Our first night in Denver, we were lucky enough to be invited downtown to Fogo De Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse buffet. The restaurant is in a fairly non-descript building downtown, but opens up into something ornately appointed as soon as one enters. We were greeted and sat in short order, and our drink order was taken. I decided on their Brazilian Gentleman, a cocktail that utilized Knob Creek as its base. From there, port and Bitters are included. Passion fruit and honey tie together the drink as a marriage of opposites. Sweet, sour, strong, and assertive, it played the perfect counterpoint for the masses of food that I encountered.
To start out, we picked up a cocktail that had some of largest, most succulent shrimp we’ve tasted. From there, we were able to check out the restaurant’s collection of small plates.
The riffs on salads means that individuals can nosh on expertly-prepared quinoa and tabouleh, tuck into a salad with major chunks of chicken, or delve into the freshest greens available to the restaurant. The Market Table has additional meat-centric dishes with a lightly smoked salmon, candied bacon, and Fogo Feijoada, a stew that links together beans, sausage, and white rice. An additional note about the Fogo Feijoada – there are a number of mix-ins that allow individuals to further jazz up the dish. After having our fill of things from the market table, we were able to begin the main part of our meal.
The main course
The steakhouse aspect of Fogo De Chao means that one can mark that they are ready for specific dishes. The range of different meats and preparations are enough that one will likely be full by the time they get through half of the different dishes. We were fans of the restaurant’s steak cuts, including their Picanha (top sirloin, sliced thin) and Beef Ancho (rib eye). Costela (beef ribs) and the Medalhoes Com Bacon (bacon-wrapped steak) provide further richness and moisture to the meats.
Pork options available at the restaurant are diverse, too; ribs, a pork loin rubbed with Parmesan, and sausage pad out the porcine products, while chicken and lamb allow for further variation in one’s meal. The servers were polite, courteous, and always inquired about how well done one wanted their cut.
Fogo De Chao has a deep bench of desserts. We checked out their Molten Chocolate Cake ($9.25). Rich and succulent, the cake’s hot center is countered perfectly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Other offerings available at the time of our visit included a cheesecake, key lime pie, and a flan.
Denver’s Fogo De Chao has lunch from 11:30 to 2:00 PM throughout the week. Dinner is available from 5:00 to 10:00 PM from Mondays through Thursdays; the weekend offers an expanded set of hours. Valet is complementary and is a must-have if you find yourself in the downtown of Denver during peak hours.
The chain has locations through the United States, with locations in the south (New Orleans, Miami), the rust belt (Indianapolis, Pittsburgh), the Pacific Northwest (Bellevue, Portland), and in a few other locales (Boston, LV, Scottsdale, Mineeapolis, and Kansas City). A full list of the Fogo De Chao-containing cities can be located on their website.