Tucked away in the Benson Hotel downtown, El Gaucho Portland is a steakhouse rooted in tradition, and that means elaborate tableside preparations. Order the caesar and you'll have the entire thing — mayo included — made from scratch before your eyes. Order the Bananas Foster, and you're in for a fire show. As part of Eater Sweets Week, see El Gaucho's Bananas Foster prepared tableside in the gallery above.
"Tableside service is one of the hallmarks of El Gaucho," says general manager Corey Hightower, who has been with El Gaucho for six years and prepares the Bananas Foster above. "It is a fundamental part of the focus on personalized service."
The first thing to do is add rum, which is immediately lit on fire. Then, Hightower adds everyone's favorite ingredient, butter, to the burning booze. Once the flames die off, he adds brown sugar and a little lemon juice before tossing in the bananas. Finally, the warmed bananas are plated with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and the sauce from the pan. It costs $14 per person (at least two people required per order) — performance included.
Want to see what other tricks El Gaucho's waitstaff have up their sleeve? Peruse these dishes prepared tableside nightly at El Gaucho Portland:
- Steak Tartare
- Salad, with shrimp and crab
- Gaucho Salad
- Entrees Carved Tableside: Chateaubriand, a 20-ounce center cut of tenderloin
- Flaming Sword Brochette of Tenderloin
- Lamb Shish Kabab
- Cherries Jubilee