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Going to Fogo De Chao

Going to Fogo De Chao
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  • Post #31 - August 3rd, 2009, 4:31 pm
    Post #31 - August 3rd, 2009, 4:31 pm Post #31 - August 3rd, 2009, 4:31 pm
    I like Fogo. It's a once-a-year place for me, as it's become an annual tradition at my company to have lunch there every Good Friday, which is a lot of fun (a tradition initiated by the impudent Irish Catholics in our office, I might add). Everyone from the company shows up, we eat and drink way too much, and even our vegetarian has an enjoyable time, because the salad bar is about as good as they get, in his opinion. As Darren mentioned above, lunch is a bit more than half the price of dinner (just under $30, iirc), so it's a relative value at that level. And yes, I too enjoy having the extra hours after the meal for recuperation. Also, beef ribs are definitely available at lunch but you generally have to specifically ask for them.

    Fogo isn't going to knock any socks off quality-wise and the beverages are ridiculously-priced but it delivers on what it sets out to do very well. Once a year, especially when the company's picking up the tab . . . it really is a fun and satisfying time.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #32 - March 6th, 2010, 12:35 am
    Post #32 - March 6th, 2010, 12:35 am Post #32 - March 6th, 2010, 12:35 am
    I don't know how Fogo's meats and salad bar compare to other Brazilian steakhouses in the Chicagoland area (I found the bottom sirloin, beef rib, garlic beef, and lamb chops pretty delicious, but I know others aren't fans...), but I just wanted to mention that the service here is awesome! Went in January for dinner and today for lunch, and both times the service could not have been better. Any time you're returning to your table, someone is there to push your chair in. Every time. I appreciate how they cover your coat/purse with a linen cloth to prevent meat juice from migrating to it. At the first sign that your plate begins to accumulate bones or whatnot, you're asked if you would like a new plate. The manager comes around to say hi and asks if there is anything he can do to make your meal more enjoyable. Very friendly and genuine. If you have your card flipped to green but decline any of the meats presented to you, they ask what you would like and bring it asap. The front of the house staff is friendly and literally bend over backward to make your meal a good one. :)

    Go for lunch and save some cash. It's $32.50 instead of $49.50, and the meat selection is the same (I verified with the staff and via making sure I got everything that I liked when I went the first time lol). The service here is just as good, if not superior, than the service you would receive at many other restaurants for the same price.
  • Post #33 - March 8th, 2010, 9:35 am
    Post #33 - March 8th, 2010, 9:35 am Post #33 - March 8th, 2010, 9:35 am
    I agree with spiffy, Fogo is the tops in service.
  • Post #34 - March 8th, 2010, 11:29 pm
    Post #34 - March 8th, 2010, 11:29 pm Post #34 - March 8th, 2010, 11:29 pm
    I think it is a great place to go once a year for lunch, say for your brother's birthday, who happens to be on the Atkins diet. On and off but he is always happy to eat a lot food.
    Kind of an annual thing for us! Which reminds me, his b-day is in two weeks, I better give him a call! Thank you LTH.
  • Post #35 - March 9th, 2010, 1:28 am
    Post #35 - March 9th, 2010, 1:28 am Post #35 - March 9th, 2010, 1:28 am
    "Fogo" is a great place for birthdays and special events. My high school age son thinks it is the greatest. As far as what to eat, one has to try a bite sized sample and then lay it on. The Gauchos will accommodate you if yo ask for a small bite sized piece.
    The wine selection is superb.
  • Post #36 - March 9th, 2010, 9:36 am
    Post #36 - March 9th, 2010, 9:36 am Post #36 - March 9th, 2010, 9:36 am
    Fogo is a funny thing, because I never like it as much as I think I'll like it, yet I'm always glad I went. Not sure how to reconcile that. But I think it's because the concept, while good hedonistic fun, also makes you feel you have a responsibility, not just an opportunity, to eat more food than you are hungry for. Most of that food is good, but not "to die for" good--if anything, the salad bar is more "to die for" than the meat. But you eat portion after portion of the meat, because it would be insane to come to Fogo and not do that; and beyond that, you feel you are not really doing your part, are not really keeping your end of some invisible agreement, are derelict in your duties as a citizen, if you don't. After a while, you are so meat-sated that all your senses are able to process is that you are eating "some kind of meat."

