Fogo de Chão, aka gorging on beef
I recently had one of those celebratory yearly type occasions *cough*. And Nerd Horde member Rob had commented last month on how he needed to save up so he could try the Brazilian steak house buffet in Indy — Fogo de Chão. So I declared we needed to go for this nameless occasion. There was some cajoling involved because Rob didn’t want to crash our celebration.
We made plans, got reservations, and then starved ourselves for 24 hours.
On the trip in we spotted a dude in some whacky pants walking in downtown and wondered where in the world he worked. Turns out, the whacky pants were gaucho and he worked at Fogo de Chão 😀
The parking situation downtown Indy on a Saturday is always a little sketchy, especially when there are conventions going on. We pulled in right around five o’clock and apparently ran into the Christian Women convention letting their women out for dinner. So when we spotted the valet parking sign at Fogo de Chão for a mere $8, it was a no brainer to take them up on the offer even though we generally avoid valet stuff like the plague. Another loop around the block and bamo, we were on our way in for meaty goodness.
The waiter told us all about what we could expect…there’d be 16 different meats that would come around. They’d keep us flush in their three side dishes: garlic mashed potatoes, polenta, and a caramelized banana dish. We could go up to their fancy salad bar as much as we liked as well. And so long as we had our markers turned up to the green side, the gaucho server dudes would stop by with skewers of meat.
Here’s the table after the salad bar visit. We were given fresh plates. We flipped the markers to green and waited. Another server brought us side dishes. And then the meat started coming faster than we could handle.
They gave us metal tongs to help pull the slices of meet from the skewers (seen on the upper right of the photo below). Servers asked what temperature you liked your meat. I picked a lot of medium-rare.
Here’s a gaucho slicing off some meat from the skewer for Rob:
He’d heard that the parmesan crusted pork was wonderful (see below). We all got some and all agreed it was a little meh compared to the T-bone, filet, and lamb.
The dining situation is such that if your marker is green, every gaucho stops by, even the poor chicken+sausage guy. We felt bad refusing him every time (except the first, I did try some chicken), and almost wanted to accept simply to make him feel better. Almost, but not enough to take away precious stomach space for the real draws.
The guys wondered if chicken panhandling was the newbie job, and the servers had to make their way up the food chain. We never did get a chance to ask him. If anyone knows, we’d love to hear the answer.
The cost was a bit high. I got water, MG got a cherry ginger ale, the bill was $110 before tip. So if you want to experience non-stop meat slicing from skewers, save up your pennies. We loved it but we can’t afford it more than once every few years or so. But I know I’m already looking forward to the next time.
Oh, and $8 for valet parking is a must since we didn’t have to waddle our full-to-the-brim bodies through downtown Indy in search of our car. If that’s not a First World Problem, then I don’t know what is.