SOUZA’S is proud to announce its relocation in Burlington, providing Vermonters with the opportunity to explore cuisine and tradition from Brazil. At its new location with 3 times the space, 18 feet of salad bar has been added boasting a South American dining experience not available anywhere in Vermont. With the salad bar as a main feature, Souza’s will be open for lunch as well as dinner. It will continue to offer its unique type of cooking, called churrasco (shoo-rhas'co) which is inspired by initial Brazilian settlers. As ranchers they would gather together and start a wood burning fire. Once the fire turned into golden embers, large portions of prime meat were skewered and slowly cooked to perfection. Using conventional knives, which they wore on their belts, they sliced thin and succulent pieces of meat in succession onto each person's plate. This method of serving became known as Rodizo or "espeto corrido" (all-you-can-eat) and Souza’s continues to offer its guests the finest of Brazilian meat preparations as well as vegetarian fare.
Executive Chef and Owner Kelly Q. Dietrich has worked closely with his wife Edna De Souza a native of Brazil, using authentic imported ingredients to create traditional southern Brazilian dishes with a modern, fusion food flair. Edna’s experience in the food business began with the 3 years in the early 1980’s which she spent with Martha Stewart as an assistant in Martha’s food catering business.
SOUZA’S (souzas.org) will offer a nightly all you can eat bill of fare at ($34.95). A scaled down luncheon will include an all you can eat salad bar for ($10.95) with two skewers of meat a la carte for ($2.00) additional. SOUZA’S has also perfected the national drink of Brazil - The Caipirinha – which is traditionally prepared by mixing muddled limes, sugar, and Cachaça. During the reopening phase, SOUZA’S has worked continuously in developing a wine list to match its unique cuisine. An extensive Argentinean and Chilean wine list featuring rare vintages and other sought after selections complements the innovative cuisine, in addition to an outstanding dessert menu. “Due to the relocation, our IPTV show ‘Vermont Culinary – An Upscale Experience’ (to be hosted at its Brightcove IPTV channel) was postponed out of necessity. Our plans are to begin shooting our 13 episode series in mid April 2007 at the restaurant,” says Chef Kelly. “The new wines, expanded menu and awesome set at 131 Main Street give us unlimited possibilities for our unique show.”
During the 2 month relocation time, Chef Kelly worked closely with local executive producer/filmmaker Jeffrey Thayer (ReGenesis Productions Film Co.) in also developing "Freecab dot org" as a socially responsible alternative for Burlington bars and restaurants. Thayer is in development on several short and feature film projects concerning impaired driving and the alcohol industry ( platoscave dot mobi ). He approached Chef Kelly with an innovative program offering free or subsidized cab rides to restaurant patrons who have had too much. “We believe it is time for Vermont restaurants and bars to acknowledge the impact of the State’s zero tolerance laws concerning impaired driving,” says Dietrich. “We’re stepping out here in this partnered relationship with Freecab.org. It’s a bold move to offer (free or subsidized) cab rides to patrons who have had too much to drink, but we believe it is the right thing to do. The NHTSA in Waterbury reports an estimate of 184,000 impaired driving events each year. That’s 184,000 too many, particularly if the impairment started at a local restaurant or bar.”
“We’re seeking a strategic relationship with a local cab company in Burlington, as well as mainline sponsor affiliations with a brewery, alcohol distributor and winery,” says founder Jeffrey Thayer. “One local cab company offers free cab rides on New Year’s eve. Why stop there? Molson’s beer supports a similar, well-developed program called taxiguy dot com in Canada, and we feel sponsors will come on board as they become aware of our commitment to this cause. It’s a pilot program which we intend to take across the State of Vermont, after its success in proven in concept in Burlington”
Consistent with this direction of minimizing the alcohol footprint in Vermont, Chef Kelly announced another unique program concerning his Kid’s Culinary Academy located in Highgate Center, Vermont. Every summer, for 8 straight weeks, Chef Kelly instructs boys and girls (ages 10-16) in the culinary arts at his camp facility which has its own website as Kids Culinary Academy. This year he is offering scholarships to 20 youngsters who have lost one or both parents in an alcohol related accident. Inquiries are being made to The Oprah Winfrey Show, Martha Stewart, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) for recommendations of these children and for support of this program. “We obviously cannot bring the parents back, but we can take this small measure in an appropriate direction. Reducing the alcohol footprint in our communities should be a top priority. We hope other local bars and restaurants will join us in this worthy cause and sign the ‘2007 Socially Responsible Bar and Restaurant Initiative’ described at the Freecab website,” says Dietrich.
SOUZA’S is located at 131 Main Street, Burlington, Vermont on the corner of Main and St. Paul Streets. Beginning March 26th, dinner will be served nightly and lunch will be available between 11:00am and 2:00pm.