An Ode to Fogo de Chao AKA How I Ate 10 Pounds of Meat in One Night
Last night, I had one of the most amazing restaurant experiences ever. I took my boyfriend out for his 30th birthday to Fogo de Chao for a meat feast like I’ve never seen before. Fogo de Chao is a Brazilian steakhouse where you can eat as much as you want, and boy, did I take them up on the offer…
You start by heading over to the salad bar and filling your plate full of all sorts of goodies. I piled my plate with spinach, fresh mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumbers, new potatoes, and prosciutto. I still had plenty of room in my stomach for meat, though. Good thing, because there was plenty to go around!
Here’s how this part works: you have a little disk next to your plate that is green on one side and red on the other. When you’re ready to start tasting meats, you flip your disk to green and the gauchos will start coming up to your table. Each one is carrying some sort of meat on a large sword. They’ll come up to you, ask if you’d like medium, medium-rare, etc., then they’ll cut you off a piece. They’re super fast and at one point, we had 4 different gauchos lined up at our table, ready to give us more meat! I had to flip my disk to red before I had even tasted any of it!
There are 12 different meats in all and didn’t even make it close to trying all of them. Here are the ones I tasted:
-Bottom sirloin (fraldinha): This was my very favorite. Thinly sliced, tender beef that was salty and flavorful.
-Filet mignon: Juicy, thick, and perfectly cooked, I cut through this like butter!
-Bacon-wrapped filet mignon: This one had an smoky flavor that was simply incredible. This rivaled the bottom sirloin for my top pick.
-Pork loin: This was much more moist and flavorful than any pork I’ve tasted before.
-Parmesan pork (lombo): This was buttery, cheesy, and totally indulgent. I could only have a few bites because it was so rich.
Unfortunately, after all that, I couldn’t bear to even look at another piece of meat. I did, however, snack on some of the ever-replenished side dishes they brought us. There were some caramelized bananas, some crispy Parmesan polenta, some mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese and chives, and some cheesy biscuits. Yum!
After dinner, I foolishly mentioned that it was my boyfriend’s birthday, so they brought us out a 5-layer chocolate mousse cake. It was absolutely incredible, and I somehow managed to fit a good half a piece into my stomach!
What really stood out about Fogo de Chao (besides the exceptional food) was the service. My chair was always being pulled out for me, my water always refilled, and we would get our side dishes replenished before we even had the chance to finish them! We seemed to have several waiters throughout the night, and each one was nicer than the next. They even wrote “happy birthday” in strawberry syrup on our dessert plate. And the gauchos were both friendly and knowledgeable.
My experience at Fogo de Chao was superb, and for spending $50 per person, I know I got my money’s worth. After I finish digesting- which may take several months- I will definitely be heading back there!
For tons more Fogo de Chao photos and info, check out Hillary’s post from a few years ago.