We went to Chima Steakhouse for the 2009 restaurant week in Philadelphia. Having visited Fogo de Chao last year, we were intentional about not eating a heavy lunch before going to Chima and I must say that this was a wise decision. The Chima Steakhouse is named after chimarrao, a traditional drink of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, that symbolizes hospitality and friendship. Legend has it, in South Brazil traditional gauchos (cowboys) would consume a diet that consisted almost entirely of beef. The meat was seasoned (rodizio), placed on skewers, and slow cooked over a wood burning flame. Historically, gauchos were known for their generosity and hospitality (Source: Chima Steakhouse)
This generosity and hospitality was clearly emphasized throughout the evening. From the salad bar, which had an extensive offering of soups, breads, cheeses, sea food and the regular stay away from green vegetables, to the side dishes to the meants. When you are done with your salad, you turn over your coaster from the red side to the orange side and various GaÃºcho chefs come to your table to serve the highlight of the evening – meat. The meats are on skewers and are cut at your table and they’ll continue to come to your table as long as they see the orange coaster. With constant servings of sweet plantain and yucca, refills on Guarana Antarctica, we didn’t even attempt to find room for dessert. Overall, we had a great evening and Chima Steakhouse is definitely a Brazilian steakhouse that we’d recommend.
Sampling of the meats that were offered during our evening: