With six hundred reviews on Google and a rating of 4.5 you can't resist visiting this Brazilian restaurant. With such a high rating being hard to come by the locals insist that Fogo de Chao is a must-visit restaurant when in Washington. It was five in the afternoon and the restaurant was packed!
Fogo de Chao, located near the Trump hotel, is a tourist attraction and a good restaurant at the same time. It has a big dining area. Wine bottles decorate the walls, a dated carpet, metal chandeliers from the last decade, old decor with Brazilian influences... But nothing actually worth writing about, it's obvious people come here for the food!
Everything in here has a Brazilian influence except the wide selection of wines from all over the world. The idea is simple. Grab everything you like from the buffet and when you're ready, turn your card to green and have yourself served one of 15 meat choices. All you can eat while the tag is green.
A wide choice awaits at the buffet, Brazilian with international influences. Chickpeas, quinoa tabbouleh, lentil salad, Caesar salad, vegetables, cooked bell pepper, endives, rice, fruits, mozzarella, Parmesan, salmon, asparagus, tuna, cold cuts, rice and much much more.
Enjoyed the buffet very much... but wait until you try the meat. Amazingly tasty.
The different choices:
- Picanha: prime sirloin seasoned with sea salt.
- Filet mignon: sirloin seasoned in the gaucho tradition and fine roasted to perfection.
- Alcatara: sirloin distinctively tender and flavorful.
- Fraldinha: bottom sirloin and seasoned as per gaucho tradition.
- Cordeiro: leg of lamb seasoned the Brazilian way.
- Lombo: parmesan encrusted Pork loin filet.
- Costela de porco: slow roasted pork ribs.
- Frango: poultry wrapped with bacon.
- Linguica: robust pork sausages.
While the meat is being served you receive three plates of sides. Brazilian cheese bread (pao de queijo), Polenta fingers, fried bananas and garlic mashed potatoes.
I enjoyed them all, the quality, cooking temperature, ritual, service and attention. My favorite of all was the New York Strip.
Just before I started feeling full, a man specializing in desserts approached with a tray of cakes.
Everything is well studied to make you buy more and to leave fast, for another group to take your table. Since it's done respectfully, it was not an issue.
I enjoyed one of their two cheesecakes and a bottle of San Pellegrino. The Turtle cheesecake is made of caramel, chocolate and whipped cream. Creamy, very creamy and heavy cheesecake the American way, a thin layer of biscuit, full body of cream, balanced sweetness... I liked them, although there was nothing Brazilian about them.
The high ratings are justified. This is a restaurant one must visit while in Washington DC.