Twice a year in San Diego, there is the San Diego Restaurant Week and it’s a magical time.

 king crab at rei do gado restaurant week

So first, about San Diego Restaurant Week:

It happens twice a year. The next one is Sept 20-27th 2015 and will include over 180 restaurants around San Diego. The idea here is that participating restaurants will offer a special menu and/or special pricing for their guests, so that more unexpected guests might walk in the door that otherwise may not due to the price tag!

We got a few choices and our first pick was Rei Do Gado Brazilian Steakhouse. This would be a great pick to go check out during SDRW because it will be an incredible bang for your buck! They don’t limit the quantity, so essentially the menu is the same, except they’ll be adding a wine from a local Fallbrook winery and include a dessert.

My husband and I both were immediately impressed at just how classy the place was! A grand white piano was playing the most gorgeous music, epic flowers and lighting. It felt like we were at a wedding.

I knew we’d like this place when I told the cute Brazilian server that we were not alcohol drinkers and he recommended this soda Guaran√° from Brazil that he likes without skipping a beat or making a huge deal of it. Most of the staff are Brazilian or have strong ties to Brazil, so their accents had that beautiful Portuguese undertone and they were all so great.

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Here’s how a Brazilian Steakhouse/BBQ works: Usually you pay a lunch price or a dinner price and that includes unlimited trips to the salad bar and meat all night that comes out fresh from the grill. It was no different here, except that the salad bar is unreal! King crab, salmon, amazing salads, sushi. I tried not to fill up with the salad alone, and husband was already the happiest man on earth with the crab!

Salad Bar at Rei Do Gado San Diego Restaurant Week

Then when you’re ready, flip this wooden marker to green and meat starts flowing from all sides. Fernando brought by each of the 20 meats and we loved every single one of them! This family-owned restaurant apparently barbecues the “real” Brazilian way. Our server who grew up in Sao Paulo told us that most Brazilian restaurants don’t use the mesquite wood fire grill as they do in Brazil, but they do and it makes for extremely flavorful meat. I always love knowing that we are getting the “real” experience.

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The manager was so good to us and spent time telling us all about his staff, most of whom have worked there with him for the 16 years he’s been there. They support local wineries and bakeries. The service is incredible. It’s a well-oiled machine.

One of our favorite things about Brazilian is the grilled pineapple– again, this is the best I’ve had. Covered in honey and cinnamon like the ham next to it. It’s insane.

The pork sausage they make in-house daily is also amazing and we decided the best beef was either the top sirloin or the bacon-wrapped filet Mignon.

Glazed Pineapple and Ham at Rei Do Gado San Diego Restaurant Week

This is the Coxa de Frango. Chicken covered in mozzarella and cheddar cheese…

Cheddar Chicken at Rei Do Gado San Diego Restaurant Week

And I will be having dreams for weeks about that flan. Admittedly, we went out to eat a few nights later and they tried to offer me flan. Nope. I just knew it wouldn’t come close to the perfect Brazilian flan we had here.

Brazilian Flan at Rei Do Gado San Diego Restaurant Week

Be sure to check out San Diego Restaurant Week and put Rei do Gado on your list! I’m a new fan for sure!

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