fogo de chao vs. brasa brasil grill?
i am suffering from an intense meat craving and my friend told me that these things called churrascarias exist where you have a meat stoplight that tells them to stop bringing you meat after meat! i'm immediately in love with the idea and now we're not where to go. i read the posts on both fogo de chao and the newer brasa brasil and wondered about your thoughts in comparison. we will go to the one with consistently better product. cost is a concern but not the top one. thank you! (though my colon might not...)
Haven't been to Brasa Brasil, but i think fogo de chao is overrated and overpriced considering it's basically $60 per person. The only premium items there are the filet mignon (which is very low grade filet, about as tough as i've ever had) and the lamb chops (which are tasty and seasoned well, but pretty much cooked well done). As for their other cuts of meat, the picanha cut (the signature cut at any churrascaria) is quite good, but not extraordinary. Other things, like the beef ribs, aren't cooked as well as i've had at other places (tough and roasted too quickly). The other bright points about Fogo: their cheese breads are by far the best i've ever had, the salad bar portion of the meal is really top notch and good quality, and most of the larger cuts of meat (the picanha, the various sirloin and ribeye cuts) are cooked perfectly.
By way of comparison, other places I've been to include Picanha in Burbank (very good for basic cuts of meat, but hardly ANY variety at all), Greenfield in West Covina (lots of variety, but everything is overcooked and way oversalted), Porto Alegre in Pasadena (decent).
Personal favorite is Amazon in Fullerton. Lots of variety (including rabbit and alligator), and things are cooked really well. Unlike the ones at Fogo, their beef ribs melt in your mouth, and it's less than half the price.
Anyway, I"m probably not helping you choose, but i just don't think fogo is a good value, even if you eat until you explode. meat quality isn't particularly higher than other places, you just get a couple of premium items, which happen to be the most overcooked items they serve.
I'll have to completely disagree with you about Amazon. I've been there several times because my in-laws love it until I converted them to Agora.
I find Amazon meats much lower quality, the meat is overly salty. I'm thirsty the rest of the evening and pounding water. The beef ribs are overly fatty and greasy. I get quesy after eating a few bites of the meat and I'm the kind of guy that loves pork fat. The alligator and rabbit is completely dried up. I haven't been to Greenfields in a few years but I think Amazon is way worse in terms of doneness and saltiness.
As for Porto Alegre, I would never go back to that place again. It was the only churasscaria I've ever been to in my life where about an hour into the meal, I was still hungry and they weren't bringing us any food. And this was on a weekend with the place only half full. I repeatedly asked them for the picanha and they kept assuring us it'd be out. But they wouldn't bring us any and just brought us more bread. A full two and a half hours after we were there, they finally brought out one measly piece. It was like they wanted us to fill up on all the cheap stuff.
Fogo to me was well worth it. Best meat quality I've ever had in a churasscaria. Great service, very accomodating for whatever type of meat and doneness. I never ran out of meat and I had my fill of whatever type I wanted.
Brasa Brasil is excellent value, costing less than half of what Fogo does. They have about 9 different meats and a lovely buffet. Everything is very fresh and delicious, and service is very good too. One issue: the meat tends to be overdone. Either go early or let them know if you prefer it on the rarer side, they're very accommodating.
If you have never been to a churrascaria before, I recommend starting with Brasa. It's small, friendly and relatively inexpensive compared to others. Fogo is a big chain in Brazil and the US, so remember that you're paying for the brand as much as anything else.
I've been to both and if it's your first time at a churasscaria, I'd say go for Brasa since it's more inexpensive and you an idea of the experience. The quality is fine.
But Fogo is definitely a lot better. The service, variety and quality of meat is well worth the money in my opinion. A good comparison would be a down home mom and pop steakhouse that serves good food vs a high end luxury steakhouse.
Fogo is my splurge place. Brasa is for when the churrascaria cravings hit but you don't want to pay as much.
We like Fogo, but it is expensive. The way to get around it is to go for lunch, it's half the price. As for the doneness of the meat, just ask them what you want and they will bring it to you.
A friend from Brazil told me about M grill on Wilshire near Western. He said it is good, and a lot less expensive than the others. I think it runs about 25.
m grill is decent. when i went, all the different cuts of beef tasted the same...as if they were all marinated in the same vat. i think the price has crept up to $32 as well.
as for brasa, i enjoyed my visit there 3 wks ago. service was good (took a while to clear dirty plates) but the server was all smiles. i also like the fact that brasa does not oversalt their meats like other places (ahem...picanha!) and will provide rare cuts if requested.
and as mentioned above, brasa is quite the value compared to fogo.