The Art of Eating Out...Brazilian Style!

In one of the most sensual experiences I've had-came complements of my
friend and the General Manager-Paulo Serafini at Fogo De Chao-Churrascia.  I've heard on more than one
occasion how much Brazilians love life and one of the ways it is
expressed is through food.

After tracking down the very talented singer, model and business woman-Carolina de Athey-I was ready to dig in. As
we entered the restaurant the place was packed with people and the
dinner guests were abuzz. The staff was very friendly, attentive and
whisked us to our table-to be served by our Gaucho-Roberto Moura-the best Carolina has ever seen in the US.

I
have to admit I am a calorie counter-and watch my waistline-but on this
night I had to indulge in one of my guilty pleasures-beef; and Fogo De
Chao offers some of the best beef in a very open and engaging
environment. If I had known I might have visited the buffet bar after
the beef was served-but I felt compelled to begin the dinner with fresh
green vegetables to prepare my stomach for what was to come.

And
boy was I served. Even more surprising was the ability of my companion
to meat me head on-no pun intended. I was given all I could handle
going bite for bite with the very innocent one named Carolina-tasting
the beefy juices that screamed viva Brazil!

Fogo De Chao serves 11 different
types on meat-including beef, lamb, chicken and pork. And with a nod
and flip of the card-rack after rack after rack of some of the finest
meat is brought to your table sliced to order-all you can eat. On this
evening I sampled-the Picanha(top sirloin), Filet Mignon, Beef
Ancho(ribeye), Alcarta(top sirloin) and Fraldinha(bottom sirloin). For
me there wasn't enough room for the other 3 types of meat on the menu.
But my tastes buds were very satisfied.

During this culinary
treat Carolina informed me that when Brazilians come to eat they are
very picky and want there meals to be authentic typically including
rice, black beans and farofa. She also felt the best way to experience
their cuisine was a Fogo De Chao because it is the only authentic
Brazilian Churrascaria restaurant in Chicago with an office in Brazil-rated best in
Sao Paulo. It was further explained that Churrascaira means continuous service of meats cooked over open flame.

And the last tidbit of info she
revealed was-the focus is most on the meat and for people that are afraid of calories to keep in mind that if you stay
away form mashed potatoes and fried bananas...you would really be eating protein.  If I had
only known-I would have skipped this all together to leave room for
a few more rounds-to include the Codeiro(lamb) and Frango(chicken).
You learn something new everyday. I can be a glutton for pleasure and
want to go back to indulge!

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    Eric Eugene Smith

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