Fogo de Chão kicked off the month of May by opening their very first Pacific Northwest Location. They held an exclusive grand opening event on the first that I was somehow lucky enough to be invited to. The official opening for the public was on May 2. Fogo de Chão (pronounced fo-go dèe shoun) is an authentic Brazillian steakhouse (Churrascaria) which means all you can eat amazing Brazillian meats served table side by the most charming Brazillian trained gaucho chefs. It was founded in Brazil in 1979, but expanded to the US in 1997.
The event kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony, which included a generous donation to Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.
All evening long, they were serving Caipirinha - the national drink of Brazil. I didn't try it, but it looked beautiful, and fun. I found out way too late about the (non-alcoholic) Brazilian Lemonade, otherwise I totally would have been all over it. Instead, I focused on keeping my pregnant self hydrated with lots of water. Besides - water helps with digestion, which is awesome when you know you're going to be downing a TON of amazing food. And as soon as we walked in, the place looked and smelled phenomenal.
Aside from the impressive array of beef, lamb, pork, and chicken served tableside, they have the most gorgeous gourmet salad and sides bar you may ever come across. The vegetables were all fresh, crisp, HUGE, and well seasoned without being overly salted. It seems like some restaurants mistake more salt for better flavor. Not the case here! The salad bar also included an assortment of meats, cheeses, rice, beans, and pasta salads. And my husband was a huge fan of the smoked salmon.
I really tried not to over do the salad bar, having some idea what was coming, but I couldn't help filling an entire plate with this deliciousness (and yes - I did throw a slice or two of bacon on top of everything!)
Available side dishes include pão de quejio (a gluten free cheesey and delicious bread that I can no longer live without), caramelized plantains, fried polenta, and garlic mashed potatoes. I loved every one of them!
When you're ready to begin your dining service, each person at your table has a card - sort of like a coaster. One side is red, the other is green. Flip your card to green and you will suddenly be overwhelmed with the amount of deliciousness being brought to your table, flip it back to red when you need a break to actually eat and enjoy it all!
Here is my husband getting a slice of something succulent and wonderful. (yes, we made it a date night, and yes we are so lame we didn't manage to get a picture of the two of us together!)
If you manage to have any room leftover after indulging in the most amazing meal I've had the pleasure of enjoying in at least the past year, you can treat yourself to one of the many fantastic desserts they have to offer.
My husband LOVES warm, caramelized pineapple, and first tried it at a similar restaurant, so we were excited to see it included on the menu here. I decided to go with a creme brulee. I have to say, it was the best creme brulee I've ever had. And you know how normally everything tastes better when you're really hungry? Well, I'm saying it tasted better and I barely had room to eat mine, so you know it had to be excellent.
We had such a fun time there. It's definitely more of a special occasion restaurant, but one you really should try at least once. The environment and the service were absolutely phenomenal. I'm not sure I've ever used the word "wonderful" so much as I did that night. And, my husband and I honestly had to make an agreement to stop saying how everything tasted so great and just wait to say if there was something we didn't like, but that didn't happen, so we just kept commenting on how good the food was.
Have you ever been to a Churrascaria? What did you think of the experience? Are there any new restaurants out there you're dying to try? My husband and I LOVE trying new restaurants, so I'd really appreciate your suggestions and recommendations!
Disclosure: Our meal was complimentary, but I was not compensated in any way for writing this review or for writing a post in general on this experience. As usual, all thoughts, comments, and opinions are my very own.