Well tonight we tried http://www.fogodechao.com/ International Drive Orlando.
Thanks to Wendy for the suggestion!
It's a brazilian inspired steakhouse but it tries to be a bit upmarket.
First impressions, it's a rather nice place! nicely styled and quite posh looking really. On entering, we were given a pager and told we'd be seated in 10-15 minutes. This place was BUSY!
Once the pager went off, we were taken to the very busy dining room and seated. The layout is pretty standard, large open room with a buffet style table in the middle. The table has things like parma ham, cheese, smoked salmon, rice, potatoes, salads etc.
A server came over and explained that we should take the first course from whatever we wanted at the buffet. He was careful to note this was a meat eaters place and the only fish was the smoked salmon ;-)
The food was pretty good although things like the parma ham and smoked salmon showed signs of wilting a little. Though I noticed they replaced them regularly. I'd definitely say they tried hard to keep them fresh.
After that, we were given little round drink mats red on one side green on the other. It was explained that if we wanted the "gouchos" to stop with meat, we should turn the mat green side up, red to stop.
Now, this is a BUSY place. It feels busy, looks busy, servers rushing round constantly. Interestingly, as soon as you turn that card green, people approach the table with meat and keep doing so until you turn it red.
There are 16 types of skewered meat including rib eye, sirloins, chicken, lamb, pork etc. and its very nice. Very hot, very well cooked and a great variety. Seriously hard to fault any of the food except, it's a LOT of meat.
Turning the card red gives a much needed respite from the skewer gouchos :lo: so one can eat a little.
It's a little like ohanas but definitely several times more posh and the food is much much better!
Wine was medium priced. A bottle of white zinfandel costing $18 at ruby tuesdays was $30 here. The glasses were HUGE And after a few sips somehow the bottle was gone.
Everyone is VERY attentive. Get up and when you sit back down chances are a server will have your chair and push it in for you. HOWEVER they're all so busy, requests can get forgotten and if you don't receive your water or whatever you've asked for in two minutes, I'd assume they've forgotten it.
All in all, a very interesting concept and very well done to be honest! At $42.50 a head it's not cheap and if you're not very much a meat eater, forget it, you won't like it.
It's definitely not for a quiet meal though unless you can get a quiet table at the side somewhere.
Would we go again? well we prefer something a little quieter, charleys, ruth's chris etc and its not like it's much cheaper than those places! However, I wouldnt want to fault the hardworking staff who all seem really into the concept. It's one which has to be tried to see if it's your kind of thing :)