Recently I had the opportunity to have lunch with Neil Lynch at Fogo De Chao. They recently opened up here in Minneapolis and it was a good opportunity to try it on a Friday afternoon. As we walked to the front entrance, we saw the meat roasting on skewers right by the front entrance. I was already looking forward to this lunch!
A bit of background. Years ago, when I traveled frequently, I found an ad for Fogo De Chao in an airline magazine and read more about it on the internet and thought that it would be an interesting place to try. I told Neil about it since he travels quite a bit and he said that he would try it when he was in Chicago. He did and he said that it was great.
Now fast forward a few years and the Minneapolis location is open. Neil invited me to lunch on Friday and here was the opportunity to try the restaurant I had recommended before I tried it.
The service here is outstanding. The gauchos are very hospitable and accommodating. One of the staff took our drink order and then explained the concept of the green and red chip. If the chip is facing green, the gauchos will bring on the meat and other offerings skewers. If the chip is red, then they will pass you by until the chip is turned to green again.
There are over 15 different types of meat. There are also chicken legs, chicken breast wrapped in bacon, pork sausages, pork loin, and pork ribs.
The chicken breast wrapped in bacon was outstanding. I could not get enough of this dish. Also the pork loin that day was flavored with parmesan. Another wonderful dish. They also have an extensive salad bar. They also serve side dishes: mashed potatoes with cheese and chives, fried polenta (which was surprisingly good), and fried bananas (sweet, but worth a couple of bites)
I enjoyed the meal except for some of the beef. I am not much of a meat eater anymore, but enjoy it from time to time. Most of the beef that we were served was a bit on the bloody side. There were a few pieces that were done. I avoided eating the beef if it was not done to avoid any type of problems. I stuck with eating the chicken and pork. The pork ribs were good also, but I am not used to eating ribs without some type of sauce.
I sent an email to their corporate office via their website that I enjoyed my meal and I was curious about the beef situation. I received a voice mail that someone from the corporate office was going to contact me regarding my email. I hope to talk to them soon, because I would really like to go back and enjoy the beef dishes. Our 3rd anniversary is coming up and this would be a neat place to celebrate it.
Overall, I would highly recommend it, if the beef is doubtful, stick with the chicken and pork. You can’t go wrong there!