cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 10:48pm on 04/12/2008 under ,
Tonight, I took [livejournal.com profile] esrblog out for dinner because it's his birthday. At his request, we went to one of his favorite restaurants: Fogo de Chão, an upscale Brazilian churrascaria in downtown Philadelphia. Fogo de Chão is a chain, though a very high-end one, with restaurants in over a dozen U.S. and 6 Brazilian locations.

For those of you who don't know what a churrascaria is (not you, [livejournal.com profile] tlaloani; I'm sure you know), it's a style of Brazilian restaurant that specializes in churrasco, the local style of roast meat (frequently, but not invariably, beef). They come in various price ranges, but the procedure at all of them is similar, so I'll describe how it goes at Fogo de Chão.

At Fogo de Chão, one does not order entrees from a menu. Instead, you are charged a fixed price (beverages other than plain ice water and desserts are extra). For your money, you get to raid a very well appointed salad bar (which at FdC includes smoked meats and fish, cheese, excellent bread, and fruit) and are brought three starchy side dishes; polenta, fried bananas, and mashed potatoes.

The meat, on the other hand, comes to you. Slender, dark-haired young men in blue shirts and gaucho pants roam the dining area, carrying large hunks of meat on huge skewers. Each diner has a placard that is green on one side, red on the other. If you leave your placard with the green side up, gaucho servers will visit your table, offering you the cuts of your choice from their skewers. Turn the placard to the red side, and they will leave you in peace to digest awhile. Eventually, the waitperson in charge of keeping an eye on your table asks whether you are done, and if you would like dessert, and if the answer is yes to either or both questions, the other plates are cleared.

Simple, elegant, and an invitation to extreme gluttony.

[livejournal.com profile] esrblog and I had a very tasty, pleasant meal, which we followed with a brief book browse at a nearby Borders. He was very pleased with his birthday celebration, and I was happy to have shown him such a good time.
Mood:: 'full' full

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