Sunday, June 7, 2009
Fogo de Chao
I had a dining treat this past Saturday night. We went out with another couple and Christy to celebrate Christy's birthday. We ate at a Brazilian steakhouse called Fogo de Chao. If you haven't eaten at one of these places... it is the epitome of gluttony and glee and great service. The amount of food is unreal. So much to try. You start with the salad bar. Tabouli, beets, various chicken and potato and egg salads, sliced tomato, cucumber, full artichoke hearts, heart of palm, asparagus, fresh mozzarella, parmesan (grated and amazing chunks), red and yellow peppers, smoked salmon, prosciutto... more cheeses, more thinly sliced meats... romaine, spinach, bibb lettuce... Wait. I missed something. Oh yes. The beverages. We got there a smidge early so we started in the bar. Christy and I partook, Jeff (as always) abstained. There was a house special with a fancy name. A glass filled with cut up lime, dump in sugar, mash it up, add rum and soda, maybe. I can't drink rum so the bartender made mine with vodka. Mmmmmmm. Kinda mojito-ish. We are seated at our table. Our waiter is also a certified sommelier. We select a bottle of malbec to share at the table. When he delivers the wine, he goes through the entire tasting bit and such. Then he pours for everyone at the table (those partaking would be me, Christy, and the other Jeff). We hit the salad bar. Then they bring out the side dishes that are constantly supplied at the table- fried polenta, fried banana, cheese bread, mashed potatoes- all are kept in constant supply. The dishes are replaced throughout the meal if we've let them sit too long. You then start using your disk. Each diner has a disk- red on one side, green on the other. If you want meat, go green. Need a break? Red. The gauchos come around with large skewers of a variety of meats. You have tongs with which to take the freshly sliced meat onto your own plate as they slice it. I ate a piece of sausage. I ate the most divine lambchops... and I usually don't like lamb... but it was truly from heaven. I ate a couple bites of a shortrib. Other than that... I ate BEEF. And cooked to perfection. No brown, dried out, overcooked, chewy "steak" in this place. Top sirloin, bottom sirloin, filet mignon, ribeye. Medium rare, warm in the center... cuts that melted like butter in your mouth... flavors that melded and blended... the meats are fire roasted and often have this crunch on the outer part of the meat. I've never in my life eaten so much food, so much meat, so much beef. Dessert... Christy and I shared a vanilla creme brulee. The other Jeff had a house specialty- passionfruit cream (a passionfruit ice cream served with a black currant liqueur), and my Jeff had New York style cheesecake. Dinner took over 3 hours. The bill was astronomical. The food was divine. The company was hilarious. For the amount of food available and the amount of high quality beef that we consumed; for the amazing customer service- where your every want is attended to promptly and often before you realize you want it... the price is justified. But it won't be repeated within the next decade by this wallet!