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Fogo de Chao: best Brazilian steakhouse for the money

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Fogo de Chao: Bring on the Meat Sweats

Have you lived in Atlanta long enough to remember when the first Fogo de Chao opened? It was quite a big deal as the concept of a Brazilian steakhouse was entirely new to Atlanta. After a few years, many competitors of Fogo de Chao entered the market. I don’t know about you, but I always thought of Fogo as the cream of the crop.


Fogo de chao cocktail bar
The Caipirinha is a must order at Fogo de Chao

On a recent visit, I tried Fogo’s signature drink, the Caipirinha. If you’ve never had one it is similar to a Mojito, except it is made with Cachaça, Brazil’s most distilled alcohol. If you like this Brazilian cocktail, this is certainly the place to get it and they have many different varieties.

Having been many years since I visited Fogo de Chao, I was anxious to see the changes they’d made. I remember the buffet being something you visited before the onslaught of meat porn came your way. The buffet of the past was full of lots of carbs and the intention, it seemed, was to fill you up so you didn’t eat much meat. But all that’s changed. There are many soups and a variety of salads as well.

Photo credit: KiwitheBeauty.com

The salad bar at Fogo de Chao has vastly improved with fresh fruits like papaya, vegetables like sun dried tomatoes, hearts of palm, artichokes, sweet peppers and many more selections. There’s also an additional table where you can help yourself to rice and beans or the seasonal soup.

But how was the meat? On my first visit (friends and family night) I found much of the meat to be over salted, but I did enjoy the Bacon wrapped Filet. However, I returned for a second visit with a group of lovely blogger babes and the meat was perfect. Filets, sirloins and leg of lamb were phenomenal. They are also careful to have a variety of different meat temperatures. So if you prefer your meat more done, just let the gaucho know.

fogo de chow

Wine is pricey at Fogo de Chao. I had a glass of Pinot Noir that was $16, and  I can buy an entire bottle of it at my neighborhood liquor store for $17. But I guess if you are dropping a lot for dinner, you should be prepared to pay the upcharge on wine too. Fogo has their own private label red blend. I didn’t like it but every other diner at the table loved it. Plus, if you open the bottle and don’t finish it, you can take it home with you.

fogo de chao wine

Desserts are, like many steakhouses, are huge. If you have any room left, get the cheesecake or Key Lime Pie. The full Churrasco experience includes the Market Table and Feijoada Bar is priced at $46.50 for dinner and $34.95 for lunch. Children 6 and under are complimentary. Children 7 to 12 are half price.

Given the quality I experienced on my second visit with the meats and lovely selection of the salad bar, the price is totally worth it. I am planning on taking my in-laws there as they are steak lovers and have never had the pleasure of such an experience. Of course, if you plan on cocktails and wine you can easily add an additional $20 to $30. So, this is certainly a special occasion spot. Oh and if you do have a vegetarian friend or date, they can opt for only the salad bar only for $26.95.

fogo de chao cheesecake
Bring a group to help finish this cheesecake at Fogo de Chao.

fogo de chao group dining
Fogo de Chao makes for a super spot for group dining.

Disclosure: My meals at Fogo de Chao were complimentary but the opinions expressed are my own.