Rodizio

Churrascaria: It's not easy to say for some English-speakers. "You're supposed to roll the Rs, but my tongue's too thick," says Michael Cho, general manager of Argentina Steakhouse. Yet at press time, a churrascaria was to open in Springfield by mid-November. Argentina Steakhouse's Korean-Argentine-American owners are transforming the defunct Tres Hombres, on Montclair Street near the intersection of Battlefield and Highway 65, into Rodizio, a Brazilian grill.

"Rodizio" refers to this style of dining, i.e., rotisserie-cooked cuts of meat brought out to guests still impaled on the skewer, and then carved. Calling a restaurant "Rodizio" is a bit like naming a restaurant "Table Service" or "Buffet." In any case, it's certainly a new experience in southwest Missouri. Here's how it works: Guests will first be invited to serve themselves at what Cho calls the "cold bar" ("buffet" being a taboo word), laden with ceviche (seafood salad), octopus salad, imported olives, mixed greens and such. After being seated, guests use a signal on their table-green means go-to attract the servers who bring out the meat. Another server takes care of beverages and wine presentation. Cho says Rodizio will serve 10 to 12 kinds of meat in all. Pricing for the food is all-inclusive rather and will hover around the $20 mark at dinner; $10 for lunch, says Cho. The wine list is to have 50 to 75 bottles and emphasize fewer expensive wines, and more South American wines, than Argentina Steakhouse's list.

Cho also says the atmosphere will strike Argentina Steakhouse fans as more modern, and he says the plan is to have an outdoor patio and outdoor bar ready by spring, complete with samba players.

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