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Fogo de Chão
Fogo de Chao

South Beach's conspicuous excess is dominated by things that make you skinny (coke) and things it's best to be skinny for (thong). For excess of the unskinny variety, hit Fogo de Chão

Founded in Brazil in 1979 by two brothers who grew up gaucho and later apprenticed in high-end churrascarias, Fogo runs like other such joints (prix fixe for endless skewered meat), but insists on certain old-school practices: grill masters are likely to've trained for years in Brazil, and instead of handing the meat off to a server, they walk out and seductively hack it for you themselves. The interior, with a high-ceilinged main room and several smaller rooms along the side, generally lets the mounds of food be the centerpiece, but's done up in stone, custom glass, dark hardwoods and colors reminiscent of the traditional fire pits used by Brazilian cowboys -- strikingly similar to the colors found in American fire pits. Protein possibilities include slabs of Angus ribeye, top and bottom sirloin, beef & pork ribs, pork sausage, leg of lamb and lamb chops, chicken breasts and drumsticks, and filet mignon either standard or wrapped in bacon like a salty Technicolor Dreamcoat

There's also a full bar, and within the walls of a 2,000-bottle wine cellar a secluded dining area -- finally, a place clandestine enough to wear your thong, even after plowing through line after line of sirloin.

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