Fogo de Chão: Dreams Do Come True

I don’t dream about food, which is odd because I think about food all the time when I’m awake.  But there are meals that put me in a dreamlike state, which is actually better because the tastes and sensations are genuine.  Fogo de Chão is where my meat fantasies become reality.  Wait…you don’t fantasize about meat?

Fogo de Chão is a Brazilian steakhouse which is celebrating 20 years in the U.S. I’ve never been to the restaurant, and I admit that chains don’t usually top my to-do list.  But when I receive an invitation to a media preview of the new happy hour menu, followed by the full churrasco (grilled meat) experience, I am ready to rumble.  I don my stretchy pants, and commence with a Brazilian experience of epic proportions.

The event includes an introduction to a variety of items new on the happy hour menu.  Braised beef rib sliders, Brazilian empanadas and garlic shrimp are well-suited partners with cocktails such as Strawberry Hibiscus Caipirinha and Cucumber Mint Smash. Priced at $4 for bites and $8 for cocktails, this could suffice as a value meal.

Cucumber Mint Smash cocktail

But, why stop here? Fogo de Chão is best known for the full churrasco experience, which includes all the meat you can handle, plus endless trips to the Market Table and Feijoada Bar (traditional black bean stew with rice, fresh orange and yuca flour ) all for $56.95.

Keeping the dream alive are chefs- known here as gauchos- who butcher the meat, cook it over the fire, and then serve it tableside.  Pay attention.  The gauchos circulate the restaurant with various cuts of meat.  It’s up to you to indicate with a green or red card whether you’re interested or not.  I miss the instructions initially, and wonder why I keep getting passed over for the men who sit across and beside me.

Gauchos

Let’s get to the heart of the matter.  The meat.  Filet, ancho, top or bottom sirloin, beef ribs, pork ribs, lamb, sausage.  The selection goes on and on.  Chicken serves as a temporary respite.  Sauces are an option, but this meat is really about slow cooking and subtle flavors.

Wait….there’s more.  Side dishes served family style include warm cheesy rolls, garlic mashed potatoes, and caramelized bananas.  Most surprising is the Market Table, which is filled with an array of seasonal selections such as carrot ginger soup, blackberry and arugula Salad, lentil quinoa, mozzarella caprese, and watermelon and feta. The ingredients are fresh, the combinations are more creative than you would expect at a buffet bar, and best of all, there is less guilt in going back to the Market Table vs. getting gaucho-ed with more meat.

This dream sequence could fade away, never to be seen again, if there wasn’t a feasible option for the non-meat eaters in my life. Fortunately, Fogo de Chão offers sea bass with the market table & feijoada bar for $42.95.  All I can say is “whew.”

Bottom line- if bottomless servings of well-prepared meat, sides, and salads sounds dreamy to you, it’s time to check out Fogo de Chão.

Fogo de Chão,  1101 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004 (also 1775 Tysons Blvd Suite 50, Tysons, VA 22102)

*This is a sponsored post.

Fogo de Chão Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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