Fogo de Chao offers great customer service, and an excellent menu of only the best cuts of Brazilian styled meats that sets your taste buds on fire! The atmosphere can be appreciated by both the sophisticated, and casual diner. The servers are informative, and friendly and the salad bar is delicious! The consistency of great service and delicious food will make each visit as great as the last! By far one of the best restaurants to dine at!
If you are a fan of meat you will love this place. It is my favorite restaurant of all time. It has TONS of different kinds of steak and meats. Everything is cooked excellently and the servers are constantly coming around to offer you different kinds. Make sure to bring your appetite here.
My dream come true
I really love this place. I cannot express how great I feel every time I come here to eat. I love the steaks and lamb. I have never been anywhere with such a wide selection of meats. That is what makes this place unique. I love the salad bar as well. It is a perfect compliment to the Grade A meat they always serve. I would recommend anyone come here. You can bring family and friends here for any occasion and you are sure to enjoy yourself and have a blast.
Wonderful Night Out
A friend of mine took me here while I was in town. It was an enchanting experience. The steak was done to perfection, just the perfect pink hue when it was cut and the presentation was magnificent. For my particular plate it was the run-of-the-mill ordinary sort of "Steak and Potatoes" except it was unlike any other I've ever had. The steak melted like smooth creamy butter on the tongue and was absolutely delicious.
The atmosphere was relaxed, if professional and upscale but surprisingly quiet. Not to the point of needing to whisper for fear of being overheard, but enough that a normal tone was enough to speak to all the people at my eight person table.
The service was exceptional and prompt. I made sure to stay behind a few minutes after I was done eating to give my personal thanks to the kitchen staff and the chef. They were surprised, as if they didn't realize how good their food actually was! I'm glad I could make them smile the way they helped me to have such a nice night out with friends made better.
Fogo de Chão
Fogo de Chão
Fogo de Chão
Fogo de Chão
I just deemed this "pay it forward Friday ".... I just bought Starbucks for the person in line behind me.... And taped a dollar to the vending machine at work.... #itsNiceToBeNice I just deemed this "pay it forward Friday ".... I just bought Starbucks for the person in line behind me.... And taped a dollar to the vending machine at work.... Do something for somebody today #itsNiceToBeNice #LearnToGive #ItsTheLittleThings #LearnToGive #ItsTheLittleThings ##StarbucksChicago #Starbucks
Doesn't get better
There's just so much food. So much. It's hard to beat a restaurant where someone is just constantly bringing you fresh excellent different kinds of meat. There's a great salad bar that has anything you can imagine, but save room. There's beef, chicken, pork, sausage, etc on the way as soon as you sit down. Great drinks too. Will visit often.
Gino on the Floor
Thanksgiving, 2012, came and went. There was food for all feasts. Cornbread dressing with brown gravy or cranberry sauce. Collard greens. Candied yams. Macaroni and cheese. String bean casserole. Cornish hens because there will be turkey for Christmas. Sweet potato pies. Apple pie. Peach cobbler. Coconut pound cake. Almond scented white cake. There was, of course, a bit of weight gain after so much delighting. But it was not because of Thanksgiving gluttony. No, I had made a pact with my high school sweetheart that for every pound she took off, I would add a pound. Being such a diligent and honest man by holding up my end of the pony, the joints in my legs are now feeling the girth of 211 pounds. As if that was not enough, I returned from enjoying Thanksgiving with family with a calendar appointment for Fogo de Chão. And everyone’s eyes open wide with surprise.
When I started Chicago Alphabet Soup many years ago, Fogo de Chão at 661 North La Salle Street was the second restaurant I went to. That was when I had a cheap point-and-click camera and before I started using my expensive digital camera properly. It was all about the food. Having then returned from São Paulo, Brazil, I wanted to see if the churrascaria in Chicago would make me miss the megalopolis. I remember the temperatures having a bit more bite than I had been accustomed to below the equator. So it was off to the best churrascaria in Chicago for their dandy bonanza of meat, meat, rare meat, medium rare meat, well-done meat, and then some more meat. Fast forward to 2012 and I have jumped willingly into the diet of a pescatarian. Why did I agree to meet up with friends at Fogo de Chão, of all places? Could it be that my high school sweetheart had told me that she had lost a few pounds and I needed to fulfill my end of the pact? Hmm. I will let that be my excuse.
Much like the temperatures were during the first visit to Fogo de Chão, I wanted something to put me in the mind of being in São Paulo years ago. A glass of ciapirinha certainly would make that happen. Think of a mojito without the mint. I was quite happy, although I was aware of the sweater I had on, which meant I was aware of being in Chicago instead of in Brazil. Being a lightweight, I needed something to keep the alcohol from having me floating about the restaurant in my own little ether world. It was off to the salad bar. Asparagus. Mushrooms. Cheeses. Bread. Olives. Tuna salad. Chicken salad. Salmon. Smiles. You are told to get a small plate of fruit and vegetables, not to fill up on the salad bar because the gauchos will keep your table occupied with various cuts of meats, rolls that melt on your tongue like cotton candy, mashed potatoes, and baked bananas. This could easily become any glutton’s nirvana.