    And yet, you don't leave feeling, "Wow, I don't need to do that again." You leave feeling, "Let's do this again--maybe this time next year!"
  • Post #37 - March 9th, 2010, 9:54 am
    Post #37 - March 9th, 2010, 9:54 am Post #37 - March 9th, 2010, 9:54 am
    It's still the only place that's given me a legit hangover strictly from the food.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #38 - March 9th, 2010, 12:02 pm
    Post #38 - March 9th, 2010, 12:02 pm Post #38 - March 9th, 2010, 12:02 pm
    riddlemay wrote:Fogo is a funny thing, because I never like it as much as I think I'll like it, yet I'm always glad I went. Not sure how to reconcile that. But I think it's because the concept, while good hedonistic fun, also makes you feel you have a responsibility, not just an opportunity, to eat more food than you are hungry for. Most of that food is good, but not "to die for" good--if anything, the salad bar is more "to die for" than the meat. But you eat portion after portion of the meat, because it would be insane to come to Fogo and not do that; and beyond that, you feel you are not really doing your part, are not really keeping your end of some invisible agreement, are derelict in your duties as a citizen, if you don't. After a while, you are so meat-sated that all your senses are able to process is that you are eating "some kind of meat."

    And yet, you don't leave feeling, "Wow, I don't need to do that again." You leave feeling, "Let's do this again--maybe this time next year!"


    I agree with everything you said except I DO leave feeling "Wow, I don't need to do that again" EVER.
  • Post #39 - March 9th, 2010, 11:14 pm
    Post #39 - March 9th, 2010, 11:14 pm Post #39 - March 9th, 2010, 11:14 pm
    jesteinf wrote:It's still the only place that's given me a legit hangover strictly from the food.


    Me too! Only had one glass of wine but still had my wife (salad bar only) drive home due to sudden onset stupor, upon walking to the car. She still chuckles about me being crunched up in the fetal position and moaning while heading down the Kennedy. I didn't come around for about 16 hours. No stranger to gluttony, I'm blaming the salt.
  • Post #40 - March 10th, 2010, 11:18 am
    Post #40 - March 10th, 2010, 11:18 am Post #40 - March 10th, 2010, 11:18 am
    I love the service at Fogo. When my bother visits from Alaska, a trip to Fogo is a requirement. He LOVES the beef rib, but it doesn't always make regular rounds through the dining room. When he asks, the gaucho arrives within about 60-90 seconds. My bro is a very friendly guy and always engages the gentleman when he is at our table. One evening we were some of the last customers, so the beef rib gaucho had more time to chat with us. He told us that the beef rib is not typically a popular cut, so sometimes they run out toward the end of the evening (which had happened, much to my brother's disappointment). He gave my brother his card and said, "Call me the day before you come the next time, and I will put on an extra cut of the beef ribs - and I will bring it to you all evening." We took him at his word, and called on a Tuesday and said we'd be in on Wednesday evening. Sure enough, he was waiting for us when we arrived, and had us seated so that we could see into the roasting area (pretty cool), and so that we could get to my brother quickly. Not many employees will do that, nor will many restaurants allow them to. Of course, the tip was HUGE!!!! We had a great time, and my brother had a terrific story about the personal service he received in Chicago.

    Just an aside...my brother always goes to the salad bar to get some 'greens' before he starts what I call "the evening of a thousand meats". He always arrives back at the table with three green olives which he eats while they are serving from the first sword to arrive at the table. I love my bro!
    vickyp
  • Post #41 - March 10th, 2010, 4:11 pm
    Post #41 - March 10th, 2010, 4:11 pm Post #41 - March 10th, 2010, 4:11 pm
    Although I've been to Fogo in the past, I usually go t Texas de Brazil (I get coupons e-mailed to me all the time) - I agree with the sentiment that it's ALOT of meat at once. I usually make it a point to hit the gym the next day and I alwas feel a bit like I'm sweating gravy. :roll:
  • Post #42 - March 10th, 2010, 4:31 pm
    Post #42 - March 10th, 2010, 4:31 pm Post #42 - March 10th, 2010, 4:31 pm
    Tobermory wrote:I get coupons e-mailed to me all the time)

    :: perk :: :shock:
    Signed myself up. Can't wait for the coupons!
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #43 - March 10th, 2010, 4:57 pm
    Post #43 - March 10th, 2010, 4:57 pm Post #43 - March 10th, 2010, 4:57 pm
    How do the other places like Texas de Brazil compare to Fogo de Chao? I've heard Fogo is more expensive and doesn't offer coupons...
    salad bar: better, worse, or the same???
    side dishes: "
    meat selection quantity: "
    meat taste: "
    service: "

