Brazil: Restaurant Week Churrasco

I know what you are thinking, Fogo de Chao is a cheat way to eat “Brazilian.”  But in all honesty, the style of cooking they use and many of their foods are authentic Brazilian cuisine.  They use a Churrasco grilling tradition that comes from Brazil.  The founders of Fogo de Chao are from Southern Brazil and brought their cooking style (plus all you can eat meat) to America.  Because of this, we chose (by chose I mean I begged Bridget to go until she gave in) Fogo de Chao.

On top of getting to go to Fogo de Chao we were also heading out for DC restaurant week.  This is one thing we have never really done and were excited about it.  Restaurants choose special menus and have set prices (decent as well) for a full meal.

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We started the meal with Bridget getting a Caipirinha, Brazilian cocktail.  I went with a Xingu gold lager.  Xingu is a cerveza de Brazil.  Both were enjoyed and were refreshing with our meal.

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Not only do we get tons of food at Fogo de Chao but Bridget having to go through the ordering process is null and void.  If you don’t know how Fogo works then you are in for a treat.  They give you a two sided “button” that is green and red.  Green means GO and tons of gauchos (servers) come by with variety of meat on a skewer ready to be served.

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One of the many meats served by a gaucho on a skewer

To go with the meal you get to enjoy their market table.  This is basically a fancy salad bar meant to distract you from the main event of meats.  We splattered our plates with a few veggies but made plenty of room for the gauchos and their skewers of meats.

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Also to go along with the meal is another distraction of foods in side dishes.  Now mind you these were all delicious and some even were authentic Brazilian.  For example one of the best things all night was the Pao de Queijo or Brazilian cheese bread.  Fried polenta (which was to die for), loaded mashed potatoes and fried bananas were also served on the side.  Everything was enjoyed but filled parts of my stomach I saved for meats.

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Couldn’t wait to eat before a picture

The gauchos come fast and the meat is placed on the plate delicately together.  Included in this meal is different beef, pork and chicken.

  • Picanha: a popular Brazilian cut of meat that is a prime top sirloin.
  • Alcatra: another top sirloin popular in Brazil.
  • Fraldinha: an excellently salted bottom sirloin.
  • Cordeiro: leg of lamb.
  • Linguica: robust pork sausage
  • Costela de Porco: pork ribs
  • Lombo: parmesean encrusted filets of pork
  • Frango: bacon wrapped chicken breasts

It really is hard to say which was the best or which was the worst.  By the time the meal was done and our buttons were turned red for good it really didn’t matter.   You enter this place with such a happy smile and smell the excitement in the air.  However, you leave ready to be rolled out the door and flopped in a bed.  Mind you we were upstairs and had to waddle down, slowly, to leave.

After done with meats and our buttons firmly on red, the gaucho came over and said we get a dessert, EACH!  Since it came with the meal we couldn’t say no, ordering a slice of chocolate mousse cake and key lime pie.  We both said we would have a bite and before we knew it they were both gone.  They may not be Brazilian but I am not one to pass up dessert at any time for any reason.

I regret nothing in going here.  I enjoyed begging to go and felt bad bringing Bridget until I saw her enjoying her meal.  There is nothing like being brought skewers of meat all night and being treated like a king, a fat lazy king.

-Matt

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