Saturday, February 17, 2007

Fogo de Chao

The Bug and I were recently in Washington D.C. in an area known for business travellers, Smithsonians, and politicos. Good, mid-range restaurants is not something the area is known for. We had a great, enormous burger at Fuddruckers the first night. The second night was a horrendous meal at Capital City Brewery. Our third night we gave up and had room service (our hotel shut down its dinner restaurant nine months ago). And on the fourth night we went to Fogo de Chao.

It was recommended as a fun place to take a kid. It's a one-price, no-menu travelling buffet. First, one goes to the interesting salad buffet. Prosciutto, cured meats, hard parmesan, bright green asparagus, fresh mozzarella, butter lettuce...a wonderful salad bar.

Each diner is given a coaster that tells the MEAT WAITERS when to start bringing over the main course. These are men who rush all over the restaurant with skewers of meat and sharp knives. They approach your table at a full-tilt run and sputter out what kind of meat it is. Their impatience is unnerving. "Beef Ancho?" "Picanha?" "Filet Mignon?"

On the table for each person are tongs--use these to catch the meat as it's being sliced. The waiters didn't tell us this and it wasn't until a waiter chastised me that I realized that I was supposed to take the meat.

Meat is sliced at each person's side until the coaster is turned to the red "STOP" side. When you're ready for more, flip it to the green side.

Served with the meat are wonderful little puffs of cheese bread, tasty mashed potatoes, baked bananas (this *is* supposed to be Brazilian-style food), and fried polenta. Many of the beef selections are overly salty--or were to my pregnant palate.

Sadly, I never had a chance to try the bacon-wrapped chicken or linguica, two of my favorite types of meat. The Bug was having an off night and didn't enjoy anything until desert, when he selected a giant goblet of strawberry ice cream.

All-in-all, I'd try it again, with friends who enjoy meat. It runs $50 per person before tax, tip and drinks.

1 comment:

Bon Vivant said...

We have a branch in Beverly Hills (didn't know for sure it was the same restaurant until you listed the price at the bottom of your post!) Yeah, clock starts ticking at $50 per person. Add a few Caipirinhas, tax, tip, and valet parking (impossible to park in that neighborhood) and it comes out to $100.