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Bites Nearby: Rio's Steak House

An introduction to Brazilian cuisine or an indulgence in something familiar is to be had at the most recent addition to Plymouth's ethnic dining scene.

More and more, today's restaurants are opting to give diners the most choices, partly through their extensive menus. Trouble is, many sit down and cannot decide what to order. Chicken or pork? Steak or seafood? At Rio's Steak House in North Plymouth, however, you can have one of everything.

This new establishment specializes in rodizio, which is a style of dining in which servers bring various grilled meats on skewers to the table. At Rio's, sirloin, pork, sausage, chicken and lamb are offered individually to customers continuously, according to manager Marla Dasilva.

"For meat lovers, it's a great place to be," she said.

In addition to the rodizio, there is an all-you-can-eat salad bar and hot buffet, all for one price. While the hot buffet features "typical Brazilian food," such as fried yucca and plantains, rice, beans and fish stew, the salad bar is a bit more Americanized offerings include vegetables, olives, pasta and fruits, Dasilva said.

But the real star of the show is the meats, Dasilva said. Steak, pork, and lamb are all cut on premises and seasoned with a homemade blend that produces a unique flavor. They are then cooked on rotating spits, in the center of the restaurant, for all to see.

Once visitors are seated, they may place their drink orders and then help themselves to the salad bar and hot buffet. Each table receives a coaster. One side is green, which signals that you are ready to start the rodizio or that you want more, and the other is red, meaning you are eating or do not want any more. A menu with these "rules of the house" is given to guests. Rio's does not have a regular menu, but customers can request certain dishes that are not on the buffet.

"Rodizio tends to really amaze patrons," Dasilva said, because of the 12 to 13 meat choices, all never-ending, are something not too often found. The servers also come around with chicken wrapped in bacon, chicken hearts, grilled pineapple and garlic bread. Brazilian juices and desserts, such as baked custard, are also available.

Customers may come in for just the salad bar and hot buffet for a reduced price. Takeout is priced per pound.

Dasilva said that Rio's strives for a family environment and is suitable for children. For the rest of this year, kids eat free when dining with a parent.

Rio's opened on Oct. 24, in Plymouth. This is the restaurant's second location. The first opened in 2009 in Quincy. The Plymouth location, at 318 Court St., was previously Aquarela's Grill. The owners of Rio's came across that restaurant for sale and learned that the area was a "good market" for Brazilian cuisine, Dasilva said.

The only decision you will have to make at Rio's is how much you are willing to eat, so bring your appetite.

Rio's Steak House is located at 318 Court St. and is open for the winter Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Swordfish Muqueca (Fish Stew) -- courtesy of Rio's Steak House

  • 2 soup spoons olive oil
  • 1 soup spoon garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 soup spoon coloral (a tomato powder)
  • swordfish (shrimp, mussels and other seafood may be added)
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • cilantro
  • chives

In a pan, sauté garlic, onion, tomatoes and coloral in olive oil. Add the fish and seafood, if applicable. Pour the coconut milk over. Boil until cooked. Top with cilantro and chives.

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