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Guide to best enjoy Rodizios in Brazil

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Foreign visitors may have only a few chances to visit a rodizio; this guide attempts to help non-frequent visitors to best enjoy a rodizio.

The Portuguese word 'rodizio' has the same root as 'rotate', or 'take turns'. For example, drivers accessing the central area of São Paulo are submitted to a 'rodizio': one day, only cars with plates ending in 0,2,4,6,8 are allowed, and the next day it is the turn of the odd numbers.
In a rodizio restaurant, the waiters go about the tables, taking their turns with different cuts of meat; one waiter offers you picanha, then another comes with filet, then another brings chicken, and eventually the picanha comes back, and so on.
In Brazil, there are other rodizios. Pizza rodizio is common (don't be misled by the 100 different different flavors though, as those are mostly combinations of basic flavors); ice cream, soups and even cachaça rodizios can be found too.

Customers eat as much as they can, and the price is always fixed (otherwise, it is not a rodizio). However, these items are not included and are charged separately: drinks (even water); desserts; tips (10%, usually already included in the bill); music couvert.
Drinks are usually more expensive than in other restaurants; that's a way for the restaurant to increase profit margins and to persuade customers to go home.
Commonly, prices for dinner are lower than for lunch. Lunch is preferred by business people, who care less about prices (and besides, lowering prices for dinner help the restaurants to waste left-overs from lunch). Usually, prices are increased in the week ends and holidays.
Shop around for promotions, like discount for couples, discount for women and others (competition is stiff, promotions are not uncommon); also, check out for free shuttle service.

(to be continued)

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