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Posts Tagged ‘brazilian’

chicago_01

 

My buddy Tony over at Gimme A Bite! recently wrote about an experience he and his wife had over at Zed451. While I’ve never been there, it brought up hunger pangs craving Fogo de Chao, a gluttony full of meat-eating sin I have had the pleasure of enjoying.

 

I went for a buddy’s bachelor party and there were 20 of us meeting up there. If you knew my buddy Mark, you’d know that there really is no other place to start his bachelor party. I think he got more aroused from all of the skewers of food than from watching the strippers later. We waited at the bar for everyone to show up. Nothing wrong with meeting new people while enjoying a few caparhinas with old friends who are all about to partake of the ancient rituals of carnal devouring with you. I gotta say, keep those caparhinas coming, Fogo makes a mean drink!

 

With a nice buzz kicking in we were seated at our table and were explained the rules of turning the card over from red (no meat at this particular moment in time) to green (get that sumptuous skewer of dead animal flesh over here!). We placed our drink orders, more caparhinas and some Argentinean Malbec, not typically my favorite style of vino, but, when in Fogo…stick with South America.

 

They immediately brought out a bunch of side dishes. Some of the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever consumed, fried plantains and cheese bread. I had to make a stop at the salad bar before turning my card to green because I knew that once the meat started falling on my plate I wouldn’t get up any time soon. Best to have my vegetables sitting there ready and waiting to help my kitchen sink bits push all of the meat through safe and sound.

 

chicago_02

 

What a salad bar! I think any vegetarian would be satisfied perusing this thing. There were all kinds of crudités, greens, salad condiments, sliced salamis (even vegetarians would have to admit that they looked damn tasty!), etc. Really, it was quite a spread. I chose to keep it simple with some greens and raw veggies for I knew what lay ahead.

 

Now comes the part I’ve been waiting for, my carnivorous dreams are about to become a reality. I just need to be careful of what I wish for. Ok, take a deep breath……GREEN!

 

Skewers seemingly start coming out of the woodwork. I haven’t seen this much meat since a Russ Myers film (thanks for the analogy Seinfeld). Animals from all walks of life grilled to perfect bliss. Lamb chops, pork ribs, beef ribs, chicken wrapped in bacon (I usually don’t order chicken, but hey, it was wrapped in bacon, I was clearly given an offer I can’t refuse), about 5 different cuts of beef…..it was truly heaven on a stick!

 

The star of the show was hands down the Picanha, a cut of sirloin with a layer of fat about a half inch thick along the meat. All it’s flavored with is salt and garlic, very simple. However, and I don’t quite know how they’re so successful at this, but that strip of fat absorbed every last molecule of flavor that garlic once possessed. Emeril would crap his pants instantly with that garlic flavor. I must have eaten three or four chunks of that stuff throughout my gorging. I used it much like pickled ginger at a sushi bar, to cleanse my palette between other flavors.

 

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I ate myself sick. There was clearly no way I would be able to stomach any dessert unless it came wrapped in garlic fat bacon on skewer. I morphed into my grandpa after a Passover Seder, my belt unfastened and the top button undone in a complete meat coma. Good thing my natural laxatives (fibrous veggies) were sitting in front of me or I’d have some serious problems lying ahead.

 

At $50 a pop (not including drinks) for that unbelievable parade of grilled flesh it’s definitely not the kind of place that I will frequent often. It is, however, a great spot for the rare occasion when all you want is to be naughty. Just be sure not to drag your anti-animal cruelty vegetarian who denies him/herself one of life’s most innate desires as it will surely end all relations. I, myself, am clearly not one of those veggies and will definitely be back at some point in my life.

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