What Are the Red Green Cards at Brazilian Steakhouse? | All You Need to Know

Brazilian steakhouses, also known as churrascarias, are renowned for their unique dining experience and mouth-watering meats. As guests enter these establishments, they’re greeted with a distinctive sight at their tables – a red card and a green card. The purpose of these cards goes beyond mere decoration; they serve as a means of communication between diners and the skilled servers who parade around with succulent cuts of meat. While it might seem like a simple concept, the red and green cards hold a pivotal role in creating an exhilarating dining adventure for those new to Brazilian cuisine. By raising the green card, patrons signal to the servers that they’re ready to embark on a gastronomic journey, inviting them to serve an array of delectable meats. Conversely, the red card acts as a temporary halt button, indicating to the servers that they should temporarily cease bringing food. This color-coded communication system allows diners to dictate the pace at which they indulge in the carnivorous delight that Brazilian steakhouses are renowned for. Immersed in an atmosphere of sizzling aromas and a lively ambiance, guests are encouraged to savor each delectable bite, epitomizing the interplay between culinary artistry and a dining experience like no other. Whether it’s the melt-in-your-mouth Picanha, juicy lamb chops, or the flavorsome sausage, the adventure at a Brazilian steakhouse is a true culinary carnival. So, next time you find yourself at one of these meat-loving havens, embrace the red and green cards and prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey into the heart of Brazilian cuisine.

What’s the Difference Between a Brazilian Steakhouse and a Regular Steakhouse?

The concept of a Brazilian steakhouse, also known as a churrascaria, revolves around the all-you-can-eat dining experience. Unlike a regular steakhouse where you order one main course, at a Brazilian steakhouse, the servers continuously walk around with skewers of various meats, slicing off pieces directly onto your plate. This immersive experience allows guests to try a wide variety of meats, flavors, and cooking styles in one sitting.

Furthermore, the meats served at Brazilian steakhouses are typically marinated, seasoned, and slow-cooked to perfection. The most popular cut of meat is the picanha, a flavorful top sirloin cap. Other common choices include tenderloin, ribeye, lamb, chicken, sausage, and pork. Each meat is carefully prepared and grilled over an open flame, resulting in juicy, succulent, and perfectly charred pieces.

In addition to the impressive meat selection, Brazilian steakhouses often offer an extravagant salad bar. This isn’t your ordinary salad bar, as it also includes a variety of international cheeses, charcuterie, smoked salmon, sushi, and traditional Brazilian side dishes such as feijoada (black bean stew) and farofa (toasted manioc flour).

At a regular steakhouse, you typically order your desired doneness for your steak, and it’s served to you individually. You can enjoy as much or as little as you desire, allowing you to sample different cuts and flavors throughout your meal.

In summary, the main difference between a Brazilian steakhouse and a regular steakhouse lies in the emphasis on the vast array of grilled meats offered at the former.

The Origins and History of Brazilian Steakhouses (Churrascarias)

  • Churrascarias have a long history in Brazil.
  • The tradition of grilling meats over an open fire goes back centuries.
  • Originally, churrasco was a way for gauchos (Brazilian cowboys) to cook the meat they’d hunted or raised.
  • Over time, churrasco became a popular social gathering, with friends and family coming together to enjoy the delicious grilled meats.
  • In the 19th century, immigrants from Europe, particularly from Portugal and Spain, brought their own grilling techniques and flavors to Brazil.
  • This fusion of traditional Brazilian churrasco with European grilling techniques led to the development of modern Brazilian steakhouses.
  • In the 20th century, churrascarias started gaining popularity across Brazil and eventually spread internationally.
  • Today, Brazilian steakhouses are known for their rodízio-style service, where waiters continuously bring different cuts of meat to your table.
  • Churrasqueiros (grill masters) carefully prepare the meats and season them with a variety of spices and marinades.
  • Popular cuts of meat served in churrascarias include picanha (top sirloin cap), fraldinha (flank steak), and coração de frango (chicken hearts).


These cards play a crucial role in signaling to the servers whether diners are ready to indulge in the vast array of delicious food offerings or if they need a momentary pause. This simple yet effective system not only adds an element of excitement and anticipation to the meal but also ensures that patrons have control over the pace at which they savor each mouthwatering bite. Brazilian steakhouse-goers can look forward to an interactive and dynamic dining experience filled with an abundance of tantalizing flavors, all thanks to the red and green cards adorning their tables.

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