Fogo de Chao

Never been to Fogo De Chao, or any Brazilian steakhouse for that matter?  O.M.G….get your butt to one as quickly as possible. Now.

Ok, so as a carnivore and paleo enthusiast, I may be a little obsessed with this place.

Fogo De Chao is an upscale chain with locations in multiple cities throughout the world. It is SPENDY, so it’s one of those “special occasion” joints.  Also, don’t take your vegetarian friends here or they may never speak to you again.

We have been to the Fogo De Chao in downtown Minneapolis twice thus far and will absolutely return once we pay off the debt from our previous visit (kidding). The last time we went was with a big group of friends for Restaurant Week. This is the only time of year when Fogo discounts their prices, so mark your calendar and make reservations waaaaay in advance.

The Concept

The restaurant is a Brazilian Churrascaria Steakhouse. You pay for an all-you-can-eat experience, which includes a beautiful salad bar and endless supply of delicious meats.

Waiters run around the dining room with giant slabs of meat on spits. Each guest has a coaster in front of them – when you’re ready for more, you simply flip it over to the GREEN side, which prompts the servers to stop by. If they have what you want, they will shave off a chunk of meat that is the temperature of your liking.

Before I dive into the glorious meats that Fogo offers, I need to give the salad bar some mad props. This is one of the most delicious salad bars I’ve experienced…And I eat a lot of salad. I have to be uber careful not to fill up before the main course – the salad bar includes over 30 items, including smoked salmon (my FAVE), aged cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, Italian salami, asparagus, etc.

There are 15 different types of fire roasted meats to choose from for your main course, including filet mignon, pork loin, beef ancho, chicken, pork and beef ribs, pork sausage, cordeiro (lamb), etc.

My personal favorite is the traditional Brazilian cut of steak, called Picanha (top sirloin) – it’s juicy, garlic-y, and deliciously tender from the thick layer of fat around the outside. But the best part about this place is that you can try a little bit of EVERYTHING, and get seconds, thirds, or fourths of your favorite cuts.

Then there’s the polenta….oh lord, the polenta. The meal is served family-style with a number of sides (gooey cheese bread, polenta, mashed potatoes, and caramelized bananas). I ignore the mashed potatoes (although they are fabulous) and dive right into the polenta. It’s crispy, slightly sweet, salty, and oh-so-naughty. Plus, unlimited. don’t forget that.

If you can even manage to spare a pea-sized bit of space in your stomach for dessert, do it. Fogo de chao has some fantastic desserts (cough**turtle cheescake**cough). Also, be sure to mention if it is your anniversary, birthday, or another special occasion, as the dessert will most likely be on the house.

The Bottom Line

I believe that there are very few places that compare to the deliciousness that is Fogo de Chao. The service is top-notch and the food is absolutely delicious. Spendy, yes. But worth every penny and a fun experience for a special occasion or group outing.

Yum Rating: 9.8/10

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