Niagara Gazette — When they returned home to Canada after a trip to Brazil a few years back, the owners of the Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse changed everything about their Niagara Falls, Ontario, restaurant.
But, they wondered, how would they get the word out that they had lowered their prices and that their diners would now be offered 18 different types of authentic Brazilian meats, which waiters would carry to each table. Or that they added Samba dancers to entertain their guests.
The Canadian restauranteurs’ challenge of notifying local “foodies” on both sides of the border, was met two years ago, when they joined the Niagara Food and Wine Expo, which provides a sampling of the Ontario region’s best offerings to attendees from each country.
While the owners of the Copacabana will not be able to demonstrate the way they coal grill each of the meats they serve, from from leg of lamb to cheese stuffed prime rib to bacon wrapped filet, they will be bringing some dancers and several dishes to the event — which begins Friday at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ont.
“We can’t actually serve our meats at the show, so we’re doing a braised beef rib, slow cooked,” said Jeremiah Rudan, who co-owns the restaurant, located at 6671 Fallsview Blvd., with his brothers, Simo and Michael. The trio also owns two Copacabanas in Toronto and plans to open a fourth at the end of the summer.
Those who’ve never been to a Brazilian barbecue, but who attend the weekend expo, will get a sampling of one of the most popular food trends, where dinners pay one price — around $40 at the Copacabana — and get treated to an array of meats hot off the charcoal grill, carried around the restaurant by servers. There is also a buffet of side dishes to accompany each meal.