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Porto Do Sul: Brazilian Steakhouse, American Dream

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If you find yourself driving near 119th and Metcalf Avenue on a dark, frigid January night, look for the the dual torches that burn outside Overland Park’s independently owned Brazilian steakhouse. Enter Porto Do Sul and you’ll be greeted with warmth, a friendly host and the soft roar of happy customers. A romantically dim dining room is offset by the glow of a fireplace, an organized wine cellar, a colorful Harvest Table and enthusiastic gauchos toting mobile carving stations, featuring giant slabs of perfectly prepared meats.

Dreamy, right? It is a dream come true for owners Edson and Leonice Ludwig, who opened their doors three years ago, right before the holidays. The couple grew up in south Brazil and Edson began his culinary journey from the ground up. “He started as a dishwasher and for lunch, he’d go to the restaurant just to learn how to make desserts,” Leonice said. The couple fine-tuned their craft when they came to the United States in 2002 and opened seven restaurants with the same concept. “We always wanted to open our own restaurant. I like this kind of restaurant because it’s us,” she smiled. Their son serves as well, making it a true family affair.

While Porto Do Sul is the go-to venue for celebrating special occasions, the Ludwigs say the concept is your typical Sunday evening in Brazil. “We grew up with this kind of food. When you go to people’s houses, this what they do; they throw a fire on, grill some meat, throw in some potato salad and cheese bread.” As they’re describing it, a sinfully sweet Caipirinha and a basket of piping hot, doughy cheese bread is presented. Take heed of falling victim to these addicting apps; four pieces later, I’m lost in listening to Leonice describe memories of cooking with her grandmother and we’re invited to the Harvest Table.

A giant, picturesque arrangement of flowers is draped above the Harvest Table, competing with the colorful assortment of salad bar bites. Cheese, vegetables and a plentiful assortment of hors d’oeuvres are waiting to decorate your plate. The chicken salad and lemon-lime-marinated couscous prep your palate for the courses to come. 

Aside from the prime assortment of protein, quite possibly the most intriguing factor that attracts the masses is the way in which your meat is served. Gauchos make their rounds with large cuts of ribeye, lamb, chicken, beef ribs, pork sausage and the fan favorite, top sirloin Picanha. “It’s not a boring restaurant; servers are going to come talk to you about the meats and you’re going to get a show,” Leonice said. “You’re not going to have a quiet date, sorry,” she laughed. From preferred cuts to your ideal temperature, the concept is all about giving the customer options to choose what they want.

I started with the double cut lamb chops, cured to perfection and tenderly mild. Smaller portions allow customers to enjoy several different selections at once; as I enjoyed the final bite, a link of pork sausage was placed on my plate. The meats, featuring completely different flavor profiles, were both explosive, steaming with smoky flavor. The Fraldinha, or bottom sirloin, melts in your mouth like butter. My favorite cut aligns with that of many customers: the intensely juicy, roasted-to-perfection Picanha. 

You can taste the difference at Porto Do Sul, and that’s the intent. “Sourcing locally is a top priority. We go back from when I used to cook with my dad and grandpa, using the same techniques to prepare the meats with sea salts,” Edson said. “I do the butchering. There’s a lot behind the scenes with cutting the meats that affects the overall taste.” “And we cook with love!” Leonice chimed in. The menu now features per-pound pricing, for dining in or carrying out, so you can treat yourself to a quick lunch or an affordable dinner at home. 

Porto Do Sul’s carousel of all-you-can-eat prime meats is paired with two sizeable private party rooms, the answer to all your 2019 event requirements. The Rotunda Room seats 145; it’s a spacious and traditionally decorated space that can be used for corporate events and weddings. The Cellar Room offers a more intimate vibe, seating 65. The lively yet cozy ambiance, romantic and picturesque environment, top quality apps and entrees and eager-to-please waitstaff make Porto Do Sul a true champion. “This style of food brings people together. We work hard every day and we stick with the flavor of Brazil,” Leonice said. As the Ludwigs reflect on three years of success, they can summarize their experience in Kansas City in one sentence: “It’s a blessing.”

Porto Do Sul is located at 11900 Metcalf, Overland Park. Enjoy the traditional Brazilian feast from the comfort of your home. Order Porto Do Sul on their website,, or Uber Eats! 

Cravings writer Meg Kraft is a Kansas City transplant from Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to wining, dining and writing, she is a social media specialist and wedding blogger. Meg and her fiancé love exploring their new home and experiencing every flavor that the KC food scene has to offer. She is a pet parent to three French Bulldogs and an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan. Her life motto: count the memories, not the calories.