Then it was time to turn over the card for “sem,” yes, yes, Yes!!! The gauchos hovered through room with slabs of meat on skewers, of which you end up in a daze wanting everything that they bring. If I were a devout pescatarian, I would have stayed away. However, I have no willpower. That was rather evident when there was the mouth-watering aroma from lombo, which is parmesan crusted pork. There was also the essence of some beef ancho wafting up my nose. Imagine if you will Oliver saying, “Please, sir, I want some more.” This wonder meat had me wanting to launch into song, singing, “Food, glorious food, hot mustard and sausage.” Moist. Succulent. Tender. I am sure I could come up with about two dozen more adjectives to describe the flavours, six dozen if I were to describe the taste in several other languages.
The picanha, the best part of the sirloin and flavoured with garlic, was worthy. I could have told the gaucho to leave a quarter of the slab at the table. Then others in the restaurant would have been screaming for my head on skewer, perhaps. This choice meat was just as tender as the previous selection. There appeared to be something of a glaze to it, as there was a slight sweetness to each bite. Imagine that. Other than at Argentinean steak houses, I have never had meat like this in it natural juices without the addition of sugar to the recipes. Fogo de Chão is the first restaurant to have succeeded in making the meat sing. And I have been to all the popular churrascarias in America, Chicago boasting the majority of them.
By the time a slice of fraldinha had made it to the table, the pescatarian angel and the vegetarian angel that were sitting on my shoulders had smacked their foreheads and declared defeat of saving my belly from the evils of meat. When I was a heavy carnivore, I wanted my meats to be well done. Well, I chose to have a medium well cut of the fraldinha. Needless to say, I enjoyed it. This is more popular in Southern Brazil, and I remember stuffing myself senselessly with some of it after a capoeira ceremony in Bahia. Yes, it was better that I had partaken of this after hand stands, backward flips, cartwheels, and round-houses. I would have split my pants or landed with a thump otherwise. But at Fogo de Chão I simply had to fan myself to stave off the sweat from working so hard on the constant cuts of meat, mashed potatoes, rolls, and baked bananas.
In keeping with dining on beef primarily, I requested a cut of the alcatra. It was at this point that the previously mentioned angels were sparring behind my back. This is my favourite. I have been to all the other churrascarias in the city — Texas de Brazil, Sal y Carvão, and Brazzaz — and whatever attempts they have made at alcatra seemed to fall into the okay category. There is no want for a cigarette afterwards. There’s no silence, which is an indication that the food is working magic on you. There is no Wow! Much like me wanting the picanha all to myself, the alcatra invokes that same sensation.
Rounding out my choices of meats was a cut of filet mignon. Growing up, filet mignon was always presented as bacon wrapped around ground beef. Who thought that was a brilliant idea? For my Brazilian dining experience, I opted for a medium rare cut. Now, usually when I have ever asked for any meat to be medium rare, the cow was still protesting. My appetite would have a quick pace running far from the restaurant. At Fogo de Chão the medium well cut of filet mignon was a tender piece of juicy meat that did not squirt or squirm. I worked my knife and fork on it like those actors in commercials who smile for the camera. But more than smiling, I actually ate the meat and I had no remorse, even for my pescatarian sensibilities.
After about two hours of flipping the coaster back and forth over to alert the gauchos to bring meat and to stop bringing meat, it was time to stop the meat odyssey and polish the palate with some dessert. I have mentioned in past posts that I could put any cornfed Iowa Bart or Indiana Billy Joe Bob to shame at the dinner table and desert number one of three was a case study of that. The flan was creamy like the flans I loved from Santo Domingo. As much as I love flan, my blood pressure cannot say the same. But I am not a “yes” man to constantly working my teeth on the delectable dessert every time the option presents itself. Pause. Okay, it’s most of the time that I concede to my want and gnash away on flan without complaint.
However, I shall not forget about the tres leches cake. Having had a slice of it from a restaurant a few months ago where I swear they poured a whole carton of milk on the cake, turned the carton upside down, and then hit the carton from the bottom to get the last drops out of it, the pastel de tres leches at Fogo de Chão had a texture not of drowned cake. Enjoyed with some cafezinho, coffee, I can say with certainty that everything was okay in the land. To be honest, let me stop pulling your leg and just say that I was drunk from too much eating. Not one for turning into a jester, had I been at home, I would have danced, sang, and put on a performance. Food, glorious food.
The award for most gluttonous eater of 2012 goes to, none other than, Gino Williams. The chocolate molten cake with a dollop of vanilla ice cream under a drizzle of chocolate was the coup de grace. Here is where we had Gino on the floor. There is a restaurant in downtown Chicago called Grand Lux Cafe that has the best molten chocolate cake in the whole world. The cake at Fogo de Chão runs a very close second. I had been sitting for three hours filling my jaws and the act of standing was not an option. Having to move about was impossible. It was bad enough that I had to force myself to lean over so I could retrieve my wallet to pay the tab. But standing up and realizing that I was bent over like a geriatric was all anyone needed to see to know that I had shed my British polishing for being a thoroughly satisfied food brute.
My running joke is that Fogo de Chão is indeed a lazy buffet, as all you have to do is sit while the gauchos tempt you with all the various choices of meats. There are the side dishes, but the whole churrascaria experience is worth the trip. You may find other churrascarias in the city, but the one that you may find yourself frequenting is Fogo de Chão, hands down. One thing to note is that the price may grow a few grey hairs in your head, in your beard if you’re bald. Go for lunch instead, when the prices are not as cha-ching as the dinner prices. But make sure it is during a half day at work because eating too much will result in a dire need to go to sleep afterwards. Another thing is that it would be a crime to go to the restaurant if you are not one for eating meat. The salad bar panders to the vegetarian and pescatarian palates wonderfully. Still, the constant view of meat would tempt even a staunch vegan. As for me, I think I gained enough weight to keep my word to my high school sweetheart. But that was not enough. She called and told me that she lost a few more pounds. Looks like I will be getting up to 220 pounds by the beginning of the New Year. My resolution will be to stop making pacts, but it won’t be to stop eating like a bottomless culinary fanatic.
Fogo de Chão, Chicago
Fogo de Chão (fo-go dèe shoun) is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse established in 1979, created as a way to share the gaucho way of preparing meat. The Chicago location is one of many in the United States, with more in Brazil. For their ten year anniversary, the Chicago restaurant underwent a $750,000 renovation and expansion, adding private dining rooms, a restyled bar/lounge and an even more elaborate gourmet salad bar. It is a beautifully-designed space, luxurious, open, yet human-scaled at the same time.
Cuts of delectable fire roasted meats are brought to your table, sliced, and served by their gaucho chefs. Laima enjoyed selections such as Picanha, Filet Mignon, Beef Ancho, Alcatra, Fraldinha, Costela, De Porco, and Lombo. For the non-carnivores, there is the new Fresh Grilled Mozzarella Cheese, which was flat out delicious! Included with the meal is a limitless service of traditional Brazilian side dishes, including: pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, garlic mashed potatoes and caramelized bananas. Fogo also offers optional side dishes of rice and black beans, and farofa (a condiment made with manioc meal) upon request. The salad sides bar boasts an extensive selection of over 30 items: gourmet salads, fresh vegetables, imported cheeses, artisan breads, cured meats and more. Wine is a mainstay of the restaurants, with the list garnering the coveted Wine Spectator Magazine Award of Excellence repeatedly. Cocktails, including the signature Brazilian caipirinha, are also available. We enjoyed a bottle of Fogo’s own 2009 Gran Reserva Malbec - supple mouthfeel, balanced and nuanced, this wine went perfectly with all of dishes.
Desserts include Fogo de Chão Signature Papaya Cream, South American Flan, Crème Brule, Turtle Cheesecake, Molten Chocolate Cake, and Key Lime Pie. We tried the Papaya Cream (topped with creme de cassis) and the Molten Chocolate cake, simply amazing, especially paired with espresso for me and capuccino for Laima.
Service is above and beyond, with a seemingly endless parade of servers bringing meat, refreshing side dishes, pouring wine and water, and generally making sure the experience is as perfect as can be.
Fogo de Chão is obviously aimed at carnivores, but don't overlook it when dining with the plant-based set; plenty of non-meat options means that everyone can dine happy.
Disclaimer: This meal was comped for me for review purposes, courtesy of Fogo de Chão. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give the restaurant a positive review, and all opinions are my own. Some information in this review was taken from the company website.
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Fogo de Chão
Fogo de Chão
Fogo de Chão
Fogo de Chão
Overall: Fogo de Chao is located in Chicago, IL. This restaurant received four and a half out of five stars rated by 1043 reviewers. Fogo de Chao does not offer delivery and does not offer take out. They do not have outdoor seating and do accept reservations. They do accept credit cards. They are recommended for dinner.
Food: Fogo de Chao is a restaurant that offers Brazilian steakhouse cuisine. Many reviewers enjoyed the steaks, fried banana, mashed potatoes, and fried polenta that are offered here, these were highly recommended by many diners. Some diners found the food to be mediocre in comparison to similar dishes they had consumed elsewhere. Most diners found the prices to be reasonable for the quality of food offered here. This restaurant serves a full bar.
Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Fogo de Chao was noted to be classy and upscale. It is good for groups and is not good for children. It has an average noise level and casual attire. They offer street parking and are not wheelchair accessible.
Service: The service at Fogo de Chao was rated by many patrons as friendly and efficient. Most diners found that the servers were very attentive and helpful. They do offer waiter service.|