Saturday, June 28, 2008

Meat Heaven

Ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse? Rodizios? Tucanos? Forget them. Fogo de Chao is the big daddy of them all. We went last night with some friends, and it was the best evening out I've had since Cafe Fiore five years ago in Lake Tahoe (well okay, J says Eddie Merlot's was pretty darn good too). The restaurant itself is beautiful. We had reservations and were seated right away - right next to the salad bar, which was also beautiful. The salad bar had a great spread of fresh cheeses, bright, marinaded veggies, and salads. I came for the meat, so I kept my salad bar selections to a minimum. There were little balls of fresh mozzerella cheese rolled in a bit of savory - my favorite. And an enormous block of parmesan cheese the size of a five gallon bucket.

The great thing about this place was that you sit down and here comes the real food. At other restaurants I get filled up on bread and fried appetizers way before my meal because I'm so hungry waiting for my food. But at Fogo de Chao, you sit down at your seat, turn over your card to green and you are immediately swarmed by the gaucho chefs with huge skewers of meat.

Ah, me. There's top sirloin, bottom sirloin, parmesean encrusted pork, linguisa, chicken legs, filet mignon, pork ribs, lamb, chicken legs, and my favorites: bacon wrapped filet mignon, bacon wrapped chicken, and garlic sirloin. You can choose your doneness - J had some rare meats that were dripping rare, just how he likes it. I had several helpings of my favorites, and towards the end the gaucho chef with the bacon wrapped filet mignon came by and said to me, "Oh, I know you like the rare, I'll go back to the kitchen and bring you some." What service!

And then there were the sides that were constantly refilled: polenta, fried bananas, garlic mashed potatoes, and these rolls that were more like puffs. I loved them all. I was surprised that I liked the fried bananas. But it turned out that it was refreshing to have a bite or two of the sides in between all the meat.

(See the sides there on the table)

And after all that, we even had dessert. They had creme brulee, and I couldn't resist. And man, was it good! My friend got their famous papaya cream, and it was really good too.

If you live in any of these cities and love good meat, you must give Fogo de Chao a try. Or just come visit me, I'm already ready to go back.

1 comment:

  1. Ashley and BrettJune 29, 2008 at 4:43 PM

    Brett would be so jealous! We went to a place like this in Brazil and I've never seen so much meat! Too bad, I'm more of a chicken person! However, the grilled pineapple was to die for! YUM!