera wants to introduce Brazilian dining to Americans whose first thoughts of Brazil may only be soccer and samba. And there is so much more.
Fifteen prime cuts of beef, pork, chicken and turkey turn daily on rotisserie grills over special hardwood charcoal until each cut is moist and succulent. Servers bring these cuts to the diners’ tables and carve off portions to the diners’ specifications. Variety is the hallmark of Rodizio Grill: finished with the marinated beef? Try some barbecued chicken or smoky turkey sausage. Every bite is different and delicious here.
Want something to complement the roasts? Rodizio has a unique buffet showcasing Brazilian salads and vegetables on one side and a lavish American salad bar on the other. Everything is made fresh daily, including the appetizers: deep-fried polenta, rice fritters, and glazed bananas in cinnamon sugar. And at $9.95 for lunch and $15.95 for dinner, there is no limit to the appetizers, side dishes or grilled meat for the diner’s pleasure.
There is an unexpected twist to the expected here. Brazilian lemonade is made with fresh-squeezed limes, blended with other fruit and then served frothy in an iced jug at the table. Desserts at Rodizio are exotic: authentic Brazilian sweets from a special caramelized flan to ice creams swirled with fresh fruit.
Ivan Utrera has a vision for the Rodizio Grill. Not only does he want the restaurant to showcase the freshest and finest of Brazilian cuisine, he wants Rodizio Grill to be an ambassador of what is best and finest in Brazil.
1201 South State Street in the University Mall, Orem, Utah. (801) 224-4745.
Open: Mondays-Thursdays 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.: Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.; and Sundays noon until 8 p.m.
Reservations are recommended.
Jane Wise teaches legal writing at BYU and writes on food for the Salt Lake Tribune.