    I bet the answers to my questions are somewhere on this forum. I think I'm bad at using the "search" function b/c rarely do I get the results I'm looking for lol
  • Post #44 - March 10th, 2010, 6:23 pm
    Post #44 - March 10th, 2010, 6:23 pm Post #44 - March 10th, 2010, 6:23 pm
    spiffytriphy wrote:How do the other places like Texas de Brazil compare to Fogo de Chao? I've heard Fogo is more expensive and doesn't offer coupons...
    salad bar: better, worse, or the same???
    side dishes: "
    meat selection quantity: "
    meat taste: "
    service: "

    I bet the answers to my questions are somewhere on this forum. I think I'm bad at using the "search" function b/c rarely do I get the results I'm looking for lol


    Zed 451 has a better salad bar, or at least did the one time I was there. Everything else is better at Fogo than any of the similar options I've been to.
  • Post #45 - March 10th, 2010, 6:45 pm
    Post #45 - March 10th, 2010, 6:45 pm Post #45 - March 10th, 2010, 6:45 pm
    I've been to Brazzaz (once), Fogo (once in the first year it was open here in Chicago), and Texas de Brazil (a few times over the past couple years), and I've also spent some time online searching reviews on all three. For me, the salad bar at Texas de Brazil trumps the other two both in quantity (it's massive) and offerings which include maki sushi (take it for what it is) and warm dishes like lobster bisque, baked fish, some sort of stew, potatoes au gratin and a few others. The meat offerings are vast and pretty good, and while some people say the meat is overly salty, I've only experienced a salt bomb with the beef ribs, and you can request any meat with less salt and they will happily oblige. My Fogo experience was years ago and was my first experience with a churrascaria, and I thought it was awesome but the bigger salad bar at Texas de Brazil combined with the coupons I get every so often from them have prevented me from returning to Fogo. I think the consensus on Brazzaz is that it is the least enjoyable of the three. Not entirely sure why, but I remember the salad bar being smaller than the other two and I liked the ambiance at Fogo and Texas de Brazil more.

    To sum it up, I think the meat offerings and prices (without discount promotions) at all three don't present significant differences which is why I would choose Texas de Brazil because their salad bar is ridiculous and as previously noted, you can sign up on their site and they'll send you discounts on your birthday (which you can just enter as being whatever date that falls around the time you plan on going) and at other times of the year they run discount promotions as well.
  • Post #46 - March 10th, 2010, 6:55 pm
    Post #46 - March 10th, 2010, 6:55 pm Post #46 - March 10th, 2010, 6:55 pm
    I did not know that maki rolls were Brazilian...lol
  • Post #47 - March 10th, 2010, 7:22 pm
    Post #47 - March 10th, 2010, 7:22 pm Post #47 - March 10th, 2010, 7:22 pm
    pigOut wrote:I've been to Brazzaz (once), Fogo (once in the first year it was open here in Chicago), and Texas de Brazil (a few times over the past couple years), and I've also spent some time online searching reviews on all three. For me, the salad bar at Texas de Brazil trumps the other two both in quantity (it's massive) and offerings which include maki sushi (take it for what it is) and warm dishes like lobster bisque, baked fish, some sort of stew, potatoes au gratin and a few others.

    It's
    I've only been Texas de Brazil. But I concur with everything you said. I've been really impressed with the service. They sent me a coupon for basically a buy one get one free dinner and I took my father. Typically when you use a coupon like that the service is not so great because they assume you'll, incorrectly, tip only on the bill and not on the freebie. But we were treated great.

    In addition, the lunch price is a full half off from the dinner price. My only complaint remains drink prices. I typically only drink soda. Too cheap to ever become a wine drinker. But they charge $2.50 for an 8 oz. bottle of coke. It's the only place I ever order just water with my meal.
  • Post #48 - March 10th, 2010, 7:41 pm
    Post #48 - March 10th, 2010, 7:41 pm Post #48 - March 10th, 2010, 7:41 pm
    spiffytriphy wrote:I did not know that maki rolls were Brazilian...lol



    Brazil does have a fairly large Japanese community, that said, i doubt that has much to do with why maki is available.
  • Post #49 - March 10th, 2010, 7:52 pm
    Post #49 - March 10th, 2010, 7:52 pm Post #49 - March 10th, 2010, 7:52 pm
    After having eaten at Fogo de Chao a couple of times, I'm curious to try Texas de Brazil! Do they serve bread, in particular cheesy bread similar to Fogo de Chao's? lol I guess I should care more about the meat and less about the carbs :?
  • Post #50 - March 10th, 2010, 8:33 pm
    Post #50 - March 10th, 2010, 8:33 pm Post #50 - March 10th, 2010, 8:33 pm
    spiffytriphy wrote:After having eaten at Fogo de Chao a couple of times, I'm curious to try Texas de Brazil! Do they serve bread, in particular cheesy bread similar to Fogo de Chao's? lol I guess I should care more about the meat and less about the carbs :?


