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Miami's Best Brazilian Restaurants

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Miami® 2012 online at

The 16th Annual Brazilian Film Festival, presented by Inffinito, hits Miami starting Saturday, August 18, with a list of promising films and events. Of around 100 submissions, 22 will be screened at the Colony Theatre, the New World Center and Miami Beach Cinematheque. Selton Mello's award-winning The Clown kicks off the festival with a free, public wallcast at the New World Center's SoundScape ExoStage.

"Brazilian film has grown a lot. We have five curators, top of the

industry in Brazilian film, and they choose the ones that get shown," Viviane Spinelli, co-founder and director of Inffinito, recently told Cultist.

Brazil is known around the world for soccer. samba and exotic food. Its combination of Amazonian, African, Portuguese and native ingredients is distinct. There are dishes like cararu -- a mix of okra, onion, dried shrimp and toasted nuts cooked with palm oil to a consistency much like that of a spread -- that exemplify the fusion of cultures. But the first thing that comes to mind is rodizio. Patrons pay a fixed price and waiters walk around with huge skewers draped with all kinds of meat. There's everything from filet mignon to turkey chunks wrapped in bacon, sirloin steak, roast beef, rump cover (called Picanha in Portugese) and even chicken hearts right off the skewer.

Here in Miami, we are fortunate enough to be blessed with some of the best Brazilian restaurants this side of Rio. Short Order spanned the city to bring you our favorite five.

Courtesy of Grimpa
5. Grimpa

is the name given to branches of a very special pine tree, the

Araucaria, which is found in the southern region of Brazil that has been

traditionally used as timber for campfires and grills. Grimpa at Mary

Brickell Village carries on the tradition of those gauchos out in the

"pampas" with 15 different kinds of beef, chicken, fish and pork.

Everything from lamb shank and flank steak to pork loin and salmon awaits patrons. In addition to the customary salad bar at most

of the restaurants on this list, Grimpa actually prepares some hot

dishes like cheese bread and breaded banana right at your table.

4. Fogo de Chao
Fogo had the distinction of being one of the first restaurants to bring Brazilian chefs to this side of the Caribbean back in 1979. Success has spawned a Fogo in nearly every major city in the United States. Miami's is a worthy contender among luxury dining options south of Fifth Street in SoBe. Lunch ($29.50) is served for a brief window from noon to 2:30 p.m., otherwise you'll have to fork over a hefty $46.50 per person for dinner.

3. Texas de Brazil
The name says it all -- Texas de Brazil is a two-story monument to everything carnivorous as big as its namesake. With locations all over the United States and elsewhere , this restaurant has gone a long way in making rodizio a household name. Its one set price ($32.95 lunch, 45.95 dinner) and one set menu at all times of the year, that varies according to what's fresh. You can expect to see items like pork sausage, tilapia, top sirloin and filet mignon hanging on sword-like skewers parading around the room. Eat all you can, because Texas de Brazil only allows doggy bags for dessert.

2. Little Brazil
While most of the restaurants on this list feature the rodizio as their focus, Little Brazil lives up to its name by offering nearly every Brazilian dish you can think of. The camarao no coc ao molho do chefe is a mouthful of shrimp sauteed with coconut milk, mushrooms and herbs served in a coconut shell. The camaro no abacaxi is similar, but served in a pineapple. The Brazilian national dish of feijoada is served only on the weekends and combines a bunch of rodizio selections in a black bean stew with fresh and dried beef, salted & fresh pork, bacon, sausage and ribs.

Courtesy of Area Code 55
1. Area Code 55

after Brazil's country code, Area Code 55 offers among the most

affordable rodizio in town at $19.99 for lunch (served until 4 p.m.)

and $29.99 for dinner. The great price coupled with a plentiful

selection was enough for us to vote the Aventura favorite winner

of this year's Best of Miami award

for Brazilian restaurant. Along with courteous waiters serving off

skewers of carnivore delight, the buffet also comes with all-you-can-eat

soup, a half-dozen salads, cold cuts, bread and other fresh selections.

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