Saturday, August 3, 2013

A carnivore's delight.....still digesting

Everybody in my family knows I love steak and meat in general especially when is well prepared. I also enjoy going out to a nice restaurant that has white tablecloths and a pretty table setting.

Picture inside Fogo de Chao restaurant

I was delighted to find both in Fogo de Chao restaurant. Just by chance and because I am on the lookout for fun things to do in my neighborhood, I found out Baltimore Restaurant Week was about to start. The idea is the participating restaurants to offer a fixed price meal (or lunch) to lure visitors and locals to experience a new restaurant and perhaps a new cuisine that otherwise they may not.

So as soon as I found out, I checked the list of participating restaurants and with so many choices (about 100 of them) it was hard to pick one. Without much research, I selected Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse because I love meat and I was intrigued when they said the steaks were prepared the "gaucho" way. And what a pleasant surprise! Oh my, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Before I go on, I want to tell you that Fogo de Chao is Portuguese for 'ground fire' in essence it means pit fire. Gaucho is Portuguese for cowboy. Brazil, the largest country in Latin American speaks Portuguese, not Spanish which to me it is pretty weird but they do. 

Anyway, dinner started with a trip to the salad bar and what a salad bar! My goodness, I had not seen so many choices that were not only beautiful to look at but also looked delicious even when sometimes I had not clue what I was looking at. All the vegetables looked fresh, the meats looked appetizing and there was the biggest Parmesan cheese bowl I had ever seen. I selected a few things and made it back to the table, and all tasted as good as it looked.

a plate of salad from Fogo de Chao restaurant
My salad plate

After the salad our waiter gave us clean plates; it was time for the entree. At this point he explains the meaning of the round paper coasters on our table. If on the green side, the gaucho chef would stop at our table and serve us what he is offering. If on the red side it would mean you do not want to be served and so the fun began.

I have to tell you that the selection of meats was fabulous, a true carnivore's delight! There were 3 different types of steaks plus lamb, pork, chicken wrapped in bacon, and pork sausage. All of them had a wonderful flavor but my favorite was the signature Fogo de Chao steak. It was moist, juicy and tender and covered with Brazilian spices that made it very flavorful. I would certainly go back just for that steak, it was amazing. It was yummy!! In tradition with most Latin American dishes, nothing was spicy, as in hot spicy, just very flavorful.

Gaucho serving a slice of steak at Fogo de Chao restaurant in Baltimore
Picture of a gaucho chef serving a slice of steak.


Oh yeah, the side dishes were corn, mash potatoes and my favorite, grilled bananas. Have you ever tried them? Do, the next time you see them in the menu. These were done very well, nice, moist, sweet just delicious.

Fried bananas and other side dishes from the Fogo de Chao restaurant in Baltimore
Fried bananas are at the top......yummmm!

Oh yeah, did I tell you the fixed price dinner also came with desert? We chose strawberry cheesecake and key lime pie but by that point, there was hardly any room for it and I don't regret it at all.

All in all it was a delightful dinner. I would absolutely go back. I am so glad I got a chance to try a new place. But first I need to digest this one.

Here is a picture of me after dinner walking the Baltimore harbor helping the digestion take place. It was a beautiful and lovely day for a walk.


Fogo de Chao is a restaurant chain, have you gone to any of the others? How was your experience?