Burgers the Brazilian Way at Friends Pizzeria

Upon initial glance, there are so many flummoxing things about the newly opened Friends Pizzeria: A pizza place that's Brazilian? A pizza place that serves hamburgers? Hamburgers and pizza with corn and peas on them?

Houston might have become familiar over the years with its fair share of ethnic cuisines from Ethiopian to Japanese. But for all the Brazilian-style rodizios and churrascarias we have in town, we don't have a place that specializes in the endlessly fun stuff that is Brazilian fast food. Friends Pizzeria seems intent on changing that.

The small but high-energy restaurant next to another high-energy place -- Genji Karaoke -- on Westheimer has super-late hours to appeal to its neighbors (it closes at 3:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday) and a broad menu that would appeal to the drunkest barhound as well as the casual neighborhood visitor. And, of course, the adventurous food lovers.

That's where the Brazilian portion of Friends' menu comes in.

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Katharine Shilcutt