Fogo De Chão117 E Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46204 Devour Downtown would not have been complete without a visit to Fogo. It is clearly the best deal during DD as their meal is normally $48.50 per person. Not only is it cheaper, but they still offer everything they normally would, whereas most menus during DD are shortened to a selection of one or two choices per course. Everyone seems to have caught on to this, so Fogo is the hardest restaurant to get into this week. If you’re a serious foodie (or just a die-hard Fogo fan) you should make a reservation as soon as the dates are announced if you plan on dining there that week. Salad Bar Their salad bar is certainly impressive, boasting over 30 options to choose from including 24-month aged Parmesan, aged Manchego cheese, prosciutto, Brazilian hearts of palm, artichoke bottoms, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella, smoked salmon, Italian salami, jumbo asparagus, tabbouleh, Shitake mushrooms, and much more.
Sean likes to start with a light assortment of meat and cheese. That’s right, he likes to start with some meat before he eats more meat. He had a couple slices of Manchego, Mozzarella, salami, prosciutto and bacon drizzled with some olive oil. The bacon is rock hard, which Sean likes, but some people might not. The prosciutto is good, but is certainly not the expensive ($15+/lb) kind and the tabbouleh was delicious. Most people fall into the trap of getting more than they should at the salad bar and end up not eating most of it once the meat starts coming around.
Recommendation: Either skip the salad bar altogether to save room for the meat and side dishes, or select a few of the high end cold cuts and cheese. Entree: Meat All their meats are heavily salted and grilled on an open flame. They serve about 15 different cuts/styles of meat that will be brought to your table at different times throughout the night. Remember, once you turn your card to green, it means you are ready for the meat. A very important note about all Brazilian steakhouses—not just Fogo—is that their meat is generally cooked rare/medium-rare and occasionally medium. You can request cuts that are cooked more thoroughly, but we have never seen a cut served medium-well or well done. Since there are so many cuts, we won’t bore you with an explanation of every single one. We’ve divided the cuts into three categories: say no, worth a try, and say yes. Say NO to: The Sausage, Pork Crusted Pork Loin, Chicken, Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Bottom Sirloin (left to right). Would you pay $50 for chicken, sausage or pork loin? Probably not. To be clear, we aren’t putting these in the NO category because they don’t taste delicious, but this is a steakhouse so the other cuts are far better. Assuming you can’t actually eat your weight in meat, you’re better off filling up on the best of the best. In our opinion, these cuts are not it. If you choose to disregard our advice and want to try some of the items listed above, at least don’t get the Parmesan crusted pork loin, as it has been very dry every single time we have had it. Worth a try: The Top Sirloin, Rib Eye, Pork Ribs, Lamb Chops, Leg of Lamb, Filet, Beef Rib and Bacon Wrapped Filet (first row to second row, left to right). During your dining experience, you may not come across some of these options, so feel free to ask your gaucho to bring over a specific cut and they will happily do so. Of these options we would recommend the bacon wrapped filet over the standard filet, and the lamb chops over the leg of lamb. The bacon only enhances the filet, though it does add quite a bit of salt, and the bone from the lamb chop adds flavor that the leg doesn’t have. Sean loves ribeye, but he did not like the ribeye this time, as it was overly chewy. The beauty about Fogo is that if you don’t like something, you’re not stuck with 8oz or more of it. Say YES to: We recommend that you say yes to the Picanha, Garlic Picanha, and the Short Rib (left to right). The first two cuts we asked for were the Picanha and Short Rib. The Picanha is very tender and has a thin layer of fat around it that just melts in your mouth. If you don’t like the fat, you can always cut around it and the meat is still delicious. We have only had the the Garlic Picanha once and have rarely seen it being passed around the tables. We’ve pictured 16 meats as opposed to the 15 offered on the official menu. That’s because the short rib is an “off menu” order, but is something they always have. This is the one meat you will have to specifically ask for as we NEVER see it, and when it comes to our table, the gaucho does not bring it to the surrounding tables. We must admit, that of the three times we have had it at Fogo, it has been a let down twice. Thankfully this time it met our expectations. It was tender and flavorful, however was not as good as the short rib at Texas de Brazil. When you have a cut that you really enjoy, like this one, don’t be afraid to ask for additional slices from the same gaucho. Sides: In addition to the meat coma you’re sure to slip into during the course of your meal, they also provide you with pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, garlic mashed potatoes and caramelized bananas. The cheese bread is HIGHLY addictive, as well as, umm, every other side. They are all delicious and you’re able to order refills on all of them. The caramelized bananas are a palate cleanser, so if you want to truly be able to differentiate between all the meats, be sure to have a small spoonful of this between each cut of meat. Desserts:
p p p p Not only is the DD menu $10.50 cheaper than it normally is, it also includes your choice of dessert which normally costs between $8 and $10 in addition to the $48.50 dinner cost. We ordered the Key Lime Pie, Crème Brûlée and the South American Flan. The flan was excellent, but we’re still partial to the crème brûlée. Our slight complaint was that the sugar was under brûléed, but it was still divine. The key lime pie was a total flop, from the extremely tart crust to the neon green artificial-tasting sauce, this dessert was a mess.
Recommendation: You can’t go wrong with the crème brûlée or flan. Overall We always leave here (extremely) full and satisfied, and this trip was no exception. It also didn’t hurt that it was almost $20 cheaper per person than it normally would have been. The service here is always top notch as they are very attentive, friendly and willing to accommodate your requests. You won’t be disappointed after dining here, but you might want to wear your stretchy Thanksgiving pants.
Location: Downtown (Wholesale District)
Dress Code: Casual