The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2016 Spring Dining Guide.
“Some sirloin?” a server sporting a kerchief asks. You nod, and with the precision of a plastic surgeon, he carves a rosy ribbon of beef from a glistening slab. “Pork or chicken?” inquires one of his colleagues, similarly attired in puffy black pants. Agree to both proteins, and the fellow slides a plump little sausage and beer-marinated drumstick off twin swords. You have to hand it to this all-you-can-feast Brazilian steakhouse. The chain has the meat-and-service thing down pat. The adventure begins with a trip to a salad bar the size of a barge and better dressed than most, with smoked salmon, a wheel of Parmesan and hearts of palm displayed alongside Caesar salad, fresh asparagus and (brilliant!) a do-it-yourself feijoada bar. Return to your table, and you might find it’s been set with side dishes: crisp polenta logs, wet mashed potatoes and sticky-good plantains, all part of the package in this two-story, wine-walled food hall. The round card in front of you keeps the meat-bearing waiters apprised of your appetite. The green side means “bring it on.” The red side signals a pause in the action — no easy task when there are more than a dozen cuts of beef, chicken, pork and lamb offered. Filling up the room: bachelor parties, conventioneers, couples on dates and at least one critic who needs another hole in his belt.
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→1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-347-4668. fogodechao.com.
Open: Lunch Sunday through Friday, dinner daily.
Prices: Weekday lunch $15 to $37, weekend lunch $25 to $43, dinner $29 to $55.
Sound check: 77 decibels / Must speak with raised voice.
Previously (2006): 2 stars