    They've got the cheesy bread puffs along with the other churrascaria standards of mashed potatoes and caramelized bananas.
  • Post #51 - March 10th, 2010, 10:49 pm
    Post #51 - March 10th, 2010, 10:49 pm Post #51 - March 10th, 2010, 10:49 pm
    Pao de Queijo......yummmmmmm.....I could make a meal of those! But I have been told that you never eat those with a meal. They are a snack food.
    The clown is down!
  • Post #52 - March 10th, 2010, 11:46 pm
    Post #52 - March 10th, 2010, 11:46 pm Post #52 - March 10th, 2010, 11:46 pm
    Nobody has sung the praises of Fogo de Chão's fraldinha, or bottom sirloin. It's more of a "value" cut than either the top sirloin or the filet, but it's unbelievably flavorful. It's also most Brazilians' favorite cut. Of the steak options at Fogo de Chão, the fraldinha and the picanha are best. Ask for them "ao ponto."
  • Post #53 - March 10th, 2010, 11:53 pm
    Post #53 - March 10th, 2010, 11:53 pm Post #53 - March 10th, 2010, 11:53 pm
    The bottom sirloin is one of my favorites! Easily top three. I think I like it b/c it reminds me of skirt steak. I'm not a butcher so I have no idea where on the animal these cuts are derived, if they're similar or way the heck different...

    What cut of beef does Fogo de Chao's "garlic beef" come from? I forgot to ask last time I was there.
  • Post #54 - March 11th, 2010, 10:53 am
    Post #54 - March 11th, 2010, 10:53 am Post #54 - March 11th, 2010, 10:53 am
    I went to Texas de Brazil for our company holiday party this year and even though it's been about 4 years since going to Fogo, I was more impressed with TdB than I remember being with Fogo, particularly the salad bar options- there's some really unique stuff on there (those marinated onions? sooo good!) Meat was comparably good (the picanha is my favorite at both places, but I don't remember Fogo well enough to say which restaurant had the best) and service was excellent. They gave us a free sample of amarula, an African liqueur they have there- very tasty!
  • Post #55 - March 21st, 2010, 5:06 pm
    Post #55 - March 21st, 2010, 5:06 pm Post #55 - March 21st, 2010, 5:06 pm
    We took a friend to Texas de Brazil on his birthday (he loves this kind of cuisine); we chose it over Fogo because of some of the comments here. No regrets.

    In the food department, I was glad I read this thread, because it caused us to “major in” the picanha and the fraldinha, and they really were standouts. More flavorful, more specific in their flavor than my memory of the meats at Fogo. As for the salad bar, as some here maintain it might be even better than the one at Fogo, but that's a little more apples-and-oranges to me—it had some nice items I don’t remember at Fogo, but the same is true in reverse.

    My issues with the place were not to do with the food. When we arrived for our reservation, we were handed one of those Cheesecake Factory vibrate-and-light-up things while they “got our table ready.” We walked over to the bar and sat in a couple of the comfortable facing couches. It wasn’t all that long a wait, maybe ten minutes. But those vibrate-and-light-up things—I don’t think those are right at a place where you’ll be dropping as much change as you will at Texas de Brazil. I think at a place like this they ought to remember your name, and come find you at the bar when your table is ready. Those devices immediately put one in mind of a mass production food factory, and make one feel like a tourist from the get-go. Granted, many of the patrons at Texas de Brazil probably are tourists, but I didn’t want immediately to be made to feel like one.

    The other thing that surprised me was the casual—bordering on slovenly—attire of the majority of the patrons. My recollections of Fogo involve most of my fellow patrons seeming to regard going to the place as an occasion, judged by their manner of dress. Looking around Texas de Brazil on this Saturday night, you could be forgiven for mistaking the environment for a Las Vegas buffet on a Tuesday afternoon. I guess I get the mindset that says “hey, as long as I’m willing to pay the freight, I’ll wear my workout clothes to dinner if I damn well please,” but I don’t like it.

    Granted, the ubercasual/schlubby clientele and the Cheesecake-Factory vibrator kind of go together and reinforce the appropriateness of one for the other, but they added up to make Texas de Brazil not my preferred vibe for a special night out. I might be inclined instead to go back to Fogo, where the crowd treats the event more as an occasion, and where the restaurant treats the crowd commensurately. I’ll be sure to order the picanha and the fraldinha there, to see if their renditions match those at T de B.

