Whether you’re one of the lucky few who are attending the Olympics this summer or simply love Brazilian food and culture (or perhaps both), you’re probably familiar with Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse (churrascaria) that’s been around since 1979. If you’re not, Fogo de Chão has been fire-roasting meats with the traditional cooking technique of churrasco for more than 36 years, and it is known as the place to go for endless amounts of slowly grilled meats that are carved tableside by trained gaucho chefs.
This dining experience is basically a carnivore’s dream: the servers circulate with 12 different cuts of steak, lamb, pork, and chicken, ready to come to fill your plate with the meats of your choice. Favorites include the picanha (signature sirloin), filet mignon, ribeye, fraldinha (Brazilian sirloin), cordeiro (lamb), costela (beef ribs), and more.
While some have a strategy coming into the Brazilian Steakhouse — save all the room in your stomach for meat — most start off the feast with the Market Table and Feijoada Bar. The table is packed with all-you-can-eat salads, cheeses and charcuterie, fruits and vegetables, smoked salmons, and more. The bar features dishes that include feijoada (a traditional black bean stew made with sausage and served with rice, fresh orange, and farofa, baked yuca flour with bacon) and a variety of soups.
What always gets me stuffed are the sharable sides. I kid you not when I say I could easily eat a dozen or more of the warm, soft, chewy, cheesy bread rolls (pão de queijo) that the servers constantly deliver to your table. They are addictive. In addition, they offer caramelized bananas and fried polenta.
Obviously, save room for dessert. With options like South American flan, papaya cream (papaya blended with vanilla ice cream), and molten chocolate cake, you’re going to be missing out if you don’t at least have a bite of one of these indulgent sweets.
Everyone loves brunch, especially New Yorkers, so it makes total sense that this steakhouse has launched Sunday brunch. Since I’m fortunate enough to have eaten at Fogo de Chão for brunch and dinner (different days, of course), I can say from experience that no matter what meal you’re there for, you will leave full.
The brunch offers Brazilian-inspired breakfast dishes
such as pão de queijo egg bake with cheese bread, baked with eggs, asparagus, broccoli, and Swiss cheese; braised beef rib hash with hashed potatoes, peppers, and onions; and bolo de fuba, a house-made sweet cornmeal cake served with whipped caramelized banana crème. Not to mention all the meat selections offered for dinner also circulate at brunch.
Fogo de Chão has also recently taken it upon itself to educate diners on all things Brazilian
with an interactive, multi-faceted online guide. The guide includes information on Brazilian etiquette, grilling tips, regional cuisines, and recipes for the South American country’s top dishes and beverages.
“For those aiming to travel to Brazil, learn more about Brazil or just looking to bring a small taste of Brazil into their own homes, ‘The Fogo Guide to Brazilian Cuisine’
taps into our deep roots and traditional South American heritage to create an authentic culinary experience, both on- and offline,” said Larry Johnson, chief executive officer of Fogo de Chão. “We hope our Guide will help to introduce a few new phrases, new insights and new flavors of an incredibly beautiful, diverse culture to a global audience of travelers, explorers and connoisseurs.”For more New York City dining and travel news, click here.