Fogo de Chao
I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has been to the new Fogo de Chao. I have plans to go there Thursday night and I would love to get a little insight.
I have been there several times (in other cities)not yet to this one, but they are all the same. The little cheese bread served at the table is so good! As far as the food, the salad bar has a wonderful selection, more gourmet-ish type than a typical salad bar. I love the red cherry peppers on it & selection of cheeses. As for the meat- they will walk by with different choices- I highly recommend looking at the "menu" of meats- you can request any that you read about & they will happily bring it for you. Otherwise, you will only try what happens to walk by your table. Enjoy!
I think it's worth the price- as it's an experience. The meat is not as great as a top steak house, but still very good & you get to try such a variety, and can pick & choose the cuts you like. Some do tend to be salty- I try to always ask for a center piece, not the end where the seasoning is. Again- they will always do as you request in my experiences. And I think the "salad bar" is great.
My suggestion is to go at lunch as the portions are basically the same at half the price AND minimize your time at the salad bar so you can enjoy the meats.
You can ask any server, and they will gladly steer a gaucho with any meat your way. I am not sure which cuts do no show up at lunch, but it is certainly a reasonably priced dinner compared to most steak houses.
The salad bar is a huge temptation (especially the black beans and rice)as well as the fried bananas and mashed potato / polenta sides. It is the pure Atkins dieters who will get the best bang for the buck here.
I especially like the Picanha, bottom sirloin, beef ribs, pork ribs, and linguica (pork sausage.) The bacon-wrapped filet and lamb chops are also good, as are the little chicken legs.
I understand the only seasonings they use are sea salt and garlic. The wood does most of the flavoring. As with any food, don't add salt until you've tasted something.
I'm so glad they came to Philly. I have been eating at the Houston shop for years on business trips, and I was excited they opened in Washington DC !!!
I can cook a good enough dry-aged steak on charcoal in my backyard that Morton's and Ruth's Chris are not that big a treat. Fogo de Chao, you just can't duplicate at at home !!
Does anyone know if they offer a "sides & salad bar only" option to any vegetarians in the group? I realize that the concept is one of the least veg-friendly out there, but it would be nice of them to offer the option.
ooooh, the last paragraph on their menu section sounds like i could make a meal of it alone!: The traditional side dishes of warm cheese bread, fried bananas, crispy hot polenta and seasoned mashed potatoes are automatically brought to each table and replenished throughout the meal. The restaurant's award-winning wine list, traditional Brazilian beverages, and a variety of decadent desserts complement the experience. ( http://www.fogodechao.com/dining.htm)
... but you are right, jugglerdave, as a vegetarian reading the rest of the menu, i'm a bit turned off! :)
That would be one hell of a deal if the salad bar is only twenty bucks. Even a non-vegetarian could make a meal of the smoked salmon, prosciutto etc. They have lovely little cornichons, hearts of palm, marinated asparagus. mushrooms, cheeses, the HOTTEST jalapeños I have ever tasted ...
If I didn't love meat so much, I'd do that in a second. Among those delicacies and the non-stop sides, nobody would go home hungry.
My one favorite piece of advice is to always order the Papaya creme for dessert, as it aids in digesting meat .. Adolph's meat tenderizer is principally Papaya enzyme.
>That would be one hell of a deal if the salad bar is only twenty bucks. Even a non-vegetarian could make a meal of the smoked salmon, prosciutto etc. <
Yes, it's $19.95 at lunch or dinner! I haven't eaten therr but plan to do at lunch soon. Heck, for us meat folks it's only $5.00 more for the meat. And I was told it's same menu L&D but Lunch only M-F. And portions can't be smaller.
As for Dinner, isn't Samba on Girard still open? We went there with a dining group a few years ago, Dinner was $25.00. MUCH smaller salad bar and no atmosphere.
BTW, no one mentioned the HUGE wine case at Fogo de Chao. I'm sure I won't be drinking a lot - no business account - and $57.00 dinner tab (incl tax and tip) but I was impressed by it's size!
I have never been to Samba, or Picanha on Castor.. I have meant to try both, but when I heard Fogo was opening I guess I lost the sense of urgency.
I usually start with a couple of Caiparinhas, but since I'm usually there on business, I spring for a couple bottles of Chilean Malbecs which are usually a good bargain. They have certainly gotten better in the past two years.
^ i've been to samba once, but for the nightclub (real salsa dancing) part of it. i've noticed they are not often open for dinner, the hours aren't posted outside (that i've seen) and i can't find a website for them. if i can find any more info i'll post it. samba is at 7th and girard.
I would like to go, but the price $44.50 for dinner turns me off. I get up to Newark, NJ occasionally and just had dinner at Iberia, a rodizio... all the beef, sausage, chicken, pork that you could possibly eat, plus potatoes, rice&beans, and a vegtable (sauteed spinach??) for $20
I went for lunch yesterday. $24.00 / person and the same basic meal as dinner. The only thing I saw missing was black beans and rice at the salad bar, and maybe one or two cuts of meat. All the favorites were there (bottom sirloin, Pincanha, and Parmesan-encrusted Pork Tenderloin.) The new Ancho (Rib Eye) is a welcome addition. I love how each meat has it's own taste and texture.
It was great, and of the wine list a $32 bottle of Argentine Malbec worked just fine.
Actually, the experience was much better than I typically had in Houston. Maybe it's because I was there with just one other guy, but the gauchos paid attention to the red and green sides, and didn't bother us when our plates were still full.
A $20.00 Rodizio almost seems worth taking a ride to Newark, though ...