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“Usually Perfect”

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
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Ranked #14 of 2,214 Restaurants in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 20 - USD 50
Cuisines: Brazilian, Steakhouse
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Buffet, Private Dining, Reservations
Description: Fogo de Chão(R) (fo-go dèe shoun), is an authentic Southern Brazilian steakhouse. In 1979, Fogo(R) began sharing the gaucho way of preparing meat in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Today, our gaucho chefs still expertly grill each of our 20 cuts of meat and offer you continuous tableside service. We invite you to enjoy the delicious preparations of our gaucho chefs along with our gourmet market table, authentic Brazilian side dishes, and award-winning wine list.
Reviewed 19 August 2017

We like to come here every few months, usually mid-afternoon on a weekend when not as crowded. I'd recommend reservations during busier times. Located on the Winchester Ave side of Santana Row (we usually use their free covered garages).

How it works: you order the full meal or just salad bar, as salad bar comes with the meal. They usually have a few extras, for instance a lobster bisque my husband loves, dessert selection, drinks, for an additional per-item fee.

The salad bar: the title is an overwhelming understatement. There are salad fixings, charcuterie (salami, prosciutto, etc.), good variety of gourmet cheeses, pickles, anti-pasti, specialty salads, fruits, smoked salmon and fixings, just an outrageous assortment. You have to see it to believe it. Truly gourmet, not your usual boring salad bar. (Tip: if you've ordered the entire meal, I cannot emphasize enough to NOT pile your plate high at this heavenly feast, or you'll be too full for the meal!)

The meal: served family-style at the table are scrumptious pillowy little bread bites who's Brazilian name I cannot remember, plantain (and possibly another side?) served during/after you've visited the salad bar. You'll notice there is a round, two-sided, red/green cardboard-ish "chip" near your plate, red facing up. You'll also notice waiters buzzing about the entire dining room in gaucho attire with huge swords carrying various meats and sausages, cooked close enough to perfection to pass for it. When you're ready, flip the chip green side up. The nearest waiter(s) will come near and slice off or unskewer the delicacy near your side plate. Your job is to use the tongs on that plate to carefully grasp the morsel and move it to the side plate. They will continue to descend on you as long as that "chip' is green up. Flip it red periodically to devour what you've accumulated while it is hot.

Usually the service is impeccable. We've been to this chain in other states as well, and they're pretty consistent. However, our last visit they seemed to fumble initially, taking extraordinarily long to get our drinks handled. The food and gauchos were terrific as they have always been. I suspect they were changing shifts... a minor infraction. We'll be back again. This is a nice place for larger groups as well, the unique service process keeps food flowing easily.

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Thank Lise W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 - 18 of 250 reviews

Reviewed 18 August 2017

I've been to FDC in other locations and the experience here in San Jose did NOT live up to the more positive experience I've had elsewhere.

First off, the service here is HORRIBLE. From ordering drinks, to trying to flag down servers for meats, to desserts that came out 10 - 15 minutes apart from each other, it was chaos the entire meal. When we notified the staff because the wait for our desserts became unbearable, they did nothing to apologize or attempt to compensate us.

The layout is also horrible here - small, cramped, and one that forces you to cross over multiple tables where people are sitting to reach the market buffet area. Lastly, let's talk about the food. The meat was a mixed bag - yes, there were definitely good meats (Picanha and Costela) but a few of them also came out way overcooked / well done. The market buffet was also okay - again cramped, small, and overall not well stocked (certain items were low or gone altogether - I expect that at Old Country Buffet, not at a place where I'm paying $56 for the meal). We also got the Premium Caipirinha cocktails which were delicious.

I generally don't like to leave negative reviews, but this place definitely needs to get its act together!

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Thank tigrr49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2017

Just finished the Ironman Santa Rosa so we went out to celebrate. This was the right choice!

We got there earlier in the evening (around 5:30?) and it wasn't full. We had called ahead to make a reservation and were seated right away. The bar was pretty stocked and there was a wall of wine bottles which is pretty cool. From the outside, it's hard to tell how big the place is, when you walk in it's pretty large with lots of seating in multiple sections. Decorations are all fancy but not over-the-top.

They have a salad bar where you can make a plate of greens and other sides, then you have a seat and wait for all the meat to go by. And there is a TON of meat going by, all the time. I tried pretty much everything: sausages, filet mignon, lamb, steak, chicken legs/thighs. Actually at one point I had tried everything that I wanted except the filet mignon and the guy asked what I was waiting for. When I told him, he asked how do I like it cooked. I said medium and he said he'll be right back. It was perfectly cooked!

All of the meat servers were fast and friendly. Sometimes even when we flipped the disk to "red" (or stop) they would come by and say "really? I think you should try this one" lol.

It was a little pricey but the quality was excellent as well as the service. This would be a great place to celebrate a special occasion.

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Thank plukins2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2017

I had been wanting to try a Fogo de Chao for a couple years, we visited in the middle of the afternoon and they were not busy. I asked them what was gluten free and got a vague answer, something along the lines of "almost everything". Lots of things on the salad bar were questionable so I did not try them. The people passing the meats did not know if their particular skewer was gluten free. We had finished our salad and meat before they brought mashed potatoes and they never did bring polenta or plantains to our table. The gluten free cheese bread was amazing, but overall I was pretty disappointed.

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Thank travelgal143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2017

Fogo de Chao is great for special occasions on days you are hungry. It is a hefty price if you eat like a bird, though (I also noticed the prices are not listed anywhere, so you may want clarification before you dive in). This place is not for the reluctant eater. It has a salad bar with dozens and dozens of items, they serve treats to the table to share and then come with swords of meats you can eat to your heart's desire during your dining experience.

My biggest complaint- the bathrooms were FILTHY... it makes me wonder how the kitchen looked... but the toilets were a turn-off and actually decreased my rating because of it.

Thank ELHyman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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