Image: Alan Weiner
Gauchos at Fogo de Chão prepare for the meat service.

Having heard rumors of dapper gauchos and myriad roasting meats over pits of open fire, we here at Portland Monthly have been a little more than curious about downtown's new 250-seat Southern Bralizian steakhouse, Fogo de Chão. So we gathered up a team of adventurous meat eaters and moseyed over for a carnivorous lunch in the cavernous space, visions of sizzling steak skewers dancing in our eyes. With bellies still full and heads still hazy from the meat frenzy, here's what we thought:

"When I returned to my desk, I glanced around at the red or green objects in the vicinity—a stack of Post-its, an Altoids tin—and dreamed of being able to turn them over and suddenly be surrounded by strangely jodhpured men asking which bacon-wrapped meat I'd like to have."

"Hovering over my shoulder is only okay if you're slicing up a hot piece of meat to slide on my plate. Hover away, gaucho."

"So much meat! So many men! So many reasons to return! And the Hilton Hotel across the way makes leaving a tip so convenient..."

"When the gleeful 'meat service' began, and slices began raining down upon us, I was sure we'd return to the office gloriously splattered with meat juice, reeking of roasted lamb legs and ribeyes. Lying supine, it's hard to tell."

"It was like being the chief hunter of the caveman clan at a feast day, served all the choicest bits first. Easily the most paleo meal I've ever had."

"I’m in too much of a food coma to write a whole sentence. Can that be my sentence?"

"It's the meat equivalent of a wine flight. You get to taste each side-by-side and finally know what your preferred cut is."

"My meal came with a side order of extra muffin-top. Sooo good."

"Mmmmm baby skin—my favorite!" (On the warm cheese bread, or pão de queijo)

"I ate too many cheese breads. I turned into a cheese ball: FOGO DE WOW." (Also on the warm cheese bread, or pão de queijo)

"Everywhere I turned someone was happily ready to serve me another slice of meat. It was a glorious madness I had never experienced before!"

"I was in meat heaven. The filet mignon was a spiritual experience."

"Holy effing flan! Testament: the day after eating at Fogo I had the best workout of my life. All that iron…"

"Will a photo suffice?"