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“Pricey, but amazing food”

Samba Brazilian Grill
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Ranked #71 of 1,020 Restaurants in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $100
Cuisines: Steakhouse
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Buffet, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: State Street
Reviewed April 27, 2014

Definitely pricey, but the food is excellent! You could almost make a meal out of the salad bar alone (and that is an option). All of the meats were amazing...definitely try the pineapple though too. The staff was very attentive. We actually turned the marker over for a bit to have time to eat because the gauchos were coming to the table so quickly. Save room for dessert as well...my husband and I shared the flan and his aunt and uncle shared the tres leches. Both were more than enough.

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Thank Beth P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 - 108 of 223 reviews

Reviewed April 16, 2014

This restaurant features a different style of dining, tasty food and friendly staff. At Samba, you pay one price for your entire meal if you are going to partake of meat. I believe it was around $36. You begin with a "salad bar." I put that in quotes because this is much more than your average salad bar. While it contains many of the typical salad bar fixings, it is filled with more exotic faire that makes the experience a delight, from Brazillian nuts to figs to a special Brazillian beef stew that was wonderful. After you finish with these appetizers, you fill your plate with your pick of potatoes or other extras and then turn over your meat column to "green," which informs the many meat purveyors to offer you cuts of the particular meat they have cooked. The meat varies from chicken to lamb to beef steaks and beyond. It was fun tasting the different types all together, but overall I would say the meat servings were a bit of a disappointment given the price for the meal. With a glass of wine, you have to figure about $110 - $120 for a couple including tip. A place that was fun to try, but not to visit frequently.

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Thank Ken H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2014

"Would you like flank steak" I'm thinking I'll pass on that so I can get something from a real cut of meat. It turns out that is their good cut of meat. Dry, tough, flavorless flank steak. The pineapple is pretty good. The salad bar (which includes some meat items) is fabulous.

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Thank Alan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

I have no idea what the appeal of a bunch of wait staff dressed like gauchos in a place that seems to have been redeemed from its previous life as a church running around slicing meat and pineapples (I assume for balanced nutrition) is but if that is your thing, this is the place for you. Otherwise, try any number of the seemingly hundreds of restaurants on State Street in Madison. I have had parilladas before and they taste a lot better than this, although they aren't my favorite "presentation". In any case, if you are on a high protein diet, it would be fine here.

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Thank John F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2014

Samba Brazilian Restaurant is a very interesting place to go. If you have never been to a Brazilian Grill, it can be a little intimidating the first time you go, but the wait staff will ask if it is your first time, and then explain what to expect. One thing that is different about a Brazilian grill is that you don't get a menu, and you don't have to wait to start eating. The first thing you do, typically, is go to the salad bar, but to actually call it a salad bar is a bit of an understatement. It not only has greens and salad fixings, which includes items I consider gourmet items like artichokes, hearts of palm and pickled beets, it has a variety of different salads like potato salad and even has one that is identified as as spicy cabbage salad, but anyone who is familiar with Korean cuisine would clearly identify it as kimchi. The hot items the night we were there included garlic mashed potatoes and beef tips in gravy. The one word of advice that was given to us before we went the first time is to be careful NOT to overdo at the salad bar - save room for the meat! While the salad bar is top class, the meat is spectacular! When the wait staff first come to your table, they give you a cylindrical wooden pillar (shaped like an hour-glass) that is red on one end and green on the other. When the red is up, the gauchos (meat servers) don't come to your table. When the green is up, the gauchos will bring big skewers of meat to your table and carve off the amount that you want of that particular meat. There are usually 6-9 different meats served on any given night. When we were there the offerings included sirloin, spicy sausage, lamb, pork, and a chicken that was outstanding. Make sure you try the grilled pineapple - it is fantastic! We had a great time, and the wait staff did an awesome job of educating us on what to expect and making us comfortable. We are already looking forward to our next trip to Samba Brazilian Grill!

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Thank Donna B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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