Last weekend for a bachelor party, I went to Fogo De Chao in Minneapolis which bills itself as a Brazilian steakhouse. I will take their word for what a Brazilian steakhouse is because I have only heard of one other one, but have never been to it. Fogo De Chao is a nationwide chain that is rated fairly high by food critics and the likes, but I am going to give you my opinion of my experience.
The “party” arrived slightly early to our 8:00pm reservation and we were probably seated 15 to 20 minutes later. To be fair they were quite busy and for a group of 10+ people it takes a little more organizing that finding a few open tables around the restaurant. After being seated our host informed us of the ins and outs of eating at Fogo De Chao, but asked the question that I hate hearing when I go out to eat anywhere… “What are you celebrating”? I am not sure whether they ask that to everyone or simply if you look out of place, but I find it quite unwelcoming. Otherwise, the host was quite helpful in explaining the salad bar, how the food would keep showing up to your table, and that drinks and dessert would be extra and kept on individual tabs sitting in front of us.
The Salad Bar
So before we knew it we were off to the salad bar which seemed to have very good food at it, but it would be expected for the $$$ price tag found on any other review. They have various sorts of salad and neat little items I haven’t found anywhere else like balls of mozzarella cheese or cheese chips. The only thing that caught me a little by surprise was some of the more obscure items weren’t labeled, so I ended up eating some vegetables that I wasn’t familiar with and nobody I was with could identify. It was a very good salad bar and definitely could have been satisfied (if not for the price) just eating it, and was a little disappointed that I needed to hold back for the meat portion of the meal.
Seat and Meat
After holding myself to a minimal amount at the salad bar it was time to flip over the green/red coaster to indicate I was looking to have the meat that was patrolling the restaurant come to my seat. They probably had 8 waiters (for lack of a better term) circling the restaurant with various types of meat on skewers that would stop and cut to off a section of meat whatever they were holding. Some of the options were top/bottom beef sirloin, rib-eye, filet mignon, beef ribs, lamb, sausage and bacon wrapped chicken. For the cuts of beef the waiters were quite skilled at getting you the “doneness” of meat you were looking for an were quick to confirm you indeed received what wanted.
The process of having a meat buffet circling the restaurant and coming to you, until you waive them off was a unique experience to me and am definitely looking forward to either returning to Fogo De Chao or probably going to a more conveniently located Brazilian steakhouse due to not personally liking to venture into downtown Minneapolis. It was fairly expensive coming it at roughly a $50 bill without any tip for one person, but that probably should be expected with the varieties of meat and the all you can eat aspect.
Have you been to a Brazilian Steakhouse before or specifically a Fogo De Chao? Was your experience similar to mine?