Yesterday was Father’s Day and somewhat like what we did on Mother’s Day, we headed out to eat a crazy amount of food to celebrate. Instead of going to a buffet we instead headed over to Fogo De Chao in Minneapolis for all you can eat meat (mainly steak) and one of the more interesting salad bars I have ever seen.
First let me apologize for the lack of food photos. The reason for this is simple: Fogo de Chao’s food delivery is just not conducive to taking photos of your plate and thus, well, I didn’t even take the camera out once while I was inside. You’ll have to suffer with the external shot above as evidence that we were there.
We arrived about 30 minutes prior to our scheduled lunch reservation of 1 PM. We were trying to save a few dollars from the crazy expensive per person price by hitting up the restaurant early but because it was Father’s Day, and they were providing free gifts–which we didn’t know about in advance, it ended up being $38.50 a person for lunch. Dinner would have run us $46.50/person. They normally are not open for lunch on the weekends but their weekday lunch price is $26.50. Our final bill was over $100 with tax and tip and all we had was water. Just a warning.
Even though we were early they were happy to seat us. While there were many tables already taken, some with quite a few people seated at them, there was plenty of open seating in the large restaurant. We were promptly waited on by our waitress who happily explained the system they use, the meats they serve, and their crazy salad bar. I was warned by many people in advance that you will want to avoid the salad bar at all costs. You’re there to eat all you can eat meat, not rabbit food. While my wife has been to Fogo de Chao two other times she headed to the salad bar while I stayed behind to watch The Rooster. She came back with a plate full of interesting goodies and two huge asparagus spears for me per my request.
I began with the meats. While I originally intended on eating as much filet mignon as possible, I was pretty open to what they were serving so I tried sausage, lamb, ribeye, filet mignon (and bacon wrapped filet), and a couple of others. The only one which I was completely uninterested in were the sirloins–not worth my time when there were so many other excellent cuts available. The meat offerings were great, not mind blowing, but way above average for Minnesota. My sole complaint came in that they never had rare, only down so far as medium rare. Being that I didn’t want them cooking meat special for me I never bothered to ask if they could deliver rare–I’m guessing they would have.
After eating quite a bit, including at least 5 servings of filet mignon, I decided it was time to eat at the salad bar to get some greens in me. I waited in the long line and grabbed everything from excellent meats and cheeses of which I had no idea what most were to fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and balsamic for a partial caprese salad. The choices were quite interesting and good. Aside from the poor quality of the tomatoes (they weren’t red) everything else appeared fresh and was definitely more ‘exotic’ than I had seen at any other restaurant ever.
I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Fogo de Chao but I have to comment on the service. While I have had excellent service at restaurants before, I am going to state right here and now that I have never, ever had service as doting and wonderful as I did yesterday at Fogo de Chao. The wait staff and servers were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, outgoing, and informative. They went out of their way to make sure you had the meats you wanted to try, would regularly refill water glasses, fetch homemade hot sauce (which was great–anyone know what it is?), etc. Two even took the time to congratulate me on being a father and seemed genuinely excited for me that I was a first time dad. Nice touches.
In addition to the great service and food were the free gifts. First was a rockin’ Fogo de Chao apron. Black with their logo and two nice sized pocket on the front I will probably sport that bad boy when I’m out grilling future Blue Gentian Farm ribeyes. The second was a gift card to come back at anytime for lunch or dinner by the end of August for a free lunch or dinner. Wow. While we were thinking about celebrating there for a future outing, we’ll definitely be back for a lunch hour meal before the summer is out because of that. So awesome.
Overall I was very impressed with Fogo de Chao on Father’s Day and they come highly recommended by me for any meat lover. While their salad bar could cater to the vegetarians out there I am not sure that if you were avoiding meat that it would live up to your expectations of the $47 price tag. I am excited to go back and hit it again. On that future visit I’ll be sure to experiment less and eat enough that I’m as sick as I was after Mother’s Day ;-)
Have you ever eaten at Fogo de Chao or any other Brazilian steakhouse? If so what did you think? What meats were you favorites? What about the salad bar? Have you seen anything like it elsewhere (even Vegas’ holiday buffets didn’t match this one)? Whatever you have to say about Fogo de Chao go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Fogo de Chao
645 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403