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Restaurants

Touro Churrascaria

Posted by Libby Roach / Reviewed on November 8, 2013 / review policy

Touro ChurrascariaTouro Churrascaria is the newest restaurant specializing in Brazilian style Rodizio (AYCE) in the GTA. And when I say GTA, the A is amplified. Touro is located in a busy restaurant complex just a pinch outside city limits at highway 7 and the 404. First time restaurateur Michael Colangelo carefully planned the swank layout after gutting the spot from previous tenants Nava which shut their doors after a stabbing a few years ago.

Bringing sexy back to Richmond Hill? Well, I'm not sure it was ever there in the first place but the killer 3,000 square foot patio is a good start. Much like everything in the 'burbs, larger lots mean more space. Touro's patio features waterfalls, a fire pit and a Zen garden. The interior is just as gussy, with a stylish bar area featuring a self-serve (via pre-paid card) Enomatic wine dispenser, lava rock bar, panoramic floor to ceiling murals of Brazil and a massive dining area (as well as a private room) with custom tabletops featuring Touro's cowhead logo.

Imported from Rio de Janeiro himself, Chef Paulo Stadler oversees the many varying menus (seafood night Thursdays, game meat nights...) and executes a churrasqueira style rotation of meats, so leave the vegan at home and come hungry. I ambled up there for lunch ($24.95 for all you can eat) with a meat-minded friend and immediately began wishing I wore my finest sweat pants.

Touro ChurrascariaOrdering off the Rodizio menu ensures a steady rotation of gauchos (meat men) carving tableside, but before you hunker down for the all you can eat explosion, you're encouraged to hit up the salad bar (or appetizer island as they say in 905 slang). With cured meats, a wheel of parm, loads of salads and snacks it's easy to fill up on these leafy bits, but as they say, you don't win friends with salad.

Touro ChurrascariaFlipping the disc from red to green lets the sword wielding chefs know you're ready for them. Their lunch menu features all your favourite farm animals; cow, pig, chicken and lamb all get rotisseried up into magical cuts of salty meat. The tongs are tricky to manage for some cuts; I ended up with a few slabs of meat on the floor but the gracious gauchos just grin and carve more. The signature drink of Brazil, the mighty boozy Caipirinha ($10) may have aided a bit in the meat tossing, but I'm not pointing fingers.

Touro ChurrascariaHighlights of the meal, before the meat coma took over, were definitely the Picanha, a rump roast cut of beef that's hugely popular in Brazil. Thinly sliced tableside, medium rare to rare is how it's presented, leaving a seductively salty pool of meat juice behind.

Lamb was equally delicious, with a giant leg carved sliced also medium rare and charred on the tips. Chicken wings were tasty too; the skin was crispy and succulent. I just wish there was some dips or sauces to help the meat slide down faster.

Touro ChurrascariaThe grilled pineapple didn't seem grilled at all, with the lack of tell-tale grill marks making it obvious. With a cinnamon rub and brown sugar coating, it adds another dimension to the meat orgy and gives a brief reprieve to my aching incisors.

Touro ChurrascariaWith everything made in house, I splurged on dessert and ordered up the Lava cake ($10). Usually lava cakes are frozen pucks heated to order, oozing out liquid chocolate, and while this was very much the case; the brownie like exterior didn't suffer the same fate as their frozen compatriots. The chocolate was moist and decadent, with the right amount of gooey awesomeness that this supremely rich dessert invokes.

The accompanying ice cream was coated in caramel and more chocolate and the delicate patterns of flowers contained the fruity mango and raspberry coulis that not only made for a saucy presentation, but also a nice bit of balance. A cappuccino ($4.50) helped wash away the sugar bugs that were carving holes in my teeth.

Touro ChurrascariaSo if you've never been to where Keswick likes to party, steal your co-workers VIVA buss pass (remember it's only one bus after Finch!) and stretch those legs beyond Steeles. Touro accepts reservations and has a private dining room. It's wheelchair accessible.

Discussion

28 Comments

whatthehell / November 8, 2013 at 09:38 am
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Really? HWY 7 and The 404??
DealWithIt / November 8, 2013 at 10:05 am
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Yes. Really. You whiny asswart.
David L / November 8, 2013 at 10:23 am
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Interesting. There used to be a B-BBQ up there around 10 years ago. Looks like it closed 5 years ago though.
Nicco / November 8, 2013 at 11:20 am
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Great concept, food looks amazing, and price is half of CopaCabana. Only issue is most who read BLOGTO Cant access this place. :( Otherwise looks great.
transitrider / November 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm
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Sweet, all I need to do is take the TTC to the edge of the city, transfer to a viva blue route bus, and then transfer to a viva purple route bus.
Mack / November 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm
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Can't access and won't access are two different things...
hop replying to a comment from whatthehell / November 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm
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I know right? Like they expect us to take the subway all the way to Finch, isn't that close to the place my parents warned me to never frequent before moving to Toronto. And then take the bus, what kind of strange characters use public transit in Richmond Hill. Sorry cheap and plentiful meat or not, this is way too risky.
David L / November 8, 2013 at 01:09 pm
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Just take the Don Mills 25D then walk over from Leslie. *snort*
Tim / November 8, 2013 at 03:39 pm
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Thanks for the review, I would've never known they have something like this up here where I live.
nestpas / November 8, 2013 at 05:25 pm
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Ugh. So Richmond Hill is still only a "town"?

No thanks.
Jmons / November 8, 2013 at 07:14 pm
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Lemme guess...they're serving Canadian and Coors. I'd kill for a bottle Antarctica or Skol!
jay / November 8, 2013 at 07:15 pm
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So glad to see a restaurant review outside of your usual areas...not everyone lives downtown!
Eric / November 8, 2013 at 09:42 pm
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I'm glad you did this review. I live north of Toronto and wouldn't discover this restaurant if you didn't mention it.
xxx / November 10, 2013 at 11:28 am
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Wow, people are such haters... Just because YOU live dt doesn't mean the rest of the torotonians do. This is quite helpful for those of us who live in North York. I don't see why you have to be so rude about it. I see tons of reviews for places dt that take me over an hour to get but I don't go bashing every location bc of how "sketchy" dt is. Just save your breath if you don't want to go
John / November 11, 2013 at 01:49 pm
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So I guess living at Weston Rd and 401 means I am not a part of Toronto or that BlogTo should not focus on any parts of the city north of St. Clair.....no wonder the so called folks living in the suburbs hate downtowners who think they know it all. So would you rather live in a 300-500sq foot box as oppose to a nice 1500 square foot home with a little backyard and a parking spot out front. Bet my house is still cheaper than your 300sq foot condo. I can walk to local stores, or if I want to visit Richmond Hill I can drive my car.
John replying to a comment from whatthehell / November 11, 2013 at 01:51 pm
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Obviously the owner of the establishment preferred Richmond Hill over downtown....guess he likes lower business taxes, plenty of free parking for his customers, lower overall cost of operating a business......i guess thats a bad thing.
john replying to a comment from transitrider / November 11, 2013 at 01:57 pm
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or rent a car....
Jmons / November 11, 2013 at 10:45 pm
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You guys are debating distance? How many of you assholes have actually been to Brasil?
john replying to a comment from Jmons / November 12, 2013 at 11:14 am
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I am one of those assholes thats been to BRAZIL.....
Frank replying to a comment from Nicco / November 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm
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It's actually more expensive than Copacabana. Dinners are Mon-Wed $39.75, Thurs-Sun $44.75 for the all you can eat. Thursday has seafood though. Copa is dinner weekdays $37.99, weekends $42.99. Anyone tried this place yet? Is it worth the extra $$?
Spectre / November 12, 2013 at 03:57 pm
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How did the reviewer pay $25 for lunch? When i called they said it was $45.
Mr Sprocket replying to a comment from Spectre / November 14, 2013 at 04:36 pm
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Prices on their website: http://tourosteakhouse.com/menus/rodizio/

M-F lunch is $24.75
ObviousOlivia / November 15, 2013 at 10:39 pm
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I feel the need to point out yet again that the name of the site is BlogTO. Which means that the focus is on restaurants and establishments in the city of Toronto. If you're looking for something closer to home than start like BlogVaughan or BlogMississauga. Or use Zagat or Google Maps. This site doesn't need to be inclusive of outside of Toronto because that's not its purpose. Just be grateful Vaughan got a mention. And for the people complaining there aren't enough reviews outside of the DT core, the reasons are because a) restaurants don't open as often in the burbs so there isnt much to write about, b) outside of the core is a higher percentage of residential/industrial/office space therefore less actual restaurants, more franchises (Tim Hortons, McDonalds and Subways galore) and c) less people are signing up to review places outside of the core (less interest, no reviews. Womp womp). Besides if you want to know if the place in your hood is good, you shouldn't rely on a reviewer to tell you to try it. Support YOUR local businesses and take a damn risk.
spectre replying to a comment from Mr Sprocket / November 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm
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Thanks. that clears things up
Krissy replying to a comment from john / December 1, 2013 at 02:57 am
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Brasil is the correct native spelling (Portuguese), Brazil is the English version.
Anonymous / December 15, 2013 at 06:11 pm
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This place was horrible. We went for my brothers birthday. There was a hair in the salad my mom got and they had to give us our meals for free. Their service was terrible, we waited ridiculous amounts of time just for a round of drinks. We had to wave them down several times to get our drinks. Absolutely horrible experience. The food wasn't even that great either. There were only 4 of us so we didn't have a large party. And they weren't even busy. So there was no excuse, hence why they gave us meals for free so we wouldn't complain/ruin their reputation.
Vinny / January 8, 2014 at 03:42 am
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0 friends
1 review
Vinny A.
Markham, ON
1/8/2014
Ever been so excited to go try something for the first time? I Skipped lunch, had a coffee instead, met my in laws at the resto.....took my seat and dove in.

FML was I ever let down.

They had already visited the appetizer buffet and meat had begun being served at the table. The meats were decent at best, most over cooked and over seasoned. The selection of meats, a few kinds of steak, beef and pork ribs, bacon wrapped chicken and leg of lamb. None of it was as good as the other places that serve Brazilian bbq.

I went to the appetizer buffet and what I found was gross. The prepared salads were all lacking flavour and the textures were horrible. The tortilla chips were being refilled out of a clear plastic garbage bag with bare hands. I decided to make myself a caesar salad. The romaine lettuce was floating in a swimming pool of water, the Parmesan cheese had the outer shell of the wheel ground up into it. The croutons were full of the dust you find at the bottom of the bag when you bring them home from the grocery store.

I returned to the table and we continued our meal. But I was disgusted by what I had seen. Needless to say I could not enjoy the rest of the meal. Had my in laws not been there I would have left with my wife.

I spoke to the manager Richard, even walked him to the buffet and showed him in detail everything you have just read. He introduced me to another manager, the second manager asked if I was a chef, I told him I wasn't and he scoffed at me and walked away. WTF?

Richard actually took interest in what I had to say and I believe was sincere in taking the criticism I had, for this I commend him. Will it be enough to make us return? Not a chance in hell.

The only thing they got right was the the pineapple. It was fresh, flavourful and tasty.

$300 for dinner for 6, do yourself the favour stay away.

There are 4 other Brazilian BBQ joints I know of and have been to. Copacobana at Yonge and Eglinton and in Niagara Falls, Braza in Niagara Falls and the Red Violin on the Danforth. All of them are better than this place by a long shot, go to one of them. Or save the money, go to Chakko, for Korean BBQ in the same complex, it's not as fancy and you have to cook your own food, but you will leave happy and full and not like you just got screwed out of $300!
Ruby replying to a comment from jay / January 17, 2014 at 04:30 pm
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I agree -- not everyone is living downtown!
we love eating out but won't be bothered to go downtown -- due to distance and very expensive parking fees!...

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