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Gluten-Free Feast at Fogo De Chao

Posted Feb 18 2009 11:53am

Valentine’s Day is a really special day that typically reaches at least one peak of the night around dinnertime. However, often time people with celiac disease or other food allergies find dinner to be the low point of the night…but not this year! My fabulous boyfriend Eric made reservations at Fogo De Chao in Washington DC for our Valentine’s Day Feast.

Over the years I’ve heard about Fogo De Chao a number of times, but usually in reference to a Beef wonderful meat coma you’ll feel after eating more than a dozen different types of meats. The lunch and dinner menus feature unlimited servings of 15 different delectable cuts of fire-roasted meats, a lavish buffet of gourmet salads and fresh-cut vegetables, and a variety of Brazilian side dishes. The side dishes included Brazilian cheese bread, crispy parmesan polenta, fried plantains and garlic mashed potatoes. All four are gluten-free and incredibly delicious…but more about that later!

Knowing how sensitive I am, Eric was sure to call ahead to find out exactly what I could eat. The manager he spoke to was thrilled to inform us that I could eat everything on the menu except for one chicken dish (the chicken marinated in beer). He said to ask for him upon arrival and he’d make sure we were taking care of.

When we were seated at the restaurant our server immediately knew to inform me about chicken and even made sure that the kitchen made a replacement so that I could enjoy all 15 meat dishes. YAY!

The meal started off with the gourmet salad bar. At first I decided I wasn’t going to eat any salad because I wanted to save room for the meat, but after taking one look at the salad bar, I knew I had to give in! Fresh mozzarella cheese balls, marinated tomatoes and artichokes, roasted peppers, smoked salmon, and grilled asparagus were just a few of the items on the salad bar. Each had a distinct flavor profile that left me wanting more and more. Honestly, I could have eaten just the salad bar and cheese bread and been 100% happy!

But…of course, I had to have the meat. Just seconds after we signaled that we were ready for our meat TopSirloin courses to begin, we had servers approaching our table with the finest cuts of beef, lamb, chicken and pork. To name a few: prime rib, lamb chops, leg of lamb, rib eye, filet mignon, top sirloin, bottom sirloin, beef ribs, pork chops, slow roasted sausage…and my special chicken that was perfectly marinated with fajita spices and garlic.

My favorite part of the entire meal was definitely the Brazilian Cheese Bread. It was the most soft, fluffy and sinfully delicious bread I’ve had in years and I actually asked the manager if I could buy a CheeseBread package of it. Sadly, the answer was no, but maybe if enough of us ask for it, they’ll start packaging and selling it! The bread is a simple recipe that includes yucca flour, parmesan cheese, butter, eggs and salt. I’m going to try to recreate it, so be sure to check back soon for the recipe!

So, what's the bottom line? Yes, it is kind of expensive to eat at Fogo De Chao. Dinner is $49.99 per person, but I promise it will be the best $49.99 you'll spend on a gluten-free meal! Here are the locations: Austin, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Baltimore, and Indianapolis.

So my Valentines Day was filled with love, laughter and delicious food! Thank You Eric for being the best boyfriend ever and knowing the most direct path to my gluten-free heart...cheesebread!




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