Fogo de Chao, which has been an institution on I-Drive for two years now, is well know for its meat. Fresh cuts of meat like beef, lamb, chicken, and sausage are fire grilled and served fresh from a skewer by skilled gauchos. As if that isn't enough, there's an extensive, upscale salad bar where your inner vegetarian will fight your carnivore side. To see the feast, go here.
I love a typical Fogo de Chao dinner, so I was a bit shocked when I heard that the restaurant now has a bar menu packed with appetizers that you order as you wish instead of going for the massive all-you-can-eat feast. Really, why mess with perfection? I was invited out to give the new menu items a try, and even though the salad bar and skewers looked as wonderful as ever, I can give a hearty thumbs up to the new offerings.
These photos should help you imagine just how tasty the new bar menu really is. If you'd like to try it for yourself, it's served at both lunch and dinner time. You can order it in the bar area, where you'll also be tempted with a delicious array of drinks (jump to this article for some examples), and it's also available in the main restaurant.
The Spinach Dip With Artichoke Hearts was one of my top three favorite items on the Fogo de Chao bar menu. It was a delicious, creamy dip complemented by huge artichoke hearts just like the ones on the salad bar. It had a bit of a spice, but it was a pleasant little heat.
The Polenta Fries are dusted with Parmesan cheese and served with a spicy malagueta aioli. They're a perfect option when you want to stop in for a drink and something light that's made for mindless munching while you chat with your friends.
Grilled Spiced Shrimp Skewers
These huge, delicious grilled shrimps are served with a passion fruit sauce that will make your mouth sing. It has a nice spicy zest that goes perfectly with the shrimp.
Grilled Beef Tenderloin Skewers
This is Fogo de Chao, so you'd expect the Grilled Beef Tenderloin Skewers to be delicious, and you won't be disappointed. The meat is literally fork tender and melts in your mouth. If you're a chimichurri fan like me, the sauce tops things off perfectly.
Picanha is on the main Fogo de Chao menu, but if you want to enjoy it without doing the full blown meal, order the sliders on the bar menu. They're delicious as-is, but I'll admit to slipped some of the sauce from the fried polenta on them for an added taste treat.
Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimp cocktail is a classic appetizer, and Fogo de Chao does it right. The shrimp are plump and tasty, and the red sauce has an appropriate tang on your tongue.
The beef tenderloin and the spinach dip are two of my favorite on the bar menu, and the Carcuterie Board rounds things out at number three. I love cheeses, and the bleu cheese here was especially good. The malbec wine pairs up very nicely with this plate.