[Manchester, city centre] Fazenda

We’ve done rodizio style eating before. Let’s face it…it’s an all you can eat buffet. And, as with any buffet, the key is to (a) be a greedy so-and-so and (b) come with a voracious appetite. Now comparisons are odious – but let me make an odious comparison. We have two small rodizio chains in Manchester. Fazenda, with other branches in Leeds and Liverpool. And Bem Brasil, with two places in Manchester, one in Altrincham as well as Leeds & Liverpool. They’re both offering pretty much the same deal – an array of salads, starters, etc, followed by the servers regularly visiting your table to slice bits off the latest meat offering. Fazenda is a couple of quid dearer, nudging thirty quid.

But, even so, Fazenda wins hands down. There’s a friendly welcome, a nice room with comfy seating, staff who get your drinks quickly and explain the deal if you’re not sure what’s what. And the meat? Everything (and we sampled several beef cuts, gammon, pork and chicken) was flavoursome and cooked perfectly for my taste at medium rare. The salads were light and fresh, the other buffet dishes looked good (although what sushi is doing in a rodizio restaurant is anyone’s guess). Oh yes, and one of the servers regularly comes round offering fresh cooked chips – they are a northern restaurant after all.

OK, it’s not the sort of place for a romantic dinner but it’s good fun and I defy anyone to leave not having over-eaten. It may not be the best rodizio we’d ever eaten – but it is the best we’ve eaten this side of the Atlantic.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold