Special occasions require special actions including a drive into Charm City. This used to be the Land of Pleasant Living but now is the land of stray bullets. But no soap box today as this lunch was truly outstanding, a dining experience and I don't make or say that much anymore when dining out.
Now understand it was a Monday LUNCHTIME and not dinner or weekend when situation could be much more hectic. However, my wife and I were seated and waiter Dalton (named after Roadhouse character by Patrick Swayze) spent several minutes explaining how things worked as this was our first dining experience at Fogo de Chao. Now we have eaten at Brazilian restaurants in other cities with excellent prepared meats and this was my choice for my birthday lunch. I was here for the meat.
My wife is a Vegetarian and the salad bar was a big hit with her. Even the General Manager stopped at our table and asked why my wife did not have a red/green card. When he learned that she was a Vegetarian, he offered to have Chef prepare her a special fish dish. Talk about being attentive.
Anyway, salad bar was a hit but I was saving myself for the MEAT. You will never have to ask, "Where's the beef?". In fact, several times I had to turn the table card to red side so meat servers did not stop at our table. Dalton and his assistants work as a team and they were on top of their game. My iced tea glass was full at all times. My wife had a bottle of wine in a chiller and staff keep her glass at 1/2 full and no higher as she instructed to keep Chardonnay properly chilled.
Now I tried a small sampling of most of the meats but I quickly developed a taste for special cuts - filet mignon wrapped in bacon (a hit), beef ancho - rib eye (my favorite at medium rare), costela - beef ribs (my 2nd favorite and very different - unlike pork spare ribs), and lamb chops (just a little too mutton taste for me and needed more pepper).
Now I watched other tables and the servers where just going from table to table and then going back to kitchen to bring out more meat on a stick. A fellow seated next to our table wanted his meat somewhat on rare side and the server came back 3 times in less than 2 minutes with a spit of meat exactly as customer requested and that's what I call service. The wait staff removed dirty and used flatware and place settings without the feel of "hovering" like some other so-called Fine Dining restaurants.
We were asked if a special occasion and I replied "My birthday" and of course, Happy Birthday wish. But at the end of meal when I asked for check I was presented a dessert menu and was instructed to order anything and "dessert was on the house". Talk about feeling good...Happy Birthday to me...going back again but during day time to dodge them there stray bullets.
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