Picanha and Filet

Restaurant Review – Fogo de Chao (Baltimore)

It doesn’t get more American than eating mass amounts of barbequed meat. Or does it? At Fogo de Chao, a traditional Brazilian steakhouse, diners devour mass quantities of meat, barbequed on spics over an open flame and then served by Gauchos. For a set price, usually $48.95 ($35.11 for restaurant week), you feast on unlimited meat, salad and sides.

Fogo de Chao is essentially a religious experience for all meat lovers. As you walk in the doors, the smell of steak perfumes the room. There are at least 11 types of meats rotating the dining room at all times. Each server is designated a specific cut of meat and then carves it tables side per customer request. The meats include various sirloins, filet mignon, ribeye, lamb, chicken, pork and sausage. All the meats are properly charred and seasoned to perfection. While almost everything is good, some are a cut above. The house-specialty top sirloin (picanha) is to die for, along with the rack of lamb, ribeye and filet. All very juicy and flavorful. The chicken and pork items are just there for variety, neither are anything special.

Your meal is also accompanied by three side dishes: mashed potatoes with cheddar, fried polenta cakes, and roasted plantains. These sides are all primarily starch, which means they are simply there to fill you up. However, there is a salad bar as well, featuring a multitude of items. The salad bar has everything from cured meats, to fresh buffalo mozzarella, to pickled vegetables, to blanched vegetables, to tabbouleh, to actual salads. The salad bar is absolutely delicious and is worthy of your attention.  It also serves as a nice “breather” amongst all the steak!

Unfortunately, I only seem to eat at Fogo for special occasions and restaurant week. Fogo offers one of the most unique and mesmerizing dining experiences you will ever have. The food and service is just exceptional, and you are guaranteed to never leave hungry.


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