Fogo de Chão

Hello foodies!

This past Sunday, Zoe and I went to Fogo de Chão in Center City for dinner. Fogo de Chão is a high-end Brazilian steakhouse restaurant, with locations in Los Angeles, New York, and other cities in North and South America. After walking through the restaurant’s’ revolving doors, we were greeted by a grand interior. The walls were high and impressive, with wine bottles stacked neatly on wooden shelves that stood against the walls. Behind the waiting area were rows of tables with white, pristine table cloth.

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The restaurant manager first escorted us to the bar. I thought that the fruits on the bar added a nice pop of color to the black marble countertop. Berries and other diced fruits were placed in small bowls on the bar counter, and a cut-open pineapple sat there comfortably on a cutting board. The chandeliers casted a vibrant light through glasses that were hanging upside down above the bar area. Zoe and I ordered the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and Spiced Chicken Sliders for our appetizers. The appetizers were served with Pão de Queijo, a type of cheesy Brazilian bread that can be easily ripped like a Croissant and is not too heavy. These pockets of spongy and cheesy goodness were absolutely irresistible. The Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail came to us in a tall Martini glass. The pieces of shrimp were massive and were served with a tangy Cocktail sauce that was slightly spicy. The second appetizer we ordered was the Spiced Chicken Sliders. The chicken in the sliders was nicely marinated, and the buns were soft and not hard to bite into. I thought this dish was pretty interesting as sliders usually come with beef patties. This dish is a perfect example of how Fogo de Chão add its own flare to classic dishes, making the food more modern and unique.

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After enjoying our refreshments and appetizers, we were escorted to our table. The waiters at Fogo de Chão truly value customers and treat them respectfully and professionally. After our waiter helped us get situated, we walked over to the self serve soup and salad bar. There was a variety of options to choose from, but my personal favorites were the bell peppers and sun dried tomatoes. The sun dried tomatoes were soft and coated in a thin layer of oil. Judging just by the array of options at the salad bar, the restaurant clearly puts much time and effort into every aspect of the fine dining experience from the beginning, middle, and to the end.

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Fogo de Chão is undoubtedly most well-known for its meat. Waiters gracefully maneuver around the tables, each of them carrying a rack of meat on a long metal stick and a large knife. When we were first seated at our table, Zoe and I both received a token. One side of the token was green and the other side was red. When we placed the green side face up, waiters came and offered us slices or pieces of meat. The red side indicated to waiters to not come to our table.

Once a waiter arrived, he or she would slice a piece of meat onto our small plate. Sometimes, the waiter would make an incision in the rack of meat, ask us to use our tongs to hold onto the piece of half-cut meat, and then finish cutting it. I truly enjoyed taking part in this process and found it to be a bit more personal as I was able to interact with the waiters. This definitely made my experience dining at Fogo de Chão all the more unique. Some of the meat that we tried included Prime Rib, a rack of lamb, and a leg of lamb. The Prime Rib was slightly crispy and salty on the outside. It retained its juices well and was cooked perfectly. The rack of lamb was marinated beautifully and its fat was slightly charred. We found the leg of lamb to be less salty and marinated than the rack of lamb, but still of high quality. Along with the meat, we were also served Polenta Fries, caramelized bananas, and mashed potatoes.

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I also ordered the Brazilian lemonade: a beverage that was a mix of lemonade, lime juice, and milk. It was refreshing. The way I would describe the drink is that it first tastes like lemonade, but then midway switches over to a more lime-like taste. Milk is also infused within the drink and throughout that entire process.

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After flipping our tokens back and forth for far too many times, we were finally satisfied and decided to order dessert: Crème brûlée. The Crème brûlée was unlike anything I had tried before. Vanilla bean specks were sprinkled on the inside of the ramekin. In the middle was a Vanilla bean custard. On top, sat a hard sugar coating, which broke into pieces when our spoons poked through the exterior. The Crème brûlée was not too sweet and was the perfect dish to end the night.

My night at Fogo de Chão was surreal, filled with wonderful service, delicious food, and a marvelous restaurant atmosphere. Fogo de Chão offers a truly personalized fine dining experience and is a wonderful place to hold celebrations, reunions, or meals for other special occasions. I had an amazing experience at the restaurant and definitely recommend Fogo de Chão to all.

Peace Out Girl Scout,

Justin Yue
Penn Appétit Blogger

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