CLOSED: Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse (Toronto)

For people who like meat, especially copious amounts of it, Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse is for you. As a rodizio restaurant, it’s all-you-can-eat: servers bring skewered churrasco (barbequed) proteins to your table until you signal them to stop with a simple flip of the sign. The full Copa experience is $40 on Sunday to Thursdays or $45 on Friday and Saturday (when salmon is served).

Sides, vegetables, charcuterie and other hot eats reside at a buffet area that’s self-serve. There’s actually quite a good selection and their salad bar is great, I particularly enjoyed the quinoa, mango and blueberry and kale salads.

As the server arrives table side, they announce what’s on the skewer. If you want a portion, they slice into it, you use the small tongs provided to grab onto the loose piece and then they finish slicing. Voila! You now have a piece of thinly sliced meat. Usually, they’ll have pieces with varying doneness so you can request something that’s cooked less or more.

The top sirloin was flavourful and tender and probably the meat I had the most of that evening. Other delicious picks was the herby chimichurri steak, fatty and moist butter milk rib eye and juicy flaky salmon.

The salmon, although looking overdone, was surprisingly delicious – glistening and just cooked through.

I find the prime rib with cheddar and filet mignon wrapped in bacon a tad salty, but they also tend to be crowd favourites. Luckily, the Toronto location has toned down their use of seasoning as I found the Niagara branch extremely salty, which for a long time was why I didn’t want to return to a Brazilian steakhouse.

Other beef items include skirt steak, picanha Brazil (a slightly chewier rump cut), flank steak and beef ribs (pulled off the bone and somewhat dry). But, it’s not all beef, Copa also serves chicken (drumstick, parmesan and Moraccan), leg of lamb (tasty and worth a try) and pork sausages.

After I’ve had my protein fill, the thing I enjoy the most is their grilled pineapples. Crusted lightly in cinnamon sugar, the heat helps sweeten the pineapple even more and get their juices flowing.

Fried bananas, corn bread and cheese puffs are brought around in baskets, so enticing that you can’t help but have one. The fried banana was crispy and has the same cinnamon sugar dusting as the pineapples. Their cornbread, always served hot out of the oven, is fluffy and aromatic. Only the cheese puff was a bust for me as the center was doughy and soft rather than airy or molten. 

Copacabana offered great service; the manager coming by on separate occasions to ensure we were satisfied. When we noted that the meat service was a little slow he instantly had more gauchos (servers) visit the table. When we started turning away items citing, “We’ve had this already” they asked us what we wanted and made sure to bring those items in return trips.

Live music and a dance performance may seem cliché but provides a cheerful environment; momentarily distracting me from the food and bringing a slight twinge of regret for accepting the third helping of top sirloin.

Overall, Copacabana was a good experience, especially for an all-you-can-eat atmosphere. Indeed, I probably wouldn’t want to visit too much, as it does promote over consumption on meat. But, as a once in a while indulgence, it’s not a bad way to spend two hours (their seating limit).

Overall mark - 7 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $35
Regular menu - $45 
Savings - $10 or 22%

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 150 Eglinton Avenue East

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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