He decided today that we should go to dinner. The texting this afternoon went something like this:
TH: So you want to go somewhere nice for dinner tonight?Me: Well I would but it's my anniversary so I kind of already have plans. (The running gag at our house is "get your girl/boyfriend out of the house, I'm on my way home." Once when The Kid was little he asked me who my boyfriend was so we laid off that joke for a while.)TH: We could go to McCormick and Schmick's or Fogo de Chao...Me: Or Le Fou Frog...TH: We could go really high class and hit Red Lobster for all you can eat shrimp. (He ate over 100 of them once, 8 per shrimp-scampi at a time.)Me: I don't know the key combination for the little puking smiley so you'll just have to use your imagination.TH: Fogo de Chao it is then!
Fogo de Chao is an Argentinian steak house chain (I am so anti-chain restaurant it's not even funny, hence my suggestion of the local French bistro). They have a prix fixe menu that starts with a cold bar which includes several excellent salads and veggies. "Go light" the waiter warns of the salad bar. And what a wise waiter he is because as soon as you finish your salad they bring you a fresh plate and flip the chip to Green. Let the meat begin!
Ten different items are brought around by Gauchos (seriously, they're wearing the baggy pants, fancy belt and knee-high leather boots) on huge skewers (meat on swords!) freshly plucked from the flames of the in-house barbecue. It's mostly beef but they have chicken, sausage, lamb and pork tenderloin too. My favorites were the Lombo (pork tenderloin encrusted with Parmesan cheese) and the Fraldinha (seasoned bottom sirloin). TH also enjoyed the Picanha (prime sirloin seasoned with sea salt and garlic) but I thought it was a little salty. And these guys hustle. As long as your chip is green they just keep flying around the room pausing just long enough at each table to slice a portion of yummy onto your plate. The only way to stop them is by flipping the chip to red, but don't worry, you can go back to green at any time. Assuming, that is, you're still hungry.
Dinner tonight came with three sides, fried polenta (it was just ok), mashed potatoes (good but nothing compared to the steak) and fried bananas (not plantains, and they were a little weird). And the lightest cheese pop-overs ever. A perfect accompaniment to the rest of the food. And they have a huge wine list. No worries if you don't manage to finish it, they'll re-cork it for you and drop it into a little wine doggie bag so you can take it home.
This is strictly a special occasion place for us at $30 a head but truly worth it. Vegetarians need not apply. Am I still anti-chain restaurant? Yes. Will I make an exception for this place? Absolutely.