Pizza de Brazil has softly opened for dining in the former Perkins restaurant at 130 W. Layton Ave.
Owned and operated by the Kadadha family, the new restaurant aims to bring a traditional rodizio style pizza experience to Milwaukee.
The restaurant, which has been in the works since April of 2019 was initially slated to open in March. But delays related to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic delayed inspections, resulting in a later opening as well as the addition of a larger menu that better accommodated carry-out and delivery.
"We travel a lot," says co-owner Mahmoud Kadadha, "And when we made a trip to Brazil and experienced the rodizio-style pizza concept… the style of service and variety was beautiful."
So Kadadha came home intent upon bringing the concept to Milwaukee. Upon searching for locations, they found the former Perkins restaurant on Layton Avenue and decided to remodel it to work for the new pizza concept.
"We put our hearts and souls into this project," he says, noting that the building was completely gutted. New flooring, drywall and fixtures were installed and the kitchen was completely renovated to include the necessary equipment.
Kadadha took great pains to replicate the Brazilian pizzeria experience, which begins with scratch-made pizza dough. The dough is made with a combination of rice and wheat flours, which are cold fermented before being baked in a Woodstone oven.
Their composition results in a crisp, almost pastry-like crust that contains between 70-80% less gluten than an ordinary pizza dough.
Savory (salted) pizzas are topped with a variety of house-made sauces, fresh vegetables and meats. Options include 22 signature pizzas, including familiar combinations like Margherita (olive oil, mozzarella, Roma tomatoes and basil) and creative takes like the Chicken Palmito (tomato sauce, cheese, hearts of palm, chicken and oregano) and Persian Pizza (tomato sauce, ground lamb, cheese, mushrooms, onions and black olives).
There are also more traditional Brazilian combinations like the Picanha (tomato sauce or alfredo, picanha onion, steak and mozzarella); Atum (tomato sauce, cheese, tuna, onion and oregano); as well as options like chicken or beef stroganoff (beef or chicken, stroganoff sauce, mushrooms and chips); Chicken with catupiry cheese (tomato sauce, chicken, cheese, corn, catupiry – a soft requeijão style cheese – and oregano); Portuguese (mozzarella, ham, pepperoni, onion, peppers, hard-cooked sliced egg, olives and oregano); and Pizza de Calabresa with cheese, Brazilian pepperoni, green olives and oregano.
Meanwhile, sweet dessert pizzas include combinations like Romeo and Juliet (cheddar cheese, caramel and guava paste); M&M’s White and Black (sweet sauce, white chocolate, caramel and M&M candies); Sensation (sweet sauce, dark chocolate, milk, caramel and strawberries); and Marshmallow (caramel, marshmallow, Nutella and sweet sauce).
What to expect
The style of service is similar to the all-you-can-eat model found at a Brazilian churrascaria (steakhouse). Guests are first seated at a table by the host and offered a service card, which they use to signal waitstaff to bring food to their table.
From there, they can make a trip to the plexi-glass surrounded salad bar, behind which a staff member fills your plate with your choice of greens, toppings and dressings, along with a few pre-made traditional Brazilian salads. Once seated again, freshly baked pizzas are delivered to the table. Guests can sample as many as they like; and service continues until the diners signal that they are finished eating by turning over their service card. At that point, the table receives a bill for the set-price meal and any add-ons.
Pricing for dine-in meals is $11.99 per person for lunch service, which includes salad and a selection of 10 types of salted pizzas and two sweet varieties. Dinner is $19.99 per person and includes salad, a variety of flavored wings, beef ribs and up to 20 types of salted pizza and a selection of 7-8 sweet pizzas.
An additional menu, also available for carry-out and delivery, includes the full complement of salted and sweet Brazilian pizzas, Brazilian appetizers like Brazilian cheese bread, coxinha (Braziilian chicken croquettes) and fried kibbeh.
Traditional pizzas – including build-your-own and signature pies like BBQ chicken, Buffalo chicken, mac and cheese, cheeseburger, meat lovers and Mexican – are also available, made with traditional pizza crust.
There are also appetizers like chicken tenders, garlic bread, jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, as well as pasta dishes, fried chicken, fried cod, shrimp, wings and ribs are also available.
In addition to regular dining room seating, Pizza de Brazil also has a private dining room which is available for private rodizio-style parties for up to 32 guests.
Pizza de Brazil is open for dine-in service Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Delivery and carry-out are also available.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.