Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fogo de Chão Dinner Review

930 SW 6th Ave.
No Happy Hour Available

 Disclaimer: We attended the opening for Fogo de Chão and received complimentary food and drinks. However, one of us liked it so much that she hosted her sister's bachelorette party dinner here as well! All of our opinions are our own. 

A while ago we were invited by the lovely ladies at Little Green Pickle to the grand opening of a new Brazilian restaurant called Fogo de Chão. While this is a chain restaurant, it is new to Portland, and it sounded pretty amazing from the description. O and I are both meat eaters, as are our husbands, so we were immediately on board. The way that Fogo de Chão works is that the servers (gauchos) come around with various types of meat, and they slice it off for you right there at the table. There is also a salad bar with lots of delicious sides. It is all you can eat, and the meat just keeps coming and coming and coming. If you want to take a break, you can turn over the disk to the red side to let them know. Sounds fun, right? Well, it really was! O actually described it as the best meal she had ever had. I am getting ahead of myself, though.

We arrived at the opening just in time to see the ribbon-cutting ceremony and to enjoy appetizers and cocktails. Neither of our husbands had ever been with us to any of the events that we have been invited to because of our blog, and they were both really impressed by the VIP treatment we all received. While I know it was opening night so everyone was extra excited and on their game, the service was really, really amazing. We were offered champagne, appetizers, caipirinhas (a signature Brazilian drink), and we could order any drink we wanted--and that was all before we were even seated for dinner.

Another advantage of having our sweet husbands with us was that my husband brought his camera, so I am able to share much better pictures than I usually manage to capture. After enjoying lemon drops made with vanilla vodka, we were led to our seats. After they explained how the restaurant worked, we went to the salad bar to get all of our sides.

The salad bar had so many delicious options, and the presentation was beautiful. I tried a little bit of just about everything, and it was great. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend this place for vegetarians (meat is the main focus, and non-meat eaters might not enjoy having meat surrounding them), I think most vegetarians could be more than satisfied with the options available at the salad bar. We also received some delicious sides. I loved the warm cheese bread and the mashed potatoes.

The best part, though, was the never-ending meat! I believe I tried everything except for the lamb (which the lamb-lovers really liked). My favorites were the beef ancho and the bottom sirloin, but everything I tried was delicious. The gauchos were so friendly, and they let you specify if you wanted a section of meat that was more (or less) rare. They were also very photogenic, and they were happy to pose for pictures!

Even after all of the delicious food, we couldn't resist dessert. I had the signature papaya cream. We also had coffee, which was a perfect way to end the meal.

Whenever we are lucky enough to be invited to complimentary food events, I always find myself asking whether or not I would enjoy myself as much if it wasn't a special event (and I was paying for it). We had such a wonderful time, the food was excellent, and the service was perfection. This was one of the nicest (if not the nicest) events we attended because of the blog. All of us were completely impressed, and O said it was the best meal she had ever had. But we had to wonder if we would have enjoyed it as much if we attended on a regular night and were paying for it ourselves. Luckily, we were able to find out the answer to this question, as O enjoyed herself so much she decided to host her sister's bachelorette party dinner here. She reported back that everyone loved the food, the service was still amazing, and the gauchos made the bride-to-be feel really special.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Fogo de Chão for a special occasion. While it is not cheap (lunch is $29.50 and dinner is $49.50, not including drinks or desserts), it is such a fun experience. If you are the kind of person who enjoys having a meal be a leisurely, relaxing, entertaining event, Fogo de Chão is definitely worth the price. We absolutely loved it!

Fogo de Chão on Urbanspoon