Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fogo De Chao

Recently I dined at Fogo De Chao, a Brazilian all you can eat BBQ-place. There are quite a few around in Southern California but according to Yelp, Fogo is supposed to be the best. It should also come as no surprise that it's the most expensive.

After dining there I emailed a total of 9 people in my party and asked some questions about their opinion of the place.

Here are the questions I asked:

  1. Did you like it or dislike it over all? (This is a binary question; pretend this is Rotten Tomatoes and you can only choose thumbs up or thumbs down)
  2. Would you go back?
  3. Any other comments?
As of this post here are the results:

For question #1 the tally is: 4-4-1, so there are definitely mixed opinions.

For question #2 the tally is: 5-3-1, with a clear majority not willing to go back.

There was a lot of agreement in that the desserts were good though...so I guess the night wasn't a total bust. And hey people had my sparkling personality and Terry wearing a dress shirt instead of a basketball jersey to entertain them the entire evening.

Most of the responses were brief but there were some choice comments I'd like to share:

Warren Wrote:

"The beef was some of the most delicious stuff I have ever eaten. The sides were also very good and the dessert was tasty."

Ainsley wrote:

"The meat was salty. However, I've read that adding salt to the surface of meat pulls out a layer of protein, allowing you to make that crusty outer later that is the best part of the beef. However, the way that they serve it (just the outer pieces) makes it even more salty, since you don't have the unseasoned center meat to balance it out. The choice pieces were quite good, and I was willing to wait for them to come around (sirloin = lose).

I thought the salad bar was awesome. It went a long way to mellowing out the saltness of the meat. The sides that came to the table had a similar effect for me. Plantains!

I thought the service was good, but that is to be expected from a $60+ meal.

All that said, it's unlikely that I would go back. I just don't feel very good after eating that much meat, and for that price I think I would be much happier ordering a 12 oz $40 dollar steak plus sides at a nice steakhouse. The quality of the meat will be even better and I won't be left feeling slightly sick after. I pretty much feel that way about every all-you-can-eat place now though."

Wei wrote:

"What I found memorable was the cheese bread and desert. I am not going back just to eat those two. The wine was okay, nothing so special I can't get from Trader Joe's. For the price paid and factoring in atmosphere and presentation, it was not impressive. Now considering logistics, the location was inconvenient and the parking accommodations were mediocre at best. I would not suggest to go there, there are other Brazilian places in our area, why drive out there?"

Finally Masa gets the food snob / Haterade (TM) reward for the most negative review:

"1) Disliked it. 10000% of your daily allowance of sodium for the loss. They never give you the raw part of the meat, and try to give you the shitty scraps nobody wants. That's the kind of treatment you should expect at a $8 a plate place, not when you're spending over $60 on a meal.

2) Never. If someone else offered to pay I would just suggest another restaurant, like Gyukaku next door.

3) Yeah it was an experience to say the least, and I'm still glad I went (and was able to do so with good company). I seriously wonder about people who keep on coming back to this place, though. "

Here's my response:

"1) I thought it was ok. Not particularly worth my $$$ since I don't eat beef...in other words THUMBS DOWN.

2) I would NOT go back unless someone else paid for me.

3) This place really is a beating if you're a vegetarian or don't eat beef. I find it extremely sad that the side dishes were better than the meat. I'm reminded of the Phantom Console and how the controller was the high point of the system!"

All in all, it was an interesting experience and I'm still glad I was finally able to go. Next time I'm in the area though I'd rather check out The Stinking Rose. That name is jankalicious!

2 comments:

Masa. said...

Man I only speak the truth -- their salad bar really was better than their meat!

Masa

Jen said...

Bah, Stinking Rose is to me what Fogo De Chao is to a vegetarian. I think the only restaurant I'd be enthused about going back to on Restaurant Row is Tokyo Table (where I went for my own birthday). My one meal at Lawry's wasn't too memorable and Gyu-kaku has more convenient locations on the Westside and Old Town Pasadena.

On a different note, Ainsley needs to start a blog! I think he totally ignored my Wordpress invite D: