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Return of the Gaucho

Side Dishes: Souza's sizzles again

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It’s been one thing after another for Souza’s Brazilian Steakhouse. First the move up the street, then a smoky problem with the ventilation hood. Later, a carbon monoxide leak brought firemen to the building. But they left a window open, and the pipes froze and burst. Chef Kelly Dietrich reports that the space is now dry. Plus, it’s had “a nice facelift.”

Souza’s reopened Tuesday night after intensive training for new cooks and the churrascaria’s trademark “gaucho” waiters. Slicing skewered hunks of rare picanha is tricky, and it’s essentially a public performance. So Dietrich spent the weekend firing up the grills and role-playing with the staff.

In retrospect, Dietrich says he’s grateful for the time to regroup after what he calls “an insufficiently marketed reopening” when he moved up the block from the spot now occupied by Big Fatty’s BBQ. It’s given him time to come up with some new desserts, “so our dessert bar will be more elaborate,” he promises. “We’re going to be a little more creative. We’re expanding our hot food out on the salad bar. I’ve come up with some new exciting salads which are famous in Brazil.”

Among the new additions, Dietrich has installed giant flat-screen TVs on which he plans “to have footage from Brazil being displayed.” Otherwise, the camera will be trained on the kitchen. “Our guests will be able to see . . . how we cook the Brazilian barbecue.”

For now, the crispy chicken thighs, bacon-wrapped filet mignon and boneless lamb are only available at dinnertime. According to Dietrich: “We will get six months under our belts, then start to do lunches and brunch.” Let the countdown begin.

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