Brazilian steakhouses in Phoenix
I've done a little looking around and so far have found two, Fogo de Chao and Fogo E Brasa. How are these two? Are there any others in the Phoenix area? I've never been to one before but I thought my father-in-law would enjoy going for his birthday dinner. From what I've read, you eat first at the cold or hot bars and then eat the meat. Can't you eat from the bars and have the meat at the same time? Thanks.
I'm sorry to say but we're not going to either one of them. Apparently 23 miles is too far away. God forbid you drive more than 5 minutes to have some decent food and a different kind of dining experience. I did want to say that after talking to the manager at FEB, he agreed to let the gastric bypass patron pay the vegetarian rate which is $20.
If your FIL is a meat-lover, a Brazilian steakhouse is a great choice for his birthday dinner. I have been to both Fogo de Chao and Fogo E Brasa, oddly enough for Easter each time. This year was FdC and 2008 was FEB.
We preferred our meal at Fogo de Chao this year over our meal at Fogo E Brasa last year for several reasons.
FdC had much more elaborate cold offerings - a whole wheel of Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, several kinds of salmon, prosciutto, an olive oil selection, very large asparagus, hearts of palm and more salads than I can count. Normally, I would not give much attention to the cold offerings at a Brazilian steakhouse but FdC was really quite wonderful. In contrast, FEB's offerings were ordinary, quite sparse and not quickly replenished.
FdC also won on service. Meats were on a par with each other with most offerings being quite good. Our table of 10 wanted meats from med-well to very rare and each restaurant was able to provide the degree of doneness requested.
My son and DIL travel to Brazil often and pronounced the caipirinhas delicious at both restaurants. Ditto for the plantain fritters.
We found dessert to be unnecessary after each meal, though some diners did order it.
Please keep in mind that our experiences may not be typical since we ate at both places on a holiday Sunday afternoon - times when these restaurants are not typically open. The meals are not inexpensive but we found them to be good value for our dining dollars and thoroughly enjoyed our experiences.
Edit: at FdC our table watched in fascination as a seriously slender hottie piled her plate high with plain lettuce and eschewed all other offerings. Talk about a wasted dining experience!
Another vote for F&B here.
FYI - I'd recommend going when they are closer to full though. The times when the place has been busy, the meat selection seems more complete and a continous flow from the kitchen ensures freshness and selection. I went once about 5pm on a weekday when there were only a few tables filled and I was a little disappointed as things weren't quite up to snuff.
I am fond of Fogo E Brasa, I have had some seriously good times there. Hot waiters, caipirinhas, what's not to love. The waiters there know that I am to get my own personal plate of plantain fritters and never to skimp the charred pineapple. Skip a meal before you go. Or at least make sure you get some roughage that day.
You can do whatever you want there, nobody would say boo. Myself, I only hit the "salad" bar for a nibble, or not at all. It is premium seafood and all, but I like to save room for the meat to follow.