rei do gado / downtown san diego

Last week Jake and I went to Rei de Gado for the first day of San Diego Restaurant Week. $20 for lunch, man. I know SDRW is over now (though there is a Week 2 but Rei de Gado isn’t participating) – so take notes for the fall! Update: According to Faye they HAVE extended this for another week. Damn SDRW website lied to me…

Now… onto my picture heavy post.

First up: the Salad Bar which has a lot more than just “salad”.


Fruits, meats, veggie rolls.


Green stuff and toppings for the green stuff.


Hot stuff.


Various salads, olives, caprese.


Potato salad, mushrooms, pasta salads, etc.


More hot foods and side dishes.


“Today’s Special” was something creamy looking with mushrooms in it. The scallop potatoes totally look like scrambled eggs in this photo.


Dessert-y item.


Bowl full of BACON. Plus soups.


Some included desserts. They also have cakes for dessert – they are on display but I forgot to take a photo of that. Good luck fitting dessert into your stomach.


The items on the list for lunch. The last one, Chicken Hearts, must be requested.


They tried to trick us with this basket of bread. “Fill up on some carbs first, muhahah”. No, thanks. We’re not falling for your tricks, especially not for cold, sliced bread. Pass.


The other trick? Pão de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread). These are puffy, chewy little suckers and I ate like five of them. I was happy to be tricked with these, which were still warm when a server came by to see if we wanted any. Jake thought they were more like a cream puff than bread. I kind of liked that about them.


The small bit of sides I got, which I ate throughout our meal to break up the “monotony” of meat.


Peru Com Bacon (aka bacon wrapped turkey breast). Slightly dry, not too bad.


Coxa de Frango – chicken thigh with cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Very tender, juicy and a nice amount of melted cheese. One of Jake and I’s favorites.


One of the servers looking coy before he gives us the goods.


Costelinha de Porco or baby back pork ribs.


Linguica – house made spicy pork sausage. Way too charred on one side, I had to cut that part off. Bit spicy, but a little overcooked. Good overall flavor.


Filet Mignon com Bacon – wrapped in applewood smoked bacon. Very tender, though I’m personally not a big fan of filet mignon.


Alcatra – whole top sirloin. Another “a bit too dry” meat.


Lombo – pork tenderloin. Very tender and super flavorful – especially on the outside crust.


Coxao Mole – Top Round (with garlic). Excellent flavor, but very chewy.


Picanha – prime top sirloin. Mouth wateringly tender. A tad salty, but another one of our favorites. Wonderfully juicy and lovely flavor.


Slicing the beef ribs.


My slice of the beef ribs, or Cpstela de Boi. Had some pretty fatty bits, but actually, I liked that.

Now here I skipped a photo because I forgot to take one… when we tried the honey glazed cinnamon pineapple with smoked black forest ham. My least favorite item of the meal. I might have spit it out… 


Tri tip or Maminha. Good outside flavor.


Last item we tried… the Rib Eye. Hands down our favorite item of the meal – and the very last meat we tried! Incredibly tender with excellent flavor – cooked to a nice medium. Generous portion, too, not like I could even manage more than two bites.


I nibbled on some desserts during our last few meats. The guava jelly cube was okay. The cookie had a good flavor but was a bit too crunchy for my tastes. The wafer thing was just average.

All in all a really great deal for $20 during Restaurant Week!

I actually used a gift certificate I had received from UTOPIA. Getting gift certificates at a discount from UTOPIA is great since they’re gift certificates – not discount deals – meaning you can use them at any time, even during Restaurant Week, for specials or for happy hour. Be sure to check our the UTOPIA site for some good deals on local restaurants here in San Diego (and Los Angeles).

Rei de Gado
939 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 702-8464

Rei do Gado on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary gift certificate to Rei de Gado from UTOPIA. I was not further compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

8 thoughts on “rei do gado / downtown san diego

  1. Your meat pictures look great! May try to learn from your techniques! We’ve been there a couple times but this year, we decided to try the OTHER meat place (Fogo de Chao) for SDRW (to be posted later).

    1. Hi Lynn – Thank you! I’d like to go to Fogo de Chao, but will probably have to wait for the next restaurant week. Can’t wait to see your post about it!

  2. Yum! Those beef ribs look good… I always liked the salad bar at Rei do Gado. I think it’s nice they’ve put out a few sweets, too, even though I consider fried plantains to be all the dessert I need.

    1. Hi Leanne – I was happy to see some free desserts, too! I just wanted a little something sweet to go with it so the sweets they had out were nice. I’m hoping we can try Fogo de Chao next time!

  3. I just went here yesterday for lunch !!! That’s too funny how you went last week. What day of the week did you go? I feel like the presentation of their salad bar they day you went was much better than their Sunday presentation. And I didn’t see any of those wafer cookies yesterday.

    I signed up for Utopia but never saw Rei do Gado on there.

    1. Hi Faye –
      I went last Sunday at like 11:30am! Maybe they just put out those desserts for Restaurant Week? That’s so funny you just went. The certificates for this place on Utopia was there like end of summer maybe? I’ve had it for awhile.

  4. I’ve not been to any of those Brazilian AYCE places. As enticing as they might be, I just can’t seem to justify the price with my appetite. My husband on the other hand…..haha. The guava jelly cube thing for dessert was an unusual item. All your meats looked good though!

    1. Hi CC – I must admit its hard for me to try everything – I just have a few bites of everything. The only time I’ve been is for a special of some kind, it seems too pricey otherwise!

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