Tag Archives: filet

A Very MaurPowerFoodie Mother’s Day… Texas De Brazil – Yonkers, NY

One thing I can certainly say is I would never have accomplished any of the things I have (earning the rank of Eagle Scout, graduating from a top university, graduating law school, passing the bar exam, becoming a top 100 contestant on MasterChef, etc.) without my Mother, Bonnie Maur. I owe a lot to her, and can never thank her enough. Included in the things I owe her for are my love of food and ability to cook. In raising me along with my two siblings, my mom taught us all to cook. She thought it was necessary for us to be able to feed ourselves (definitely a lesson I am glad I learned). My love of food and cooking may have taken on a path of its own over the years, but my culinary journey never would have started without my mother. Here we are together with my sister, all swimming with dolphins:

Now that I have gotten all the mushy, yet necessary stuff out of the way, back to the food we go. This year for Mother’s Day, my sister and I took our mom to Texas de Brazil in Yonkers, NY. My mom had been to one in Florida and loved it, so when one opened up relatively close to us, it only seemed like the natural choice for Mother’s Day. Texas De Brazil is a churrascaria (Brazilian Grille), which is one of my favorite types of restaurants as an avid meat eater. For those of you who have never been to one, basically the servers/carvers (Gauchos) walk around to your table with different cuts of meats on a sword and carve each one fresh for you… all you can eat. Plus there is always a loaded appetizer/salad bar.

I am not one to comment much on ambiance, but this time it is definitely noteworthy. The restaurant is beautiful. Warm, welcoming colors, beautiful artwork, and a gorgeous bouquet above the salad bar. Here… take a look:

Then add to this a fully stocked stylish bar out front and a beautiful windowed wine “cellar”, with a wine list that is more like a wine library. The cellar even reminds me of a library with a rolling ladder that allows the servers to search through the massive collection to get just the right bottle for you. In fact, this picture only shows 1 side of the massive windowed “cellar”. The decor and general feel of Texas de Brazil… absolutely stunning.

Alright, onto the food! I promise this time. Let’s start with the start of the meal, the appetizer/salad bar(items are subject to change). THIS IS NOT YOUR EVERY DAY SALAD BAR! Yes there is salad with all the toppings, but there are also four different homemade dressings. Plus, an oh so creamy and rich Lobster Bisque. You know what, I just need to list some of the brightest points, as I could spend forever going through each item.  Ok, here goes: sliced prosciutto and salami, Gorgonzola and grape salad, tabbouleh, crab sushi, ahi tuna, buffalo mozzarella, goat cheese terrine, smoked salmon, potatoes au gratin, multiple freshly baked breads, and much more. Plus, anywhere that has a beautiful Parmesan cheese wheel for me to pick from… love. Here is just a sampling of the salad bar:

While the salad bar was great and delicious, the stars of the show, as it should be at any churrascaria, were the meats, carved table-side.  Not only was there a huge variety in different cuts of meats, but each one had its own unique flavor. First off here is the list of meats: Filet mignon, bacon wrapped filet mignon, braised beef ribs, rack of lamb, garlic-marinated picanha (top sirloin tips, their signature), pork ribs, Brazilian picanha, Brazilian sausage, leg of lamb, bacon wrapped chicken breast, Parmesan crusted chicken, Parmesan crusted pork loin, flank steak, herb-marinated pork loin, and Brazilian alcatra (top sirloin).

Leg of LambFlank Steak

Leg of Lamb                                               Flank Steak

Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon

Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon


Yes, I did try everything, and there is not a single cut of meat I would not recommend trying. That being said, not everyone can finish off 15 different cuts of meats in one sitting, so let me highlight a few favorites. The alcatra is a must, great seasoning, juicy, tender, fatty, and delicious. I also am an avid lover of flank steak, and this ranked up near the top of flank steaks I have had at restaurants.  Also, I was surprisingly impressed with one item I tend not to prefer at churrascarias, the bacon-wrapped chicken. I know you would think I would always love this item, but it is usually on the dry side. Not at Texas De Brazil, the chicken breast remained tender and juicy, just the way it should be. And finally, my two favorites of the day: Coming in second place, with a surprise pack of flavor, juicy and tender interior, and the perfect casings… the Brazilian Sausage. And for first place, it was not even a contest. There was one cut of meat that was so fall off the bone, melt in your mouth, fill you with joy in every bite, scrumptious, well prepared, well seasoned morsel, that I had 4 servings of it. The BRAISED BEEF RIBS!!!! **Crowd Cheers**

Brazilian AlcatraBrazilian Sausage

Brazilian Alcatra                                   Brazilian Sausage

Braised Beef Ribs

Braised Beef Ribs

Finally we come to dessert, and I have to be honest, this was the closest thing to a weakness I found at Texas de Brazil. They were good, but did not live up to the rest of the meal, which was actually ok in my book, because let’s be honest, I did not go there for dessert, and if it were not for a Mother’s Day special which included dessert in the cost of the meal, I probably would not have saved room for dessert anyways. We tried three different desserts: Brazilian Cheese Cake, Coconut Chess Pie, and Caramel Flan (A must be good staple at any Brazilian restaurant in my opinion. First up was the cheesecake. This was good with a caramel sauce on top, chopped walnuts, and a layer of chocolate at the bottom. Nothing special, but enjoyable. The one that we really wanted to try, cause we had never had it before was the Coconut Chess Pie, and unfortunately, it was quite simply too sweet. The pie is filled with a layer of warm custard cream, tons of coconut, and then topped with vanilla ice cream. The custard was the downfall of this dessert, as it was so rich, and so sweet, I could only stand a spoonful of this one. If you like extreme sweets, go for it, but if you are looking for a light way to end a heavy meals, this is not the right choice. However, not all was lost. The flan was delicious. Light, flavorful, and just the right way to leave my last bite at Texas De Brazil.

