Fogo de Chao in MSP [Moved from Midwest]
I'm taking my boyfriend out to Fogo de Chao this Friday for his birthday. What should we expect for prices, meat variety, quality of food, drinks, etc. Thanks!
We went last Friday night as my wife had never been to one and I can't say no to meat, even though I find the idea of this place obscene.
The cocktails are surprisingly inexpensive (J&B + soda $6.50, tagueray + tonic $6.50), there are some good South American Malbec's on the wine list (as Dara mentioned) which are likewise reasonably priced, the service was still getting it together, but it was relatively good. Single espresso was $3.
The way the service works is somewhat bizarre. There are at least 6 different types of floor staff (hostess, waiter, back waiter, goucho, captain, floor manager, shift manager or GM, there might also be seperate bussers) which is odd as the place is teaming with staff. Our waiter was very nice (it was the guy in the picture in the CP article) and had been in the country for several weeks and admitted his English was not terrific. His speech was very good, but his comprehension was a bit off, so speak slowly. He did forget a chimmichuri we requested and charged us for a cocktail we did not have. The guachos are fast and the meat arrives hot. The speed with which they move made us feel rushed even with our cards turned to red. Keep this in mind.
Salad: The salad bar was awesome. If I had it to do again, I would just get the salad bar. The smoked salmon was great, cured meats were good, the mozzarella balls were good, the parm reg was good, the marinated artichokes were not overly vinegared, asparagus were fat and well cooked though cold, the parsely salad was the highlight for me, like tabouli without the bulger and very tasty.
Sides: The plantains are heavenly! My wife liked the polenta, though I thought it dry. Skip the potatoes, they are awful. Anyway, eat a bite of meat, then a bite of plantain...so good.
Meat: You can get most of the info from Dara's article, but I will add: try not to get the outside pieces on the bigger cuts. They are heavily heavily salted and dry and overcooked, particularly on the sirloin and lamb leg. The lamb chops are the highlight, (make sure you get some) but we had to ask a manager for them to appear at our table. The sausages were underspiced. The parm crusted pork was good. The traditional brazillian cuts you see in their ads in in-flight magazines are good. Now, the weird part: most of the beef is sirloin, and all of these tasted stongly of liver. I love liver and understand that sirloin has that strong iron flavor, but this was out of the ordinary heavy. Large sirloin pieces tasted as though I was eating very tough liver. Not bad, just be aware this is what we found.
Funny story, when ordering our wine, I asked for the house BIN 707 which was a $40 bottle of Malbec. When I ordered it, the waiter gave me this nod and "terrific choice sir" comment that I thought odd for such a common bottle. When he arrived with it, it was a Penfolds 1997 BIN 707, a bottle that probably costs about $300-$400 in restaurants. Luckily I knew what I was looking at for if I had just said "open" I'd have had a hard time explaining this to the manager. A simple simple mistake. Hopfully they will re-BIN their 707 to avoid this near disaster.
Our bill for 2 cocktails, bottle of wine, 2 dinners, coffee, tax and tip was around $200. Reasonable. But I would take one great steak from Manny's, Murray's or Morton's over this anyday. Just remember to take it slow.
Just went a few weeks ago...I really enjoyed it.
Salad bar is delicious - loved the cheeses, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, hearts of palm...they also have a few potato salads - one is just like the kind I would eat in Brasil.
As far as the meat goes, it's pretty good. I recommend the lamb, garlic beef and the pork sausages.
If you want to have the real deal, ask for farofa (a Brazilian-type of flour), rice and beans. This is what is traditionally served at churrascos. They'll make it fresh for you for no extra charge.
And order a caipirinha - probably one of the best I've had in town.
I didn't try the desserts but the key lime pie and tres leches looked delicious - I think the plantains are enough of a dessert (and they're free!). Make sure to save room, though!!!
Report back here and let us know how it went!! Have a great time!
Well... overall I think it was just OK...
We had a reservation at 8:00, didn't get seated until 8:40... it was very very busy.
Loved the cheese biscuits type things and the plantains.
The meat was decent... I enjoyed the bacon wrapped filet and the specialty ribeye. We ordered a caipirinha.... never got it.... had to ask a few people before we recieved a the drink! Looked like they were still trying to get their act together...
If I were to go back, i'd just get the salad bar..
Overall for the cost....... I agree with foureyes...would rather have a steak from Manny's anyday!