Hot summer days seem to be made for smoky, fire-cooked dishes and we just don’t have enough good barbecue restaurants in this country, especially the Brazilian ones.
I visited a real “Churrasco” (BBQ) restaurant in Rio de Janeiro a few years ago and I still dream of the mounds of smoked and sweet meat that kept arriving at our table; you just flipped one disc from red to green and more would come.
BSkewers is on a simpler scale but the flavors are the same and you must visit; and I have to go back very soon. BSkewers was started by a Brazilian couple, Bruno Amado and Thaís Eloá, who both worked in the hospitality industry in Ireland for several years. The restaurant started out as a market stall, but the pandemic has forced them to find a permanent home, and food delivery is an essential part of the business. The restaurant itself is lovely if tiny, with just a handful of tables and counters, but with a handful of outdoor seating, which we chose to sit on on a hot Wednesday evening.
The drinks list is short with a lager (Madri from Sao Paolo), a Swedish sweet cider and half a dozen cheap solid wines imported by Tindal-Searsons, all at very reasonable prices between €28 and €36. Our bottle of Croix des Vents Rosé from the south of France had bright strawberries and a crisp citrus flavor that was perfect for the hot evening and spicy food.
The menu is short with a selection of BBQ Brochettes at €5-8, a Cheeseburger (€10) and a few side dishes and sauces. There are also alternatives to fake meat in case an unwitting vegan comes along.
The first arrivals were the skewers. We ordered five and they were all delicious. The meat is from FX Buckleys and the quality was high. Picanha was the highlight for me, cooked perfectly rare as requested with rounded and complex meaty flavors enhanced by the light barbecue char.
Dipped in the tangy, fruity and herbal Salsa Verde, it tasted even better, bringing out the herbal and nutty notes found in premium Irish beef.
The marinated Angus skewer was also good but next time I will order two Picanha instead.
The Tuscan pork sausage was so juicy it squirted and marred my clean white shirt, but I didn’t care.
It worked best dipped in the hot African chili sauce, as did the chicken hearts which are the bargain on the menu at just €4.69. Nutty and flavorful as the hearts were, they worked best dipped in chili.
Belly pork skewers were coated in a sticky sweet glaze which, along with the BBQ char, brought out the sweet pork flavors nicely. Again, the sauces added complexity and nice accents.
Besides the sauces, we also sprinkled our foods with farofa for added texture; the cassava crumbs with hazelnuts that are on all Brazilian tables are a must.
Now for the Cheeseburger, my goodness, the cheeseburger. There’s been a rash of new burger joints in Dublin over the past couple of years, but I’m not sure any can compete with this magnificent cheesy intensity from BSkewers Burger.
Basically, the meat hadn’t been overcooked as is almost always the case in Ireland, and the creamy, meaty richness was breathtaking, with the char crust on the meat being the finishing touch that elevated it to the rank of ‘God-tier Burger’. status, an expression I’ve never used before.
We finished with a rich, chocolatey smoky brioche bun filled with dulce de leche each; pure indulgence but only one would have been enough so much was their wealth.
BSkewers elevates barbecue food to the level it deserves: the perfectly cooked meat is at its heart, but the supporting roles played by the buttery sweet corn, the extremely crispy fries, the well-prepared sauces and of course the charming staff have pushed that to another level. Viva BBQ, Viva Brazil, Viva BSkewers.