Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fogo de Chao

Fogo de Chao
1337 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Lets start with when you walk into the door. Immediately you are greeted by very friendly hosts. I have always made reservations when I come here to eat (usually a week or 2 in advance because it fills up quick). If you are not seated immediately, there is a nice bar right at the entrance that will make any drink you can come up with.

Upon being seated, a very informative server will come to your table and give a nice little talk on how the restaurant works. There are so many different wines to select from that cover just about every wall in the restaurant. If you don't know what to choose and need some help, the server is very knowledgeable and helpful. If you want a soft-drink, beware, they are $3 a soda, and NOT free refills. This is the only negative I give the place.

Once your drink orders are taken, you will be invited up to the salad bar in which another server will hand you an enormous plate for salad. If you read most of the reviews below, they tell you to beware of the salad. This is true, but to some extent. There are so many fresh vegetables, cold cut meats and fish, and fresh cheeses. This is not an ordinary salad bar. You must at least try some of the delicious options they present you. Some people will say other "high-end" restaurants" have a better salad bar. All I can say is that this is the by far the best one I have seen and been to. By the way, you can come and just have the salad bar for half the cost of the full-course dinner.

When you get back to the table, there will be 4 deliciously-looking/tasting sides brought out to you. Cheese bread- its so light and fluffy and tasty. Try not to go overboard with eating them (although you easily could). Crispy polenta-I didn't try this until my last visit and I am upset it took so long for me to. Mashed potatoes- Pretty standard but yummy. Caramelized bananas- These are addicting and so sweet. They are a must try. I thought the idea of them sounded gross at first, but was so happy when I tried it.

Once you are ready to move on the meat portion, the real feast will begin. Once you do so, make sure you are ready because you will get bombarded by gaucho chefs, but in a good way. You may feel overwhelmed the first time you are there, but you will get used it and love it. Once that card goes green, you will fall into a meat heaven and never want to return. I am going to break down each meat and give my personal opinion of it so take it with a grain of salt. Most meats are rare-medium temp when served. :)

House Sirloin (PIcanha)- One of the best meats here, although I could probably
say this about all of the meats. So tender and juicy.

Top Sirloin- This meat is just a step behind the house sirloin, but not by much.

Bottom Sirloin- It is more of a charred steak and very salty and juicy. It is one of the only meats I don't care for that much (although I would eat it and enjoy it at any other restaurant)

Garlic Steak- It is the same cut as the house special with a garlic marinade. I do love garlic but for some reason found this too be a little too much for me. I know other people who absolutely loved it.

Fillet Mignon- This is hands down the best cut of meat. It is so tender and flavorful and perfect.

Fillet Wrapped in Bacon- Wow is this delicious. Just as tender and the regular but with added flavor. I am not a huge bacon eater, but absolutely adore this selection. If you really don't like bacon, still get it and remove the bacon. it still absorbs so much flavor in the meat but you get rid of the overwhelming taste of bacon and salt.

Rib Eye- I can't decide if I like this or the House sirloin better. The flavor is so rich and perfect. Its a beautiful looking piece of meat.

Leg of Lamb- I am not a big lamb fan.  But other family members who do like Lamb say this is the best.

Lamb Chops- Same as above.

Chicken Legs- The flavor is very different on these but so amazing. People say to not eat chicken at a place like this, but it is too delicious to pass up.

Chicken Wrapped in Bacon- So flavorful. Better than the chicken legs.
Sausage- I never tried this! I am not a fan of sausage which is why I never did.

Parmesan Pork- Only tried this for the first time my last visit there. It was surprisingly delicious. The Parmesan is not overwhelming and adds a nice texture to the meat

Pork/Beef Ribs- Both ribs are very good but nothing out of this world.

That being said, i suggest you still try all the cuts at first, and if you have room ( I always do), you can start being selective by saying yes to only the ones that stuck out to you.

Dessert is a must no matter how full you are. The Papaya Cream is breathtaking. I would never think to try it, but am so glad I did. The molten chocolate cake is so delicious. This ice cream is very creamy and thick.

Overall, this is hands down my favorite restaurant. You will feel like royalty in the way the staff treats and serves you. Its a must-try dinner.