Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tucano's Brazilian Grill

Address: 4801 N University Ave, Ste 710, Provo, UT 84604. 801.224.4774.

Review: As pretty much everyone in Utah knows, Tucano's (as well as Rodizio's) is a restaurant in the churrascaria vein. The business model is simple: dazzle people with meat on a spit. Not a bad model, if you ask me; provided, of course, the meat is of sufficient quality and cooked correctly. And, oh, yeah Tucano's has a salad bar. Let's talk about the salad bar first.

Salad Bar.

Okay, lots of ground to cover here. I'll take the items individually starting from the top of the photo and progressing clockwise.

1. Quail eggs: Cute idea. Honestly, they taste like small chicken eggs.

2. Marinated mozzarella: Good, herbaceous marinade. Mozzarella is always good.

3. Tomatoes and onion salad: Onion doesn't overpower the tomatoes, and the tomatoes are firm and tasty. Simple, good. Acid is refreshing in light of all the meat and fat you're eating.

4. Marinated mushrooms: Mushrooms are a bit soggy because they've soaked up all the marinating oil. Onion flavor comes through well, which is good.

5. Marinated olives: Green olives are briny and fine. Black olives tasted like they removed black olives from a can and put them in some marinade. Unfortunate.

6. Broccoli and raisin salad: Consists of broccoli, carrots, raisins, and onions. This salad is quite good. The non broccoli elements are universally sweet, and actually mask the taste of the raw broccoli. (I'm not a broccoli fan, so the sweetness is a welcome thing.)

1. Rice and black beans: Rice is overcooked and lacks interesting taste. Black beans possessed some, but not much, pork flavor. Bland.

2. Collard greens: Greens still had some tooth to it. I actually prefer long-cooked collard greens that melt in the mouth. Moreover, greens don't have much flavor to it. Seasoning is inadequate.

3. Capicola: Tough, thick, listless.

4. Fried bananas: How could this be anything other than good? Bananas are warm and fluffy. Not overly sweet. Just a tasty and addictive snack.

1. Bananas: already addressed.

2. Collard greens: already addressed.

3. Bread crumb salad: Dry. Bacon interspersed through, but not a pronounced bacon flavor. Honestly, didn't get this one.

4. Pea and ham salad: Peas are sweet, ham is salty, mayo is creamy. Good combo.

5. Baked cheese ball: This is a ball covered by a bread outer skin, but the inside is all cheese. The cheese is very mild with a good texture. It would have been better if the cheese had more personality.

In all, hit and miss. Some things were quite good (fried bananas, broccoli salad), but more often than not, the dishes lacked depth and flavor.


So, meat is what makes or breaks Tucano's. I won't address each meat individually because they tended to share the same positives and minuses. There was, however, a rather stark contrast between beef and poultry.

The poultry is very good. Chicken thighs are juicy, with just enough browning to make things interesting. Loved it. Likewise, the turkey wrapped in bacon is juicy like a good fried turkey at Thanksgiving is juicy. Money. Very impressive.

The beef, contrastingly, is not very good. The majority of the beefs are overcooked and charred to the point of carbonization on the outside. Now a little carbonization isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there is an overabundance here. And the beef that isn't overcooked wasn't allowed to rest before slicing. Thus, when sliced, the juices spill all over creation and create a dry meat the moment it hits the plate.

And I didn't get the feeling the meat used was of the highest quality. Ultimately, for the price, the meat is simply not up to snuff.

Rating: 4/10 (5/10 is average).

Tucanos Brazilian Grill (Provo) on Urbanspoon

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