Fogo de Chão has become a staple restaurant in the food-centric city of Philadelphia, and is so for good reason. The restaurant flaunts itself every lunch and night-time; interiorly lit with ambient lighting cascading from chandeliers and floor to ceiling, not walls, but racks after racks of wine. Let me set the scene of a Versailles Palace through a revolving door, on the corner of Juniper and Chestnut.
Fogo de Chão is a Brazilian restaurant chain serving up an all-you- can-eat carved tableside with an ornate salad bar. Penn Appétit was fortunate enough to be invited to try the restaurant’s newest fall menu.
The waiter started us off with their classic appetizers; I had heard a lot about their pão de queijo (cheese bread), and crispy polenta fries, but you definitely need to go in to try this for yourself. Enough said.
Their two new seasonal menu additions, butternut squash soup and winter citrus salad, are fall classics that are sure to please everyone.
The salad bar had a great selection of a countless variety of items. On a bed of ice rested bowls of fresh salad, salami, pastrami, mozzarella, swiss cheese, salmon and so much more. It is a refreshing place to keep in mind in a midst of all the tableside carved meats.
The green-red two-sided card corresponds to a “yes” or “no” signal to the waiters serving the meat. The selection of meat was endless, and almost-all cooked to perfection, whether you rare, medium-rare, or medium. (In my experience, they did not have the option of blue nor well-done—rare sometimes would edge onto medium-rare.) The sirloin was perfectly seasoned, in comparison to the lightly flavored ribeye steak,which worked wonderfully to bring out the succulent flavor of the cut; the ribs were tender and juicy, and the slow-cooked pork with a white wine marinade was beyondc ompare. Fogo de Chão seems like the only restaurant, thus far, that has lamb steak and chops as comparable to those from home—New Zealand. However, I would skip on the pineapple chicken; though it would be a good Monday dinner meal, it could not compare to all those that were served.
As always, Fogo de Chão did not disappoint. Their new Fall/Winter menu items are classic seasonal additions, and we always look forward to their friendly service and reliably delicious selection of meats.
Written by Noel Zheng
Photographed by Leah Sprague