While steak houses abound in Barbosa’s native country—he says they’re lagging behind in an area that just keeps growing in Philly: the food truck scene.
Barbosa plans on staking out 33rd and Arch and other areas in West Philly. He’s bringing on some cooks he’s worked with in the local Brazilian BBQ scene. Like Braz BQ, Barbosa’s truck will cook rotisserie style via hand turned spits suspended over coals.
In addition to top sirloin and rib eye, Barbosa says he will probably end up with as many as seven cuts, with chicken on the menu as well.
He stresses proper cooking times and cutting the meat the right way—something that’s dogma for any chef. He says he’s going for something simple: the Brazilian steakhouse experience served on a roll. Prep would be limited to basic seasoning and each sandwich would only get lettuce, tomato, and fried onions, with cooked pineapple as an option.
“That’s it. No chimicurri? No sauces period?”
Unlike, Braz BQ, which also employs herbed mayo along with that verdant Argentine brilliance, Barbosa’s meat would be served up naked.
“Very natural,” he says in animated fashion.
“I just want to focus on the steak. The meat has all the flavor,” he says with the incredulousness of a purist (given the simple genius of long, slow cooked tacos I’ve written about here and here, I have to agree).
Listening to him, it’s easy to imagine the blood dripping onto the ensconcing paper—that is, the excess of blood that doesn’t get soaked by the roll.
Finding the right bread to match up with the soft, French style loaves of his youth would have to be easy, right? Not so, not even in Philly.
Amoroso’s, for instance, has too much chew, he says. “It’s too strong. Something softer,” he asserts.
Philly pride or not, you have to love it when anyone cares fiercely about the details.
This is after all, the realization of a dream Barbosa has had for 4 years (he’s had the truck for over a year now).
Two Brazilian BBQ trucks in West Philly? you may ask.
No, we just got more nuance in the Brazilian mobile steak scene.
Which just became a scene.