We first visited Fogo De Chao last year on it's pre-opening night event. Since then, we have visited Texas de Brazil and Rodizio Grill and had come to the conclusion that we thought Fogo De Chao was the best of the three, but had a suspicion that maybe the day to day menu and service there at Fogo may be different than the grand opening so we wanted to come back to Fogo to see if it still held up to it's pre-opening night buzz.
Guess what? It did. We still consider Fogo the best of the Brazilian restaurants.
We invited a couple of friends to try it with us who had never been there but like us had tried the other Brazilian steak houses in the area to see if they shared our view, and they did as well.
Jonathan started off with the signature Brazilian Caipirinha drink (1 lime, 2 ounces of cachaça, Sugar to taste and ice cubes). This tasted a bit like a Margarita. Jonathan really enjoyed it and would recommend for any margarita lover out there to give it a try.
The drink was a great start to the evening along with the house bread, which is a parmesan bread that is gluten free and delicious (these are evil little things that in Jonathan's belief are there to fill you up before the meats come, because they are so darn good when they are toasty hot that it's almost imporrislbe to stop at one of them).
In fact we found out that almost everything on the menu with one or two exceptions is gluten free which is a huge boon for the people that have to watch that.
The Salad Bar
The salad bar at Fogo is full of tasty treats. The items among our favorites were: fresh beets, salmon, asparagus, basil sauce and fresh mozzarella to list just a few of them.
The comments from the table were: The salad bar had less items then the other restaurants, but Fogo's was fresher and seemed of higher quality, and if you let yourself it would be very easy to fill yourself up there. But, whatever you do, don’t do it because if you fall to temptation and fill up on the bread and salad bar, you're missing some incredible meat.
Let the meat begin! Fogo has 15 different meats that their gaucho chefs bring to the table. We found out that the servers are also cooking the meat. So, they are very aware about each piece they serve you since they know which cut is rare, medium rare, etc. and seem to take a pride in making sure the meat is exactly the temperature you want, which I think really comes from them being the cook and server.
We also tried out some wine and if you have read the blog much you know we are not huge on wine and know very little about it and seem to gravitate to a white wine when we got a Terreza Reserva Malbec 2008, which we both liked a lot. It wasn’t an in your face strong wine and it seemed to us to go very well with the meat though. Our friend Elena thought it fought with some of the items.
We started out with Filet Mignon (which everyone agreed was the best). From there the meats moved fast and furiously. We were served: lamb chops, chicken wrapped in bacon, pork loin encrusted in parmesan cheese, sirloin and rib eye.
Also on the table are three sides: mashed potatoes, polenta and carmelized bananas. The polenta was a huge hit at our table. Our friends declared it the most moist and best that they had but for Barb and myself the caramelized bananas were the treat of the sides. Thought to be honest, I tried not to spend too much time on the sides because there was just too much wonderfully cooked tender meat to be had.
Daniel showed us a great evening and even gave us a tour of the kitchen area. It was amazing to see where the meat was cooked and to see how the gaucho chefs stay on top of their meat.
Daniel also showed us the Private Dining areas. They also have private rooms and equipment for meetings of all sizes from 8 to 130 and the cool thing about them you can have them for no charge other than the cost of the meal itself. That’s a pretty nice thing where most meetings rooms outside a public library cost an arm and a leg.
We were all so full, but we couldn't pass up trying a few desserts (and share family style). We tried Creme Brule, Flan, Turtle Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie and their signature dessert Papaya Creme.
I think we were definitely winding down as we left dessert on the plate - except for the Flan and Creme Brule. They didn't stand a chance! Jonathan kept coming back to the Papaya cream even though he should of stopped. It had a great taste and seemed very light and just appealed to him a lot.
If you are HUNGRY and want a great dining experience, take a few friends out to Fogo De Chao, a great night will be had by all. Thanks again to Fogo De Chao for having us over to prove that our first opinion was not just a fluke! If you have any comments feel free to leave one here or email us at barb or jonathan @milehigheater.com
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