I think other chain restaurants should take a hint from Brazilian-themed steakhouses like Rodizio Grill, where grown men are clad in traditional South American cowboy garb. The servers at Outback would be dressed like Crocodile Dundee; the staff at Cheeseburger in Paradise looking like they're heading out to a Jimmy Buffett concert after work.
Put aside the kitschy sartorial choices, though, and you'll find that Brazilian steakhouses are some of the most gluten-free-friendly restaurants around. The latest to open in the Philadelphia area is Rodizio Grill's location on restaurant row in the Voorhees Town Center (13109 Town Center Blvd., 856-344-5110).
menu on the restaurant's website notes all of the items that are gluten free, including the popular Brazilian cheese bread known as pao de queijo. Perhaps it was because the restaurant had just opened, but our hostess wasn't familiar with all of the gluten-free items and the on-site menus didn't list them. Instead, she brought us a one-page list of the gluten-free options, which we consulted throughout the meal.
The salad bar options were not as plentiful as those at Fogo, but there were enough to whet our appetite ahead of the forthcoming meat feast - all of the vegetables, fruit, rice, stews, and meats and cheeses are fine for gluten-free diets.
To counter the salty entrees, we shared a couple scoops of tropical-flavored ice cream. Also gluten free is a caramel flan and a lime pie mousse, complete with a gluten-free cookie.
Like most steakhouses, Rodizio Grill isn't going to be a regular dining spot for most people. It definitely is a place for occasion dining, though, especially if the occasion is enjoying a hearty gluten-free meal.