Fogo de Chao is a highly regarded restaurant with a loyal customer base, many of whom cannot get enough of those Churrasco inspired meats. Always on the lookout for improvements to the customer experience, the Dallas- based Brazilian Restaurant chain has upped its game, with renovations that include a larger, expanded bar area and new happy hour offers, perfect for lunch or after work.
Disclosure: The Following Review may have been Compensated in Goods, Services, or Monetary Transfer but the Opinions are 100% those of Great Beer Now.
Select Your Meat
Fogo de Chao honors the grilling tradition known as Churrasco and this is certainly the key reason the restaurant has so many legions of fans. The meat is slow cooked on skewers, a process that exemplifies the meat’s natural flavors. Anyone who has visited Fogo de Chai knows that the meat is central to the dining experience. Wait staff walk up to your table, with various meats, then slice it and deliver it directly to your plate, right before your eyes. The beef, chicken, lamb, pork, and other meats are tender and grilled to perfection and this tableside service is one of the chief reasons why Fogo de Chao customers continue to frequent this Brazilian- inspired full service chain.
New Menu, Larger Bar
For those who love visiting Fogo de Chao for an assortment of meats and sides, do not worry- this aspect of the restaurant hasn’t changed and will still be available at all locations. But what has changed is the new emphasis on the bar and lighter meals. Fogo de Chao has named the new program Bar Fogo and it features Brazilian bites and beers, specialty cocktails, and South American wines, with special happy hour deals in the bar area. Here is a menu breakdown of these new Happy Hour offerings:
- Braised Beef Rib Sliders
- Spiced Chicken Sliders
- Brazilian Empanadas
- Crispy Parmesan Polenta Fries
- Warm Hearts of Palm and Spinach Dip
Brazilian Inspired Cocktails:
- Fogo Caipirinha
- Strawberry Hibiscus Caipirinha
- Passionate Caipirinha
- Cucumber Mint Smash
- Caramelized Pineapple Old Fashioned
South American Wines:
- Salton, a Sparkling Brut from Brzil
- Calina, a Chardonnay from Chile
- Montes, a Cherub Rose from Chile
- Alamos, a Malbec from Argentina
- The Seeker, a Red Blend from Chile
- Xingu Black, a Black lager
- Xingu Gold, a Pale Lager
- Stella Artois, a Pilsner
Great Beer Now paid a visit to Fogo de Chao and we liked what we saw- and tasted. The larger bar area was a welcome sight and the small bites were tasty. The drinks were excellent and it was nice to see expanded dining and drinking options, perfect for the lunch crowd or for those with less ravenous appetites. I started off with a Xingu Black lager but then, to show that my horizons have expanded more widely than people realize, I sampled some of the cocktails. I liked the Caramelized Pineapple Old Fashioned best and the Strawberry Hibiscus Caipirinha was certainly deserving of praise. On the bites menu, the Braised Beef Rib Sliders were the standout for me. Made with Xingu beer, they were a natural match with my serving of Xingu Black lager.
Change for the Better
Fogo de Chao is top gathering place for Brazilian- inspired cuisine. I have visited Fogo de Chao in the past, but it has been quite some time and I noticed immediately the new look and feel when I stepped inside the Houston location on Westheimer Road. The renovations give the restaurant a contemporary vibe while still maintaining the appearance and service quality one would expect in a fine dining establishment.
From talking to other foodies and barflies about Fogo de Chao over the years, the common theme I hear most often is that, while they love the food, the dinners are a little too much, both on the waistline and on the wallet. This is why I became so interested when I learned about the new menu and drink options. They present an alternative to the often heavy, filling meals and they carry prices that will easily fit into even the tightest budgets. You might say ‘well, why not just eat and drink less’, but if you have been to Fogo de Chao, you would understand that self- control is extremely difficult, if not impossible. With so many tender and tasty meats, delectable desserts, and countless indulgences, eating light is simply not an option, even for those with the most insurmountable willpower.
Fogo de Chao is slowly renovating its restaurants. At present, there are about 35 Fogo de Chao locations in the United States and plans are to remodel additional restaurants throughout the year; updating the atmosphere and food/drink menus, plus expanding the bar to broaden the restaurant’s appeal. This is great news for the restaurants fan base and it will almost certainly increase the frequency of visitation as well as attract new customers to the fold.
The happy hour menu described above features the best prices and you need to find a seat in the bar to take advantage of these special deals. But that doesn’t mean the Bar Fogo bites and drinks are available only to those in the bar. In fact, the Bar Fogo program available for all patrons includes even more bites and specialty drinks above and beyond the special happy hour menu, all with still reasonable prices.
Fogo de Chao is one of the Houston area’s best restaurants and with the new Brazilian bites, specialty cocktails, and Brazilian beers offered at special prices, it is now one of the more affordable places for upscale dining. Visit the Fogo de Chao nearest you, soak up the atmosphere, and get your fill of delicious food and beverage without straining the wallet.