Go for the meat. Go for the signature caipirihinia. Go for the after-dinner aperitif. With all of your strength and might, avoid the salad bar, but maybe leave room for dessert. Not because the salad bar isn't good, it is - with it's buttery mushrooms, aged cheeses, chilled shrimp, and bisque - it's a salad bar to rival any you've visited but not one to fill up at. You're here for the meat so leave room for the meat. Texas de Brazil is one of the latest steakhouses to land in DC. If you've ever visited the other all you can eat steakhouse on Pennsylvania Ave you'll be familiar with the experience. Each diner has their own drinks coaster, one side green and one side red. If you're hungry you turn it to its green side, do not pass go and do not collect $200. You won't have time, you'll be swarmed over by carvers, or Guacho's as they like to be called, each eager to carve up slices of freshly grilled Brazilian sausage, lamb, beef, pork or chicken inspired from Brazilian steakhouses. Read: perfectly charred with a heavy hand with the salt.
I was invited to check out Texas de Brazil, but before I did I made sure to run a few miles on the treadmill first, the expected overdose of all you can eat meat was something I was going to be prepared for. I started out with a caipirihinia, which is my white liquor drink of choice and the bar here does it well (a lot of bars don't carry cachaça so substitute with rum, just don't.)
The turning of the coasters is a fun way to dine, interactive. The Guacho carves one of the many meats, filet mignon or do you want that wrapped in bacon? Why not. You are encouraged to pick it off the skewer before it falls to your plate, and have as much or little as you want. The carvers with their foot long meat cleavers are a little to be desired but you get used to them. Don't bite the hand that feeds you after all. Be sure to turn the coaster red before another Guacho comes to your table, but I do recommend the leg of lamb and the braised beef ribs. Like all the meats, succulent and grilled just right, most medium-rare (blood on the plate rare) but you can make requests for any of them to be cooked a little longer if that's how you prefer.
There's a dessert plate too, but you'll be hard pressed to find room for anything beyond meat. Instead ask for the liquor 43 Cuarenta Y Tres. A deeply golden-rich fruity high viscous aperitif. The bottle is as impressive as the drink, presented in ice packed with fruit, herbs and spices of its origin.
Texas de Brazil is a well established restaurant chain, with locations across America and overseas. It carries it's own wine label (which is worth checking out) and is a little less expensive than most of its competitors, at $46.99 for the full menu, which being not too far from Union Station does mean it attracts the tourist crowd. Try not let that deter you.
Texas de Brazil: 455 Massachusetts Ave, NW Washington, DC (closest metro: Union Station or Judiciary Square)