1445 S Lemon St
Fullerton, CA 92832
You would think that after a week of splurging cash on a whole bunch of great food, I would have a lot of opinions on each restaurant we traveled to. Well, truth be told, I do; I just haven’t gotten around to writing about them yet. But since there’s a bit of a downtime for me right now, I guess now is as good a time as ever. Let’s start with one of our first stops: Amazon Churrascaria, a Brazilian BBQ joint in Fullerton. We decided to check this place out on a weekday evening for dinner. I must say, it was quite an adventure.
We arrived at the restaurant without incident at 6 PM on a Monday evening. Being a weekday, there wasn’t much of a crowd; I suspect this place is crazy on the weekends, when people are actually willing to go out and splurge with their friends or family. Anyway, the restaurant is quite easy to find. After getting off the 91 Freeway, the orange-hued paint made the building was the easiest building to see. I’m happy to have the restaurant in a place that’s easy to locate. After driving around in circles for some places, this one really does have a presence in the area. Moving on…
After entering through the decorated entryway, we stumble into what looked like South American ruins. Seriously, the interior has a small waterfall and some foliage in the waiting area, with intricate interior designs reminiscent to me of old Mayan civilizations (but I may be wrong). Nestled in the ‘forest’ are many tables that can easily accommodate over 200 patrons and an interesting central salad bar. Our group of 7 were seated close by to all of the food; thank goodness too, we were quite hungry.
The Brazilian BBQ concept is simple. There really isn’t a menu for anybody to order from; rather, it is a set menu that is $15.95 for lunch, and $26.95 for dinner per person. It grants access to the salad bar, as well as to the impressive list of meats available. In total, the meats offered by the restaurant are:
- Top Sirloin
- Beef Shish Kabob
- Pepper Steak
- Garlic Steak
- Picana (What is picana, anyway? Anybody know?)
- Skirt Steak
- Beef Ribs
- Chicken Hearts
- Pork Ribs
- Brazilian Sausage
- Turkey Wrapped with Bacon
- BBQ Pineapple
Quite an amazing selection; I was especially impressed by the availability of alligator meat on the menu. They didn’t serve it when I was there, but it’s said to be quite popular on the weekends for dinner.
The beauty of Brazilian BBQ is its relative simplicity. There is a single bar with a green and red tip on opposing ends. Want more meat? Put the green side up. Waiting? Put the red up. All done and want to try to shuffle your way home about 5 pounds heavier? Put it on its side (how amusing, it’s pretty much how you feel after eating…just lie down and sleep) and get the check. It’s simple, it’s clever, and it really lets you dictate how much you want to eat without even having to get up!
In addition to the meats is the extensive salad bar that included the usuals, and then also included some sushi. I would love to tell you how that went, but since I didn’t go to a Brazilian BBQ for Japanese food, I decided to forgo the sushi and go for the hot foods. The hot foods were a wide variety of typical Brazilian foods, as well as some mainstays for those who prefer some standard things, like white rice, bread, and soup. From fried yucca and bananas to ox tail stew, My personal favorite out of the hot food was combining one of the Brazilian chicken dishes with some white rice. The mild spices went well with what was about to follow: the meats.
We were treated to the tri-tip, strip steak, bacon-wrapped turkey, top sirloin, shish kabobs, lamb, quail, rib eye, and garlic steak. For a weekday dinner, this was quite extensive, and we felt it was a good variety of meats. We were particularly happy with the strip steak offering; which was as soft as filet mignon, and incredibly spiced. It was easily the group’s favorite meat out of them all. The quail was also very well cooked; however, the presence of such tiny bones made it nearly impossible to eat easily, so most of us just took a few bites and moved on.
We were amazed that none of the meats required any outside seasoning or sauces. The meats were just that tasty. Each one had its own distinct flavor, pleasing the taste buds while not being overpowering. The entire thing was capped off with a BBQ Pineapple, which served to cleanse the palate quite well. Definitely a fitting conclusion to the amazing amounts of meat consumed.
The restaurant includes quite a selection of drinks as well; they carry things ranging from local favorites to exotic Brazilian drinks. Their signature drink is called Caipirinha, which is made from cachaça. I’m not exactly sure what it tastes like, but they make a big deal out of it. When I’m not driving, I’d like to try it out; until then, if someone does try it, leave me a message on how it goes. There is also a range of beers, from Budweiser to Brazilian ones such as my favorite out of all of them, Palma Louca. The lager is smoother than any American beer I’ve had, and I’m in the odd position of actually like it more than my Japanese beers like Sapporo and Asahi. Definitely a must try if you’re into beers and things like that.
I have yet to figure out how Brazilian desserts taste. They’re somewhat elusive, considering that I stuff myself silly with the BBQ. Next time I go there, I’ll be sure to write about it.
In the meantime, I would like to recommend Amazon BBQ to anybody in the area. It’s a cheap place to go relative to the amount of food you’re treated to, and it’s atmosphere is really fun to be in with friends and family. The entryway is adorned with newspaper clippings of positive reviews, and proof of their high Zagat ratings. I’m very happy that their food warranted such accolades; while I haven’t had all of their offerings; I intend to go back and check it out again soon.
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Pros: Great ambience, great food selection, pretty good price for what you get
Cons: Can’t predict what meats are being served, rumored long waits on weekends, some foods are…a bit out of place