Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fogo De Chow Down

On Thursday I went out to dinner in DC to help celebrate my brother graduating from business school. We couldn't find a sitter for the kids so Lori graciously stayed at home. She had already been to the restaurant of choice for the night, Fogo De Chau. The Brazilian Churrascaria is located in the heart of downtown DC and is probably PETA's worst nightmare. I had heard about the all-you-can-eat-meat theme of the restaurant which was one of the reasons I was keen on visiting. Unfortunately I had just acquired a pretty nasty cold the night before and almost cancelled at the last minute if it wasn't for these little orange dynamos.

Side note... My cold persists to this day and is pretty strong. I'm slightly convinced this is the start of Swine Flu. Since my amazing wife (the bravest woman I know) is taking on her first sprint triathlon this weekend, I immediately tried to quarantine myself to prevent the sickness from passing on to her. Alex seems to have acquired it, so we just need to hold off on spreading it for one more day.

The meal at Fogo was very good. I was given the FAQ on the dinner proceedings by my dinner guests. Nate, Besse, Besse's parents Jay and Jill and our jovial friend Jim Holmberg all attended. All five of them had been to Fogo before. I felt like a NASCAR race rookie and fully expected Nate to put yellow tape on my rear. They instructed me on how to first take a trip to the salad bar to prep for the main event. I got a small amount of fresh mozzarella and a little pinch of caesar salad.

The rules for consuming the mass quantities of fresh meat were simple (outlined here in the "Dining Experience" section of the website). You had a colored coaster next to your plate. If you turned it so the green side was facing up then the gauchos (waiters complete with hammer pants) would stop at your plate as they passed by with one of 15 different kinds of meat on large skewers. You could then say yes or no as to whether you wanted a slice of that specific meat. Sausages, bacon-wrapped fillet and other meats would slide off the skewer onto the plate. For sliced meat like the delicious top sirloin, you needed to use your supplied personal mini tongs to pull the meat off as they sliced it. When you wanted to take a break and concentrate on eating, you turned the colored coaster over to the red side and the gauchos would pass you by as you ate.

The only way to make the meat delivery experience fresher would be to parade around actual cows, pigs and lamb and have the patrons dig their teeth directly into the animals as they passed. Overall I had a good time but several of the meats seemed very salty. It could be that my cold hampered my sense of taste as well. The top sirloin and lamb cuts were my favorites. Next time I will pace myself better (I was pretty much done about 30 minutes into dinner). Apparently there are other Churrascarias in the area as well that I may want to sample. If you are an extreme carnivore, I fully recommend sampling the meat gorging experience of Fogo De Chau.


SwimCoachFinder said...

Brave sprint triathlon wives are the best!

HappyCat said...

I write for a website called
CapitaLand Inside Geographies and would greatly appreciate your permission to use your lovely photo to illustrate a story on South American Food. If you decide its okay, I will certainly have the photo credited to you near the caption. Awaiting your favourable reply,Vivienne