Like many carnivores, I tend to be quite territorial when it comes to my eating habits. Particularly when good food is plentiful and there are feeding grounds that I haven't tried close by, I'm fairly loathe to go further afield unless there is a special reason to do so.
Last night we had a triple celebration; one of my brother in laws has officially returned to civilian life after 3 years making the country safe for the rest of us; my second brother in law is being drafted on Sunday to a special forces unit, in effect, changing the guard with big brother. Lastly, my father in law has finally finished working a job that he really disliked - reason enough for a party en famille and to leave Jerusalem behind, heading for the fresh plains of Tel Aviv.
Papagaio is a Brazilian grill which works on an eat-as-much-as-you-can basis. Although I take after my Mother in virtually every respect, my ferocious appetite for meat is certainly inherited from my Dad z"l who would have really appreciated this place - it is an appetite which is shared by my in-laws so this particular style of eating was always going to be a winner.
With 3 branches around the country, we headed for the 3rd floor of the Azrieli mall and were greeted by a fairly industrial looking main space, meat sizzling on the grill as we came in. Having been seated in comfortable leather chairs (no part of the cow is spared), we were offered special Brazilian, fruit based cocktails, those of which we tried were pleasant with only a hint of alcohol. From then on, waiters circulated with meat on skewers, bones and plates, carving as much as we asked for at the tables.
In no particular order we feasted on wings, empanadas, drumsticks, spicy chorizo, beef ribs, sirloin (sinta), entrecote, liver (a real favourite), goose breast, hearts, kebabs and chicken breasts. It's possible that I've forgotten something but that's already 12 types of meat. For the record, we did everything justice and came back for seconds of pretty much the lot - it was all delicious, the steaks being served rare - medium rare which won great favour with the family for whom cooking the meat is almost an afterthought.
There were some salads on the table as well but I think that they were largely for decoration - certainly they didn't come in for any attention. We did enjoy a supremely chocolatey souffle for dessert - I was a little bit surprised that I managed to find room for it but it slid down well with an espresso.
For NIS 125 per head, you can literally sit there for hours enjoying more and more meat. Plasma TVs at strategic locations were showing Maccabi Tel Aviv's triumph over Real Madrid as we ate and one group of lads were sat opposite a TV with a never ending supply of meat and beer - heaven for any sports fan. A smallish private room makes this a great location for a stag bash or birthday party.
A really top notch place, great value for money - vegetarians steer well clear.
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