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Last month, the Zapwater team celebrated the grand opening of Fogo de Chão’s 21st restaurant in Rosemont. As a self-proclaimed “foodie,” I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work on the award-winning the authentic Southern Brazilian steakhouse.

For those unfamiliar with the brand, the restaurant’s dining experience is based on the centuries-old gaucho tradition known as churrasco, the art of roasting meats over an open fire. A prix fixe menu features freshly grilled meats carved tableside, as well as an extensive salad bar and authentic Brazilian sides.

Here are a couple fun facts about Fogo: • Fogo de Chão is actually pronounced “fo-go dèe shoun” • Fogo de Chão means “fire on the ground” • Fogo de Chão is the original Brazilian steakhouse. It was founded in 1979 in Porto Alegre, Brazil and expanded into the U.S. in 1997

Mouth watering yet? A word to the wise: pace yourself. Fogo de Chão specializes in espeto corrido, or “continuous service,” where a team of Brazilian-trained gaucho chefs prepares and serves 16 different cuts of beef, lamb, chicken and pork. Guests decide both the pace and the portions of their dining experience by using a small, double-sided disc that signals to the gaucho chefs that they are ready for additional service—green queuing servers to continue bringing meats and red signaling a break. So, if you leave your green disk facing up, you’ll be constantly offered delicious cuts of meat that are hard for any foodie to refuse!

Throughout the past few months, our team has been fortunate enough to get to experience Fogo multiple times. I’m now an expert in the Brazilian cuts of meat, and I’m proud to say that I’m slowly learning the art of self-restraint.

It’s no wonder Fogo was named one of Chicago’s “best new restaurants” when it first opened and continues to maintain its position as one of Zagats’ top U.S. restaurants.

Morgan Bellock Account Director