It has been at least several years ago that I gave up on any sort of buffet or all-you-can-eat type of restaurant. No matter what a good deal it was, I always seemed to walk out miserable and realizing that, a lot of the food just wasn't that good, but I was eating it because I needed to get my money's worth. And let's face it, for the most part, even regular, non-seconds and thirds type restaurants give you more than one person should be eating, just so you don't feel bad about paying $9 for a burger and fries. So when my daughter wanted to go to Foga de Chao for her birthday lunch, I knew I better stop eating Thursday afternoon.
I really don't have any pictures of the food to share here because it just seemed a little awkward to pull out the phone and start snapping away as the feeding frenzy began. Our first waitress, one of several wait staff who served us, asked if we had experienced Brazilian style dining before. Though the kids are old pros, Eva and I had never been, so she gave us a short tutorial on how it all works.
As soon as I sat down with my plate of salad (the salad bar is pretty extensive) and started to eat, a server wearing gaucho pants and holding a spear of meat approached and it was on. As soon as he sliced a portion of meat onto my plate, another guy showed up with a different sort of meat. How can you say no? Before I could even try the Filet Mignon, another guy was giving me bacon wrapped chicken, lamb, brisket, and all sorts of other things. I couldn't even make a dent in my salad. Eva suggested I turn the disk from green to red and give myself a chance to eat the stuff on my plate.
One of the pluses is that they bring this meat out while it is still sizzling, and I love it when my food is hot - not just spicy, but temperature wise. Having said that, I wasn't crazy about everything. Without question, the Filet Mignon and Beef Ancho were awesome. The Frango (or chicken) was superb. Toward the end, I gave the Costela De Porco (ribs) a try and the taste was excellent, but I could not force myself to pick them up and eat like I would at a BBQ place. I'm pretty sure I had some of everything with the exception of the Lingica or sausage which my son-in-law Tyler reports as being very good.
If I were to ever go again, I would use a completely different strategy: No salad, and nothing but Filet Mignon. And iced tea. And I would turn that little disk to red until I finish what I have on my plate so I could decide whether or not to ask for more.
The service at Foga de Chao is outstanding. In addition to all the meat serving people, we had at least 3 or 4 different people bringing refills, asking if we wanted clean plates and in general making sure we had whatever we needed.
Total bill before tip for five of us, no alcohol or dessert was $185.00. Considering Eva and I did not eat anything for the rest of the day. I'd say we got our money's worth.
Have you gorged yourself at one of these places? Did you think the waiters looked like pirates in their little poofy pants? Did you wake up in the middle of the night saying, I can't believe I ate the whole thing? Leave a comment and share with the group, won't you?