I have always been a hearty eater, and there have been times when I may have gone a little overboard putting on the feedbag. On one occasion, the day after a very large meal at a Brazilian BBQ restaurant, I woke up with the absolute worst meat hangover. Painful, but well worth it. Still, I've been a tad leery of such restaurants because of my self control issues. Fogo de Chao is one of those places. I have so wanted to go there over the years, but I didn't want to trust myself around all of that food.
And then I found out that it's possible to eat a la carte in the bar. What? And miss out on skewers of beautifully roasted meats served tableside? Plus a buffet of salads and whatnot? Yes! And for me, it's for the best. How else would I have known about the POLENTA FRIES? or the chocolate cake? Because after 10,572 servings of meat, there is no room for side carbs or sweets.
Mr Minx and I met up with some foodie friends at Fogo de Chao's bar one evening to taste their happy hour menu, plus other items served only in the bar. We started off with a round of drinks from the HH menu that includes 5 delicious and generously portioned beverages at only $8 each. Above we have a refreshing Cucumber Mint Smash, made with Tito's Vodka, and a Caipirnha, a drink made with lime, sugar, and the sugar cane-derived booze called Cachaça. The Passionate Caipirinha adds passion fruit to the original. Below is yet another version made with lots of fresh muddled strawberries and hibiscus. So good! And only 170 calories. (Yes, the menu includes calorie counts, which can get a little depressing.)
Happy Hour food is also delicious, but also super cheap! Two spiced chicken sliders (below) or two braised beef rib sliders are only $4.
The Brazilian empanadas, warm hearts of palm and spinach dip, and crispy parmesan polenta fries are also only $4.
I could have eaten all of those fries. I may have eaten most of them....
The bar also has small and large plates, to share or not. Like these lamb chops--three double chops with mint chimichurri sauce, cooked to your desired temperature (medium rare for us). They were nicely seasoned, perfectly cooked, and something I'd definitely order in the future.
There are also items like garlic shrimp and meaty pork ribs, or costela de porco, both excellent. We also shared a classic shrimp cocktail.
A burger with smoked provolone and chimichurri is also available, and even a goat cheese and vegetable sandwich for those very rare folks who go to a Brazilian BBQ but don't want meat....
Not having a meatapalooza allowed us to have dessert, like this swell chocolate mousse cake that I couldn't stop eating, plus the house specialty, papaya cream (fresh papaya swirled with vanilla ice cream and topped with black currant liqueur). There's also flan, tres leches cake, molten chocolate cake - you get the drift.
While I was pretty happy with the food and drinks at Fogo's bar, another thing that pleased me was that there are NO TVS in the bar area. Which means no business bros yelling at the Orioles for sucking so much. No real noise at all, actually. It was amazingly civilized, and I'm all about serene, non-noisy, dining experiences. I think I might have to put Fogo de Chao into my regular Happy Hour rotation.
Fogo de Chao
600 E Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
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Posted on Minxeats.com.