Thursday, March 20, 2008

Brazilian Steakhouse Update

Star is reporting today that our downtown churrascaria house -- Fogo de Chao (pronounced "Foh-Goh-day-Shoun") is on schedule for an April opening. This Brazilian steakhouse is part of an upscale chain with 10 locations in the US, 5 in Brazil, and 3 new US locations opening in 2008 including ours. It should be a higher quality experience than Brazilian Grill on the northside but similar in form and probably more like $40 prix fixe as opposed to $27.50 or so. (Look for it in the Zipper Building which doesn't look like a zipper anymore but everyone will always call it that.) Same deal: one price, choose your meat, lots of extras, and don't forget the red flag on your table when you're done. (I've always thought it should be a white flag but that's because I'm usually saying "OK, no more! I surrender!)

Ironically, one of the hallmarks of the downtown steakhouse is the legion of regulars who patronize each one including locals and frequent travelers who find their favorites and stick to them. Room design, overall feel, bar space, staff, and additional menu options will play a big factor in which particular direction this downtown restaurant goes -- a touristy outpost with conventioneers linked up with their table buzzers (ala Weber Grill) or an upscale downtown steakhouse with weeknight diners coming in for both great food and good atmosphere. Either way, I expect it to be financially successful.

They also note that the phantom Taste of Tango on Washington says they'll open in May. I haven't been down to peak in lately, but I'm not sure any part of that building will be ready in two months (and weren't they supposed to open in May of *last* year? Everything I've seen on this looks like it might be another TaTa's, but I'll reserve judgement until they open their doors (if they do.)

**I was looking for a link to reviews from the couple who travel around the midwest visiting Brazilian steakhouses and rating them for fun. (Hey, we all have weird hobbies.) If you know these people, send them over, will ya'?


Biscuitcleaver said...

Taste of Tango has seemed a little quiet lately, but last weekend I spotted a moving truck parked in the alley next to the restaurant.

That could be anything though.

cathleen said...

Fogo de Chao is fantastic! I am really excited for the Indianapolis spot to open. It pretty authentic Brazilian food with an upscale atmosphere. Just be prepared to go to bed or take a nap after you eat there because you will eat so much!