Full disclosure: I was again invited to Fogo de Chão along with a guest to try their new summer menu offerings. All opinions are my own (or my guest’s if I didn’t try something).
About two months after we had the pleasure of sampling Fogo de Chão’s spring menu offerings, we were invited back to the Baltimore location to try some lighter dishes they have added for the summertime. I was happy to see that several of the new spring dishes we had back in March were still available–namely the new salads that are part of the Market Table–but reading about the new ones certainly piqued my interest. Walking over with a healthy appetite, I was ready to chow down.
Over at the Market Table are two new salads: a classic Tomato Mozzarella Salad featuring mozzarella di Bufula and a Watermelon Feta Salad, comprised of fresh watermelon tossed together with basil, mint, black pepper, and just a sprinkling of feta cheese to add some salinity. Michael is a fan of both watermelon and feta cheese but appreciated the light hand used for the latter in this particular dish. I was a fan of the tomato-mozzarella salad (there are few I would never say no to), but as tomatoes hit their peak later in the summer this dish will be particularly tasty by then.
The Churrasco Experience has been updated with two new dishes: Grilled Pork Belly and Pineapple and Queijo Assado. The former is exactly what you think it is: a wooden platter of grilled cubes of pork belly served with slices of grilled pineapple, and the pork belly is tender juicy, and the perfect bite with a wedge of pineapple. Queijo Assado, meanwhile, is a platter of grilled cubes of Brazilian-style cheese that crisps up when heated on the outside but stays warm and gooey on the inside. (If you’re familiar with halloumi cheese, this is very similar to that.) Topped with a drizzle of honey, this was excellent but probably best-suited for a larger group of people to allow for sampling while enjoying everything else in the experience.
I was pleased to see that the Linguiça sausage from March was still available, as was the Eulila red blend; you can rest assured I enjoyed both and noted that the wine also goes really nicely with the new pork belly dish as well as the rest of the pork offerings. For the first time ever at a Fogo location, we were able to try not only the pork ribs–perhaps the favorite dish of the night all around–but also the much larger beef ribs. Michael was reminded of the soups his grandmother would make with beef ribs from eating them here.
While I ended up not trying their new Watermelon Fresca mocktail (again, not big on watermelon), I have to praise them for having a menu of non-alcoholic beverages. We’re definitely seeing a trend in restaurant patrons looking for non-boozy drink options for a multitude of reasons, and being able to cater to that desire readily and easily can avoid a potentially awkward experience for those customers.
We ended the night as we normally do, splitting a Papaya Cream with creme of cassis poured over the top, and it was the perfect way to end our very satisfying meal. The service was, as it always is, top-notch as we never wanted for anything, and I’m looking forward to telling Michael’s work bestie about all of the new dishes to encourage him to book his next big client dinner at Fogo.