"The Brazilian that dines well, dances well." So says the wise Portuguese proverb that I just made up. So forget your blow-outs, your waxes, and your bikinis: This list is for hungry Brazilian eaters.
One of the first Brazilian restaurants in Austin, Sao Paulo's serves huge, meaty portions, and complements your meal with live bossa nova on Friday nights.
A decadent, tall house of meat, Estancia Churrascaria is one of those places where the staff walks by with huge spears of glistening steak/chicken/pork/you name it, and asks if you would like a cut. It's all you can eat, so I recommend starving yourself a little before you come here -- you'll want to try everything.
This is no place for vegans: One look at the window reveals the greasy goodness of tender meat rotating slowly on vertical spits. But if you can convince your herbivore friends to step inside the door with you, they'll also be greeted by a long, well-stocked salad bar, and on the menu some mighty fine starches, like garlic mashed potatoes and fried bananas. No texturized protein though, I'm sorry to say.
A hidden delight on the east side, serving seriously addictive cheese bread ("pão de queijo") in what appears to be a colorful, renovated little house. Excellent place to bring a handful of your friends for family-style eats and drinks.
To be fair to its fare, Al Sur isn't exclusively Brazilian: their menu mixes Mexican, Cuban, Peruvian and Latin American coastal dishes. But I'm a particular fan of their flaky empanadas, served with tangy chimichurri sauce for dipping.
After all that Brazilian eating, you need someplace to burn it off, don't you? Esquina Tango teaches all kinds of Brazilian (and other Latin American) dance classes for singles and couples, including Rio-style samba for beginners.