June 9th, 2003

Marius Carnes

I was in Rio. I wanted another chuurrsaco fix. I looked in my Footprint Brazil guide. "Inexpensive: Marius" read the listing. Well, that sounded good. If it's inexpensive maybe I wouldn't have to change out of T-shirt and shorts.

They lied. But at least the food was great.

Marius Carnes
Avenida Atlantica, 290 (facing Leme Beach, in the Zona Sul)
Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22010-000

Tel and fax: +55.21.2542.2393
http://www.marius.com.br/ (Flash, flash, and nothing but flash animation)

Daily: 1145-0100

Marius got relisted in the "Expensive" category in the next issue of the Footprint guide. It must have been a typo. If I'd known, I'd have changed clothes before taking the Metro down to the Zona Sul. As it turned out, the service was impeccable anyway, even if I was probably one of the least well-dressed people in the place.

Marius Carnes was the best churrascaria rodizo I'd ever been to. Anywhere. The "salad bar" featured soups, stews (including the national dish, feijoada), a wide variety of cheeses, tropical fruits, and all the sushi one could eat. Oh, and there were some excellent salads, too.

But the meat...ah, the meat. Tender cuts of beef, lamb, pork. Roasted chicken, sausages. All brought from the kitchen still steaming on long skewers by attentive, efficient, polite staff who cut pieces to the desired doneness at your table. I wished I'd understood more Portuguese, because each particular cut of meat was introduced with its Portuguese name before I was invited to choose. No anonymous "beef?" "pork?" "lamb?" here. It was some of the best meat I'd ever had in my life.


Afterwards, I waddled slowly back on Av. Atlantica along Copacabana beach, wishing I had had more appetite, enjoying the warm evening with the sounds of the surf breaking in the background.

And what did "expensive" mean in a Brazilian context? R$56.10, including my guaraná, plus tip, easily twice the price of any other churrascaria rodizo I went to in Brazil. On the day I spent the money (February 4th, 2003), that was US$15.77.

Of course, I'd go back. Anyone want to join me?

(Marius is a chain of restaurants, including Marius Crustáceos, which is the all-you-can eat seafood place next door that I stumbled into by mistake and was seated at before realizing I was in the wrong restaurant. The staff there was equally polite and pleasant.

Marius Carnes is on the left as you face the building. Marius Crustáceos is on the right. There's another branch in Niteroi, across the bay.)