Muito Meat at Fogo

Mon. January 18, 2016 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

The popular Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão has a new location in Naperville and it was worth the road trip.

It was immediately noticeably improved with a lighter color pallette including the white decor as compared to the darker Chicago location.

This would make a great brunch spot and can you imagine the bacon?

Happy hour is already offered to sample the menu with small plates and cocktails.

Tables surround the massive soup and salad bar that offers greens to go with the meat. It is easy to fill up on the side items but save room as this adventure is a long one.

Start with the seasonal shaved brussel sprouts and tabouleh salad then move to all of the cheeses. There is seafood on the bar to pick from such as the salmon and shrimp.

The garlic mashed potatoes and carmelized bananas are brought directly to the table for enjoyment.

Here's an insider scoop, just ask for a side of chimichurri sauce to add to the flavor of the meats. It doesn't come automatically.

This location spotlights a behind the scenes view with a window to the kitchen and the handsome gaucho chefs. Food is cooked churrasco style which translate rougly from Portuguese to mean barbecue.

The grilling is then offered on large metal poles where diners can help out by using small tongs to grab it right off. A variety of food temperatures are supplied by a personal gaucho and feel free to mix your meats. There is chicken, lamb, beef, and pork all brought at different times for the overall experience.

Keep the card on your table flipped to red or green to alert the staff when you are ready for more or have had enough.

A traditional Brazilian drink called a caipirinha is a must try with simple syrup and aged Cachaça rum. There are twists on that drink here but the classic does the trick. Some people like it with vodka called a Caipiroska but just call me old fashioned!

The wine selection is out of this world and of course red goes with a lot of this meat that is brought out.

Many folks will not have any room for dessert but if you can squeeze something in try the molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.

The papaya cream topped with black currant liqueur wasn't my guest's favorite taste wise but it is supposed to help with digestion and we needed aftert this meal.

The staff makes people feel well attended to with necessary interruptions to get the job done. This churrascaria has an ethnically mixed staff that is trained by experts from Brazil to give an authentic experience to this meaty situation.

One thing I learned is that this restaurant is actually pronounced Fo-go dee Shoun and that means campfire in English. There is some education to go along with the process but this just adds to the fun.

It feels like a vacation at times to leave one's comfort zone and travel to Brazil with this cuisine. While some things are done differently than what we are used to, this excursion was a filling and worthwhile trip.

Visit for a list of locations and make a reservation today.