Step inside the Bird Road location and you'll find yourself in the recreated courtyard of a Nicaraguan hacienda, complete with burbling fountain and guitar music. That's the idea at least and if you don't find it convincing, let the excellent food and extremely attentive service ease your nerves and remove you from Bird Road traffic woes. If that doesn't work, eat a sixteen-ounce "Big Daddy" churrasco -- after that, you won't care where you are. Perfectly cooked -- seared outside, melting inside -- churrasco is the signature at El Novillo, but just about all the food stands out. The "nica-tizers" (all less than four dollars except sampler platters) are a good start for the uninitiated, particularly the vigoron (pork cracklings with yuca), or the fried cheese with slaw and corn tortillas. Prices are quite reasonable (from $12 to $25 for most entrées) but the white tablecloths and courteous wait staff give El Novillo the air of a four-star restaurant -- or four-star hacienda, if you will. Check out happy hour on Fridays from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., when drinks are half price and tapas are free.
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