Fogo de Chao, located downtown Indianapolis, is a Brazilian Steakhouse with a lot of options. Hubby and I first dined there in December for his work holiday party. We had a great meal, so when I saw it was part of Devour, I secretly made us a reservation to surprise the hubs with a mid-week meal. Note: I didn’t take any photos, and I’m sorry for that, but I checked out the website, and their photos are exactly what you can expect – check them out.
We had tried to call last week to add two more to the reservation, but unfortunately, they weren’t taking anymore due to how busy they were. When we arrived, we could see why. We had only been there that once and were the only patrons at the time, so we were both very surprised to see the lobby and restaurant packed with guests. Luckily, we were seated immediately with our reservation and made our way to a table in one of the side rooms. I was a little nervous because I thought we wouldn’t get served as quickly, but our server Benjamin, proved me wrong (plus, I enjoyed how much more quiet it was – that main dining room was loud with people.)
He greeted us immediately and presented us with our wine menu. I had ordered a Malbec from the wine list and hubby a Bell’s Ale from the bar (he loves the Brazilian beer they carry, but they were out of it.) We then made our way to the salad bar. The salad bar is a continuous circle, with patrons hopping in and out, in the most organized fashion. There are three different types of greens (romaine, iceberg and spinach) with a variety of toppings that aren’t your everyday toppings. Italian salami, aged Manchego, artichokes, hearts of palm, the list goes on and on. Smoked salmon is one of my favorites, it is salty and loaded with the smoked taste. The cheese on the bar, especially the aged Parmesan, crunches with that crystallized aged and is served out of the cheese round. Mozzarella balls, sun dried tomatoes and basil dressing are always my favorite: the basil dressing is rich in flavor and smooth in texture, the tomatoes ae tender with a seasoned oil base while the Mozzarella balances everything with its flavor. Tip: try to pace yourself with the salad bar. There are a lot of items to choose from, but you really need to save room for the main entrees!
After we indulged on the salad bar, we flipped our cards to green and waited for the servers. You are given a coaster where one side is green, the other is red. When you want a selection from their meats, you flip it to green – and when you are done (or need a break), show the red side. That simple, and that delicious. During the evening, we tried every single meat they offered on the menu, which included top and bottom sirloin, filet mignon, beef ancho, beef ribs, leg of lamb, lamb chops, sausage, chicken wings, bacon wrapped filet, bacon wrapped chicken, and my favorite, the Parmesan pork. My favorites of the evening were:
- Picanha - their signature house steak, it is a top sirloin that was tender and perfectly cooked. This was my favorite of the evening, the meat really spoke for itself and was a great cut.
- Filet Mignon – the tender filet was wrapped in crisp bacon, delicious in flavor.
- Lombo – the Parmesan crusted pork loin. I had to ask for this specifically because we had received everything but this, and I knew it was my favorite because of our last visit. Though dry this time around, the pork was still fantastic because of the crisp Parmesan crust. I love baked cheese, with the crisp and browned edges, it still worked for me despite being dry this time around.
- Cordeiro – the lamb, specifically the leg of lamb, is fantastic. It is tender, cooked to perfection (I like it medium rare) and has a such a subtle mint flavor, which is probably from a marinade.
The servers continually offer you different selections, and you can politely decline or greedily accept. In addition to the meats being offered, you are also given sides. A bread basket, full of this little pockets of happiness, adorn your table. They are small, but perfectly sized so that you don’t overindulge, and have an almost elastic pull to them when torn apart. I would compare the dough to a creme puff, but without the sweetness. I adore them, but what I love more is the fried polenta and the sauteed bananas. The polenta is cut into rectangles and then lightly fried to perfection. Crisp and delicious, they are sprinkled with a little Parmesan cheese to finish them. The bananas are caramelized to perfection with brown sugar (honestly, you could consider these your dessert if you wanted) and served in halves. There are also garlic mashed potatoes, topped with cheddar cheese. They are also good, so if you want some potatoes with your meat, you are all set.
Even with our stomach’s full, the devour menu still included a dessert. Hubs and I opted to take it home as we ordered a slice of the key lime and mousse chocolate cake. Inevitably, we ate them when we arrived home. Hubs key lime was a disappointment, with a bright green lime syrup that was overly tart, it tasted processed. The actual pie was fine, as was the graham cracker crust, but overall, a disappoint. My mousse cake was rich and not too overwhelming. The cake was slightly dense and held two layers of mousse. Last time, we had shared the molten lava cake (which I would recommend) and the restaurant boasts about their papaya cream. But honestly, I don’t think dessert is really needed, but it was nice to have because it was included in the price.
If you are looking for a deal and for a lot of red meat, Fogo de Chao during Devour is the place for you. We had this great meal for $30 per person – a steal for all the food that you cold really eat. The dinner is normally priced at $48 per person, but due to the popularity of the restaurant during Devour, they are promoting the $30 dinner deal every Sunday. This is a steal, and I’m sure they will be busy Sunday evenings from now on. And their lunches, only $27 per person, so an even better price. And if you have vegetarian friends, they can get the salad bar only for under $20 and easily make a meal out of it. This Brazilian steakhouse has 16 locations in the United States, and hubby is happy that Indy is one of them.
Fogo de Chao * 117 E. Washington St * Indy, 46204 * 317.638.4000