A local locale of a Brazilian-concept chain of restaurants, Fogo de Chão features all-you-can-eat grilled meats served with well choreographed theatricality. Entering the large and sophisticated room that once was home to a Borders bookstore, diners now find all the imagery of a busy and successful supper club: plentiful wood paneling, crisp white tablecloths, abundant glassware, silvery serving platters and sinuous light fixtures that whorl along the ceiling.
After being seated and served cocktails, diners avail themselves of a plentiful salad bar heaped with fresh vegetables, cold meats and assorted condiments that all but shout, “Take me. Take me now.”
The big show comes when servers walk through the roomwith swords aloft. On each sword is one of 16 cuts of meat and
poultry, such as top sirloin, ribeye, lamb chops, chicken, beef ribs, pork ribs and sausage. The job of diners is merely to flip the token next to their dinner plates: the red side tells the meat marchers not to stop at your table; the green side means
you’d like them to pay a visit.
On seeing green, a swordsman scoots over to your table and cuts a few slices of meat off his sword and onto your plate. Then, with skewer raised, he moves on to the next nearest green token. The meat is typically flavorful— sometimes robustly so — and also typically chewy. Whether that derives from the meat itself or how it’s prepared, the net effect is that the dining experience differs from that in a fine steakhouse.
Rather, Fogo de Chão is all about the opportunity to sample multiple cuts of meat— primarily beef and lamb — in
whatever prodigious quantity you choose. It is toothsome and entertaining dining that makes for an engaging night out.