Brazilian Cheese CakeCaramel Flan

While the desserts may not have lived up to the rest of the meal, they also would not in any way deter me from going back. In fact I am sure I will be back many a time and soon.

Overall, I would highly recommend giving Texas de Brazil a try. Located at 1 Ridge Hill Blvd.; Yonkers, NY 10710, there is also some wonderful shopping available right around the restaurant perfect for a leisurely stroll after the large meal. For reservations please call (914) 652-9660 or check out their website at http://www.texasdebrazil.com/yonkers. The restaurant also has a beautiful closed off portion of the dining room perfect for private events pictured below:

I hope you enjoy Texas de Brazil as much as I did. Take a trip and let me know what you think. Special thanks to Colleen for showing me around and to the whole staff at Texas de Brazil for a fabulous Mother’s Day with my family.

Texas de Brazil Churrascaria on Urbanspoon

Till next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur, signing off.


Michael Jordan’s Steak House – Mohegan Sun Casino

This past weekend I went with my mother to enjoy a meal at Michael Jordan’s Steak House up at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. We had a wonderful meal, and since there were two of us, we got to share a couple of cuts of steak, which is how I always like to dine. I love tasting many different menu items in the same meal, so that I can get a real feel for what a restaurant has to offer. Anyways, I know you want to see and hear about the food, so I might as well get straight to it. Thank you to Executive Sous-Chef Enrique Reyes (pictured below with me), not only for the great meal, but for coming out and talking to me about the restaurant and the meal.

To begin with we of course had some of their rolls and split a Caesar Salad. They do something I like here, which is that they split the plate for us (with no charge) so that we each had our own smaller salad, rather than having to pass it back and forth. So this picture is actually 1/2 a Caesar Salad.

The rolls were actually excellent. Obviously fresh, warm, and fluffy, these rolls had a nice buttery texture (which did not stop me from adding more butter… yum) and also a bit of melted cheese on top. Great start. As for the Caesar Salad, it certainly matched up to Caesar Salads I have had at other high end Steak Houses. That being said, there was nothing that necessarily made it stand out from these other restaurants. If you like a good Caesar Salad, with excellent aged cheese on top, you will like this one too, just as I did. Just don’t expect the salad to be the highlight of the meal.

Next we moved on to our entrees. We split the Bone-In Filet Mignon with a lobster tail, the New York Strip, and the MJ’s Home Fries.

Now here is where you should expect the highlight of the meal. Let’s start with the Home Fries. These babies are freshly wedged potatoes and sliced onions, seasoned well and fried in bacon fat. BACON FAT! This means, of course, they are delicious. They were also cooked very well… Crispy on the outside and nice and soft and fluffy inside. Then there was the lobster tail. The meat was so sweet and buttery on its own, I almost did not want to dip into the melted butter… But I had to, because butter makes things taste even better… and what do you know, it did. Now lets take a moment talking about these two very different cuts of steak. To begin with, the Bone-In Filet has that nice fat on it that you usually don’t get on a regular filet cut, which imparts some extra flavor. Add to it the fact that this cut of meat is then cooked in a devilishly delicious garlic butter and seasoned with MJ’s Worcestershire Glaze, and you have one juicy, well flavored, and well cooked steak. The New York Strip on the other hand is a fantastic cut of aged steak, coated in a signature dry rub and the Worcestershire Glaze, and grilled off to perfection. Ask me which one I liked better, and I would be hard pressed to tell you because the flavor profiles were so different and unique. If you are looking for the steak itself to be the hero, where you are tasting mostly just the high quality meat, I would suggest the New York Strip. However, if you are a garlic lover, and enjoy a juicy, flavor-filled, well seasoned cut, go with the Bone-In Filet. Both were excellent, so what I really suggest… do what we did, and split some different styles with the people you are dining with.

Finally, we come to dessert.The Creme Brulee!

I am a Creme Brulee fanatic. I make it, I order it everywhere, I love trying new flavors (my specialty is a Chambord Creme Brulee topped with Fresh Raspberries), but for me the traditional vanilla creme brulee is a must have staple at any quality steak house. Michael Jordan’s delivers and hits a home run with this one (yes, that is a shout out to MJ’s baseball career). With a nice smooth and creamy textured custard, bursting with fresh vanilla flavor, and topped with just the right amount of bruleed sugar, I will say, I was impressed. The cranberry and pistachio biscotti was a nice touch and paired well with the rest of the dessert. As a fanatic of this dessert, I have learned some tricks of how to tell the quality of the ingredients used. Here is my favorite. Take a look at this picture of the partially eaten Creme Brulee.

See those black dots on the bottom of the dish? That is fresh vanilla bean. That is how you know that the restaurant is using fresh vanilla and not vanilla extract or syrup. If you see those black dots, you have found a place that cares about the quality of the ingredients in their desserts.

Overall we had a fantastic meal at MJ’s. I will say that they are very pricey, so it is definitely a place for special occasions. Our meal with no drinks was $92.00 a person after tax and tip, which is pretty steep, even at Casino prices. However, not only was the food excellent, they have a Sunday Special I will be going back for. It includes Caesar Salad, Creamed Spinach, Mashed Potatoes, Prime Rib, and Fruit Cobbler, all for only $25.00 per person. THAT IS A FANTASTIC DEAL. I look forward to trying that out and will give you all my feedback once I do. Thank you again to Michael Jordan’s Steak House and Chef Reyes for a great meal, and for allowing MaurPowerFoodie into your home.

Michael Jordan's Steakhouse - Mohegan Sun on Urbanspoon

Until next time, this is Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur signing out.