Join the meat parade at Fogo de Chao
Thu, Nov 15, 2012 (midnight)
Photo: Beverly Poppe
- Fogo De ChÃo
- 360 E. Flamingo Road, 431-4500.
- Monday–Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. & 5-10 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. & 5–10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 4:30–10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 4–9 p.m.
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The Brazilian churrascaria is the stuff of legends among carnivores—a nonstop table-side meat delivery that ends only when you throw up your napkin and say, “Uncle!” Several Brazilian steakhouses dot the Valley, but the best might be the recently opened Fogo de Chão in the Hughes Center on Paradise and Flamingo.
The concept is simple. Each diner gets a two-sided disc: red on one side, green on the other. Go green and your meat onslaught begins. The servers—who double as chefs—bring around their cuts and ask for your temperature choice. They arrive in Space Invaders waves, so use the red side to stave them off when you need a break.
Even with the fancy Portuguese name and the gaucho-clad server/chefs, churrascarias are buffets at heart, so you’ll need a strategy to maximize your benefit. Fogo even has a “How to Fogo” video on its website. (Spoiler: They want you eating sides and salads. Don’t do it.)
Inevitably, you’ll reach a breaking point fairly quickly no matter what you’ve eaten, so I’d suggest not even checking out the salad bar. And don’t be swayed by the complimentary side dishes, either. The pão de queijo (puffy cheese bread) and polenta sticks are tasty, but this isn’t a breadhouse; it’s a steakhouse.
My favorite cuts are of the top-sirloin variety: the alcatra and the garlicky picanha. The lombo (Parmesan cheese-crusted pork loin) and anything bacon-wrapped are also worth grabbing, but feel free to skip the costela de porco (pork ribs). And with any of the meats, always go for the charred edges to maximize fattiness and flavor.
Fogo de Chão is not an inexpensive meal, weighing in at $29 for lunch and $49 for dinner. Be sure to come hungry and give yourself plenty of time to enjoy.