For the entire month of September, 70 of Orlando’s top restaurants will serve up three-course prix-fixe dinners for $30 during Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month benefiting the Edgewood Children’s Ranch, with $1 from every meal donated to the organization.
This is a wonderful cause to support, you can enjoy gourmet experiences while contributing to the community.
2012 marks the seventh year that Visit Orlando launched the Magical Dining Month and continues to grow with the addition of new restaurants to Orlando’s ever-expanding dining scene, including Fogo de Chão, Prickly Pear and Nick’s Italian Kitchen.
I was honored to get a special invitation from Visit Orlando to partake in the Magical Dining program preview at the Brazilian Steakhouse Fogo de Chão, what an amazing experience!
Many years ago I had the chance to savor the Brazilian cuisine in Fogo de Chão’s original location in Porto Alegre.
I was pleasantly surprised with the Orlando location located in the heart of the convention area. The signature of Fogo de Chão’s cuisine is the churrasco and the use of pits with open fire for roasting the meat at high temperatures and seasoning only with coarse sea salt to let the flavor of the meat shine through.
This traditional way of barbecuing is part of the Brazilian Gaucho culture, a rich blend of traditions from European immigrants and Brazilian natives, which is always present at every festive occasion, especially family gatherings.
Fogo de Chão offers several types of meats and cuts for every taste including chicken (frango), pork, top sirloin (picanha), filet mignon, lamb, pork ribs and sausage (linguiça).
Picanha is a prime cut of top sirloin and is very popular in the churrascarias in Brazil, at Fogo de Chão the gaucho chefs carefully carve each piece using same technique for hundreds of years, so this is a cut that you must have!
To accompany the meat Fogo de Chão showcases a huge salad bar like no other, you can even serve yourself crispy bacon alongside your salad with tabbouleh, palm hearts, fresh mozzarella and grilled vegetables.
To add to the feast servers bring to your table side dishes including pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, garlic mashed potatoes and caramelized bananas.
Rice and beans are another staple of the Brazilian cuisine, so do not forget to stop by the feijoada station and sprinkle some farofa on your rice and beans. Farofa is raw manioc flour toasted with butter, salt, and bacon until golden brown, absolutely delicious!
If you are a wine enthusiast Fogo de Chão has an extensive selection of red and white wines from all over the world as well as serves the famous caipirinha cocktail, Brazil’s national drink made with cachaça (sugar cane rum), sugar and lime.
For a happy ending several dessert options are available including homemade flan and papaya cream with cassis liquor as well as cheese cake and créme bruleé.
When in Orlando don’t miss Fogo de Chão, specially now when Visit Orlando is offering visitors 45 days of deals from Aug. 15 – Sept. 30 with discounted rates on hotels, plus deals on theme parks, dining and much more.
Hoping to see you soon in Orlando!