Monday, August 9, 2010
Last year's birthday fine dining selection: Fogo De Chao
Last year, my fine dining selection was Fogo De Chao. It’s the top buzz on Baltimore’s urbanspoon.com page and my friends from Hoboken raved about the unlimited, high quality meat selections. So 361 days ago, I chose this expensive place. We choose to go during lunch because it is a bit cheaper than their dinner hours. First, we were dressed casually, not slovenly mind you, polo and jeans casual. Due to the reputation and fancy façade of Fogo De Chao, we were momentarily concerned if we were dressed appropriately. If that were the case, we would have happily chosen another place that would be just as happy to accept our money. We were instantly greeted and welcomed and when we entered the dining area, our under dressed concerns were completely dismissed as we gazed upon patrons dressed in tank tops and cut off sweat pants. Once we were shown to our table, our host explained how everything works by signaling with a two sided disc (green side up for MORE MEAT, red side up for NO MEAT – complicated stuff). Sure enough, once you turn your green side up, you can hardly count the moments before a server with a skewer of meat arrives at your table. Once you get a plateful, do remember to turn it back to red lest you be buried underneath the ensuing meatalanche. I was excited to see how much meat I could consume, as I’ve mentioned before, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach.
Did I like it? Sort of, I was quit lukewarm feeling about it. Factoring in the cost of the meal along with the quality, my opinion veers slightly toward the negative. It wasn’t long before a lot of the different meat cuts tasted the same, honestly. There seemed to be a lot of dryness and a lot of saltiness throughout many of the cuts. One the up side, the salad bar was amazing. It honestly was the best salad bar I have ever experienced. Gigantic, fresh, crisp asparagus stalks, slices of smoked salmon, fresh mozzarella cheese, and much more. However, even the best salad bar ever couldn’t make up for the price. I did walk away, like everybody that walks out of there, stuffed sickeningly full and did not need to eat for the rest of the day.
People say they’d go once for the experience, which I don’t understand. If you want to overpay for some meat that’s on the dry side, I’ll sell you that last piece of dried bologna in the back of my fridge for $30, and you don’t even have to tip me. Okay, I’m stretching the truth there since I don’t actually eat bologna. If you’re looking to stuff yourself silly, I know of several places where you can do just that at half the price. If you are looking for high quality dining that’s actually fancy, I would suggest looking into fine dining spots were people go for artisan cooking instead of the soul purpose of engorging themselves.
Any suggestions for this year's fine dining selection?