Years ago, Fogo de Chao was one of the area's few options for high-end churrascaria dining. The restaurants specialize in grilled meat, South American-style (usually with an emphasis on Brazil), often brought to the table in an all-you-can-eat fashion. Now, with so many new options, how to choose? Here's what diners will spend, and what they'll get for their money at the area's growing number of churrascarias.
Eater limited this analysis to those places with an all-you-can-eat option: for other a la carte South American grilled meat experiences, turn to such restaurants as Del Campo in Penn Quarter (with several Asado grilled entrees), Argentinian steakhouse Victor's Grill II in Falls Church (which has two Parrillada combo platters for $45.95 and $47.95) and the new Rural Society (which has two La Parilla chef's tastings for $75 and $95).
The place: Fogo de Chao
The location: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave NW
The price: $53.50
It gets you: Unlimited access to their 16 cuts of fire-roasted meats, and the 30+ items at their salad and sides bar. Said bar includes fresh veggies, imported cheeses, cured meats, and Brazilian side dishes like warm cheese bread, crispy hot polenta, garlic mashed potatoes, and caramelized bananas. (Salad Bar only is $24.50.)
The Meats: Picanha (Top Sirloin), Filet Mignon (with or without bacon wrapping), Rib-Eye, Alcatra (Top Sirloin, similar to Picanha), Fraldinha (Bottom Sirloin), Beef Ribs, Lamb Chops, Leg of Lamb, Chicken Legs, Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts, Baby Back Ribs (Pork), Parmesan-Crusted Pork Loin, Linguica (Pork Sausage)
The place: Toro Toro
The location: 1300 I Street NW
The price: $79 per person
It gets you: Richard Sandoval's Pan-Latin steakhouse's huge menu includes a churrascaria option called The Rodizio Experience. For $79 per person, the entire table gets unlimited servings of 7 types of meat. The price also includes unlimited access to all 27 items on the regular small-plates menu (which includes veggie, seafood, and additional meaty options), as well as 6 vegetable side dishes (think Oaxaca cheese mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus with truffled hollandaise).
Meats: Picanha (Top Sirloin), Rib-Eye, Beef Tenderloin, Australian Lamb Chop, Chorizo Sausage, Achiote Chicken Thighs, Grilled Prawns with Roasted Pineapple
The place: Chima
The location: 8010 Towers Crescent Dr.
Tysons Corner, VA
The price: $52.50
It gets you: Appetizers, unlimited meat, and a salad/side buffet that includes veggies, seafood salads, cheeses, spreads, and hot sides ranging from rice to beans to soups. ($29.50 for the "sides only" option, which includes grilled fish.)
Meats: Picanha (Top Sirloin), Baby Top Sirloin, Filet Mignon (with or without bacon), Rib-Eye, Flank, Leg of Lamb, Lamb Chops, BBQ Ribs, Beef Ribs, Bacon-Wrapped Chicken, Boneless Chicken, Parmesan Pork Loin, Sausage, Salmon, Swordfish
The place: Texas De Brazil
The location: 11750 Fair Oaks Mall, K-240
The price: $44.99
It gets you: Unlimited meat, Brazilian cheese bread, and a 50-60 "seasonal salad area" that includes apps, veggies, soups, and salads. ($24.99 for "Salad Area" only.)
Meats: Filet Mignon (with and without bacon wrapping), Braised Beef Ribs, Lamb Chops, Pork Ribs, Brazilian Picanha (Top Sirloin), Garlic Picanha, Flank Steak, Brazilian Sausage, Leg of Lamb, Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breast, Parmesan Drumettes, Parmesan-Crusted Pork Loin, Herb-Marinated Pork Loin, Brazilian Alcatra (Top Sirloin, similar to Picanha), Chicken Sausage
The place: Charbroil Grill
The location: 14239 Potomac Mills Rd.
The price: $26
It gets you: Unlimited meats, salad bar, and "hot dishes," which ranges from soups to mashed potatoes to pasta to seafood dishes. ($21 for just salad and sides.)
Meats: Top Sirloin (Picanha), Rib-Eye, Brazilian Flank, Sirloin, Beef Ribs, Lamb, Skirt Steak, Pork Tenderloin with Parmesan, Pork Sausage, Bacon-Wrapped Tenderloin, and Bacon-wrapped Turkey
—Alia J. Khan
· The Five Days of Meat [-EDC-]