Fogo De Chao (Restaurant Week Preview)
San Diego Restaurant Week is almost here (January 19-24th). I was invited to a sneak peek at Fogo De Chao, one of the restaurants participating in restaurant week.
As you may recall, we went to visit Fogo De Chao right after it first opened and was pretty impressed with the quality of meat at this all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse. We were thinking about visiting again during restaurant week and taking advantage of the reduced prices, so it was nice to check it out again now that they’ve had some time to settle in.
The format is very similar to other Brazilian steakhouses. There is an exquisite salad bar offering various raw and cooked vegetables, imported cheeses, and fruits. Eating a few bites of salad in between pieces of meat is key in being able to consume copious amounts of meat.
At the table is a cardboard “button” which you can flip to green when you want to begin meat service and flip to red when you need a break or are ready to call it a night. Dinner service includes 16 cuts of meats, which are all described on a menu at your table.
Once you flip your button to green, servers come over with the various cuts of meat. If you want to try it, they will ask you how you prefer your beef (medium, medium rare, etc) and then slice you a piece accordingly. All the meats will make it to your table a few times during the night, but if you are looking for something in particular, you can request it and they’ll bring it over.
Hot sides are also brought to your table. The sides are a double-edged sword. They are well executed, especially the chewy Brazilian cheese breads and the crisp golden polenta fries, and they allow unlimited refills. Unfortunately, they are also quite filling and it will take some restraint to not stuff yourself on the sides alone.
Last time, we found our favorite cuts of meat were the traditional filet mignon (cooked to medium rare) and the bottom sirloin (not to be confused with the tougher top sirloin, also cooked to medium rare), which were both melt-in-your-mouth tender. We felt the same on this visit. I also really loved the lamb chops.
The service here is very attentive. Fresh plates are exchanged for you while you eat. The servers with the meat usually have a pretty good memory and after a while, they get an idea of what each table likes. If you refuse a few times and your button is green, one of them will usually ask if there is a certain meat you are looking for and then bring it right over. After a few rounds, the servers remembered we wanted medium rare for all the beef cuts.
We had a pleasant meal here, much like our first experience. We’d heard such good things about the Fogo De Chao in Los Angeles, so we’re pretty happy that there is now a location in San Diego which is making the same quality food. Restaurant Week for Fogo De Chao will be Sunday Jan 19 – Friday Jan 24 and Sunday Jan 26 – Friday Jan 31. Normally lunch is $29.50 but during restaurant week it’s $20 per person. There are fewer cuts of a meat but it’s still a great deal. Dinner is normally $49.50, but during restaurant week it will be $45 per person and will include dessert (which is not normally included).
You can read my initial visit here.
Please note, as indicated above, we were invited to the restaurant for a preview of Restaurant Week. Our meal was complimentary but all my opinions are my own.
Fogo De Chao
668 6th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101