    Apologies if any of this comes off as “snobby.” To those who think a restaurant is only about the food, it probably will. Well, either you see where I’m coming from, or you regard me as a snob for feeling the way I do, in which case I’ll own up to the label.
  • Post #56 - March 22nd, 2010, 8:45 am
    Post #56 - March 22nd, 2010, 8:45 am Post #56 - March 22nd, 2010, 8:45 am
    I too enjoyed certain things about Texas De Brasil, but the meat was very over-salted IMO. That took away from the experience.
  • Post #57 - March 22nd, 2010, 11:32 am
    Post #57 - March 22nd, 2010, 11:32 am Post #57 - March 22nd, 2010, 11:32 am
    riddlemay wrote:
    The other thing that surprised me was the casual—bordering on slovenly—attire of the majority of the patrons. My recollections of Fogo involve most of my fellow patrons seeming to regard going to the place as an occasion, judged by their manner of dress. Looking around Texas de Brazil on this Saturday night, you could be forgiven for mistaking the environment for a Las Vegas buffet on a Tuesday afternoon. I guess I get the mindset that says “hey, as long as I’m willing to pay the freight, I’ll wear my workout clothes to dinner if I damn well please,” but I don’t like it.


    I don't know if it has anything to do with it being less of a special occasion kind of place, but TDB has been sending me 1/2 off coupons regularly.
  • Post #58 - March 22nd, 2010, 12:52 pm
    Post #58 - March 22nd, 2010, 12:52 pm Post #58 - March 22nd, 2010, 12:52 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    The other thing that surprised me was the casual—bordering on slovenly—attire of the majority of the patrons. My recollections of Fogo involve most of my fellow patrons seeming to regard going to the place as an occasion, judged by their manner of dress. Looking around Texas de Brazil on this Saturday night, you could be forgiven for mistaking the environment for a Las Vegas buffet on a Tuesday afternoon. I guess I get the mindset that says “hey, as long as I’m willing to pay the freight, I’ll wear my workout clothes to dinner if I damn well please,” but I don’t like it.


    This may be because it's in a mall and it may be a spontaneous decision for shoppers to go there. The one downtown may get more special occasion diners.

    Chitown B wrote:I too enjoyed certain things about Texas De Brasil, but the meat was very over-salted IMO. That took away from the experience.


    When I was there a few weeks ago, the server told us that if we prefer our meats less salty, just let them know and they'd be happy to bring out a less salted version.
  • Post #59 - March 22nd, 2010, 1:00 pm
    Post #59 - March 22nd, 2010, 1:00 pm Post #59 - March 22nd, 2010, 1:00 pm
    abe_froeman wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:
    The other thing that surprised me was the casual—bordering on slovenly—attire of the majority of the patrons. My recollections of Fogo involve most of my fellow patrons seeming to regard going to the place as an occasion, judged by their manner of dress. Looking around Texas de Brazil on this Saturday night, you could be forgiven for mistaking the environment for a Las Vegas buffet on a Tuesday afternoon. I guess I get the mindset that says “hey, as long as I’m willing to pay the freight, I’ll wear my workout clothes to dinner if I damn well please,” but I don’t like it.


    This may be because it's in a mall and it may be a spontaneous decision for shoppers to go there. The one downtown may get more special occasion diners.

    FWIW, it was the downtown location of T de B that we were at.
  • Post #60 - March 22nd, 2010, 1:13 pm
    Post #60 - March 22nd, 2010, 1:13 pm Post #60 - March 22nd, 2010, 1:13 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    abe_froeman wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:
    The other thing that surprised me was the casual—bordering on slovenly—attire of the majority of the patrons. My recollections of Fogo involve most of my fellow patrons seeming to regard going to the place as an occasion, judged by their manner of dress. Looking around Texas de Brazil on this Saturday night, you could be forgiven for mistaking the environment for a Las Vegas buffet on a Tuesday afternoon. I guess I get the mindset that says “hey, as long as I’m willing to pay the freight, I’ll wear my workout clothes to dinner if I damn well please,” but I don’t like it.


    This may be because it's in a mall and it may be a spontaneous decision for shoppers to go there. The one downtown may get more special occasion diners.

    FWIW, it was the downtown location of T de B that we were at.


    Ooooh. I'm not sure I even knew there was a downtown location of T de B- I was referring to Fogo when I said "the one downown".

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