8.16.2012

Dining Out Paleo: Fogo de Chão

Welcome to my Thursday series: Dining Out Paleo

Every Thursday I post a recent dining out experience and how I chose the best possible options to stay true to my Paleo lifestyle and avoid grains, sugars, dairy, and soy to the best of my ability.  Unless informed otherwise, I always assume that the restaurant uses vegetable/canola oils for cooking.

This week's Dining Out Paleo transpired at the easiest possible place to stick to a Paleo diet, a true meat lover's Paleo paradise - Fogo de Chão in Beverly Hills.  This particular week happened to be dineLA Restaurant Week, which meant Fogo was offering their same fantastic array of meats and veggies... but at a very reasonable discounted price.

The only real pitfall that you may encounter here is the high probability that you will spend your afternoon in gluttony, wallowing in mountains of succulent and perfectly cooked meat.  Portion control can be (and usually is) an issue.  With high prices and an endless parade of meat skewers, how can you not be tempted to eat your fill for the next week and a half?  With that said - we are all different and if you want to wear your Thanksgiving pants and have a meat coma designated driver on hand - have at it!  (On this day, I wore a very loose sundress as it is much more attractive than a pair of gray Hanes sweats, but serves the same purpose.)

So what to eat?  


The salad bar is gorgeous, well stocked, and unique with fresh flavors that will easily fill your tummy.  As much as I wanted to load my plate with all the beautiful produce, I had to remember that I would soon be subjecting my tummy to a steady cascade of divine meats.  This trip I opted for: cucumber slices, giant asparagus, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, beets, BACON!, onions... and I succumbed to peer pressure and tried a bite of chicken salad... which was DELICIOUS!  There is a wide selection of olive oils and vinegars from which to choose if you are interested in dressing your plate, as well.  For me, the veggies are so flavorful that I opt out of additional seasoning.

When my salad bar plate was just about empty, I flipped my little red coaster shaped card to green and it was GO time for the meat parade!  My poor little iPhone couldn't keep up with the dim lighting and the constant flow of meat grazing across my plate... so here is a small sampling... you'll have to go and experience the rest for yourself.


The guy at the next table's face cracks me up!  That's about how I felt the first time I ate here.

 


Two small pieces at a time never seems that daunting... it is only after I consume two small pieces six or seven times that my stomach may finally say "enough already!"

Since I am a huge fan of spicy, I was taught to ask my server for a plate of grilled onions and jalapeños.  I also ask for a dish of chimichurri sauce.  Neither of these is brought out unless requested and they are DEFINITELY worth asking for!


After my very first visit, I also learned to moderate myself, eat slow, and enjoy the overall experience with my dining companions.  The food is certainly the highlight, but it is only enhanced by sharing this type of meal with good friends and family and great conversations.

Can't wait to go back!  This meat-loving chick has found her dining-out Mecca.




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