**Lots of pictures of meat coming up. My vegetarian readers may want to jump back in to the mix another day… unless you think photos of delicious, well-prepared meat may sway you to the dark side!**
Recently I had the pleasure of trying out Fogo De Choa. Fogo De Choa is a Brazilian restaurant chain with a gaucho-style steakhouse feel that recently came to Portland, Oregon. My husband and I were invited to try out the restaurant for their recent opening. It was fun getting dressed up and heading out for an evening of fun… it isn’t something we get to do often!
I have always been the person that googles “theme restaurant” or “restaurant with an experience” when I search for special occasion dinners. I like enjoying the whole she-bang of an experience (give me fondue or traditional moroccan cuisine over a fancy schmancy restaurant that I enjoy a dinner in an hour and leave). Fogo De Chao is an experience! It isn’t just sitting down to order a meal and leave. You get to be a part of your meal experience in a dynamic way.
The meal started off with signature caipirinhas and a trip to the salad bar. This is not just any salad bar. There are mounds of vegetables, meats, cheeses, and sides. Guests go and grab their own selection of side items… beware, don’t fill up on all the sides! There will be so much meat that you’ll kick yourself if you’re too full. I was glad that I chose to fill my plate with things that I wanted to eat with my meat and I waited as meats came around so that I could enjoy it all together. We also ordered a shrimp cocktail that was one of the largest shrimp cocktails I’ve seen in my life. Big, beautiful pieces of shrimp!
And then came the MEAT. Oh me, oh my. Meat that is seasoned with sea salt and prepared over the fire is brought around to the tables and sliced right onto your plate. You simple flip over a small coaster when you want meat and flip it back over when you don’t. Flip as many times as you like! Nearly all the meat was made to perfection. One of the chicken dishes I tried was a tad dry– however, I tried it again when a different skewer came around and it was great! So much amazing meat though…
And, then… when we didn’t think we could eat ANY more came the dessert menus. My husband’s face in the photo below entirely describes how we were feeling about this whole dessert thing.
Whatever you do… save room for dessert! I had one of the best key lime pies I’ve ever had.
I obviously enjoyed my experienced at Fogo De Chao. The food was great and it was a lot of fun. Some things you should know if you are going:
- It isn’t inexpensive. But, I felt like it was totally worth the price. This isn’t some place my husband and I could go on a regular basis, but will certainly be added to our special occasion restaurant list.
- It isn’t quiet. If you are looking for a quiet meal for two this is not the place to go. There are people up and around the entire time. You’ll have people coming to your table a lot (though, on your cue mainly).
- This would be a blast with friends! Looking for a special and fun restaurant to bring a couple of friends or visiting family members? Fogo de Chao would be a great place for a dinner with friends. It is lively and there would never be a lack of conversation material.
- I’m not sure I’d bring my toddler. I did read on the menu that there were pricing for kids. I’m sure they even have high chairs. I just don’t think my son would have done well there and I wouldn’t have felt comfortable bringing him or other young kids. So, dinner out with the gals? Yes. Play date venue… likely not.
- You don’t have to be in Portland to enjoy Fogo de Chao—they have several locations!
Have you been to Fogo De Chao or another Goucho-Style Restaurant? Tell me about it in the comments!
* Disclaimer: I received a complimentary dinner at Fogo De Chao to experience the restaurant for possible review. All opinions are my own.