If you’re in the mood for escaping traditional Chinese rice and noodle dishes, you might want to check out Barry’s Brazilian BBQ in Huizhou. All your senses come alive in this sprawling tropical paradise, beginning with Barry Chang, the restaurants proprietor, welcoming you with a warm smile and handshake as if you were a guest in his own home. If you’re a foreigner, don’t’ be surprised when Barry seats himself at your table for conversation and English practice. It’s just that kind of hospitality.

Your meal begins with a visit to the all-you-can-eat buffet, where you’ll be pleasantly accosted by an array of appetizers ranging from fresh vegetables awaiting your salad creation, assorted soups, onion rings, spaghetti, breads, fresh fruits, and giant shrimp, oysters, and clams on ice. To quench your thirst, visit the self-serve drink bar offers assorted fresh fruit drinks, coffee, milk, teas, and sodas. The temptation to fill up on the buffet is overwhelming, but you’ll want to exhibit self-discipline with modest servings – the best is yet to come.

Upon returning to your table, you’re immediately touted by a parade of servers donning leather Brazilian cowboy hats and boots, a far cry from the Hop Sing look on Bonanza. Each server brandishes a mouth watering culinary delight speared on giant skewers resembling shish kabobs. Don’t worry if you miss some of them, they’ll keep returning until you ‘ve had enough – no one leaves Barry’s with an empty stomach.

The complete dining experience lasts between forty-five minutes to one hour. During that time your taste buds have relished in savory barbecued meat, chicken, wrapped bacon, squid, ham, fried banana, corn, lamb, and duck, just to name a few. Barry’s is not for the faint-hearted, so if you’re searching for a little conversation with a loved one or colleague, I recommend another place.

Through a large plate window, viewiers witness the preparation of food over blazing mesquite fire pits. Servers stand-by, eager to replenish their skewers for another round through the restaurant. Don’t bother requesting your meat be prepared to your preference, it’s out of the question – you either accept it as cooked (medium well), or dine elsewhere.

After finishing the main courses and waving the servers off from visiting your table again, you may be inclined to roll over to the rotating table of delectable temptations – desserts. Choose from an endless bounty of fresh baked cookies, muffins, cakes, and fresh fruits. As alluring as these may be, my lack of appetite has always prevented me from this visit.

It’s been several years since I visited Barry’s, so he was proud to announce his other two stores, and spring the news of another store opening soon in another city. When I asked him what his favorite recipe was, he gave a loud laugh and said, “The only recipe I know is for success. It’s eighty percent kindness and eighty percent atmosphere.” Well, I never said Barry was a mathematician, but you can’t help love the guy.

All meals at Barry’s Brazilian BBQ are priced the same: lunch is 45rmb per person, or $7.00, and dinners are 60rmb per person, or $9.50. Chinese and imported beers and cocktails are charged a premium when Barry isn’t treating. By the time you’re ready to leave, Barry and his hostesses give you a kind American hug farewell, and harmonize, “ Come back home again soon.”

Rating: ♥♥♥

Barry’s Brazilian BBQ is located directly across the street from Binjiang Park adjacent to the Pearl River in Huizhou. Open 7 days a week for from 12:00 to 23:00. Barry’s Brazilian BBQ, in Huizhou.