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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: February 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Joke Is On Us!

Those crazy Japanese have us all fooled. Check out this video clip of a worldwide culinary joke the Japanese have played on all of us.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

How to Survive a Night at Fogo de Chao

I consider myself to be an expert on Fogo de Chao. It has been my birthday dinner every year for the past 6 years. Sprinkle in the occasional business dinner, a few nights out with the boys, and a mandatory stop every time my father comes in for a visit, and I have probably dined there 15 times. For the uninitiated, here’s the concept. For roughly $50, waiters dressed as Brazilian gauchos roam the dining room with meats on skewers. A card in front of you tells the gauchos when your hungry (green side) and when you need a break (red side). On any given night, there are approximately 15 different types of meats making the rounds. While “all you can eat meat” is a dream come true for some (including yours truly), the dining room is full of traps and pitfalls. So to help rookies and beginners of this fantastic Brazilian Churrascuria on Piedmont Rd. in Buckhead, I have outlined a roadmap that will help ensure carnivorous maximus!

1) Preparation- What to do about lunch?
You definitely want to go hungry, but not overly so, that you go hog wild the moment you walk in. I recommend a normal sized lunch, but try to avoid beef. A turkey or tuna sandwich would be perfect. The last thing you want is a ½ burger that sits like a rock in your stomach when you walk in. Try to time it, such that you have a good 7-8 hours between meals.

2) Moderation…at the Salad Bar
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many people I see that return from the salad bar with a plate piled six-inches high. This is of course what the restaurant loves to see- people filling their stomachs with 10-cent artichoke hearts as opposed to filet mignon. If you’re going to have anything at the salad bar, grab some smoked salmon. Grabbing multiple swiss cheese sticks and mozzarella balls is idiotic.

3) Be Wary of the Sausage Man
There is a reason why the best Steakhouses in town don’t offer a sausage main course. I always feel bad for the gaucho walking around with the chicken and sausage skewers, because he probably gets the least amount of attention. But someone is taking this stuff, or they wouldn’t keep offering it. There is no prize for having one of every meat available, and it would be fool’s gold if there was one. Be picky. Stick with the house special, top/bottom sirloin, filet mignons and the lamb chops. The pork tenderloin is even acceptable. If you say yes to the chicken, you are out of your league.

4) It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
This is probably the most important tip I can give. Turning your card to green will elicit a response similar to looking for a day laborer in the Home Depot parking lot…gauchos from far and wide will make a bee line for your table. Its okay to say no to something you really want because, trust me, they will come back. Try not to have more than two meats on your plate at any one time, and its okay to take periodic breaks. If you finish your dinner in 45 minutes, you ate way too fast.

If you have not yet been to Fogo de Chao, it’s a definite must, even for the non-carnivores. The atmosphere is terrific and the gaucho service is first rate. But for the meat lovers out there, this is paradise, especially when you go in with a winning strategy

Steakhead Recommends: Yes
Price: $$$-$$$$

Friday, February 23, 2007

North Fulton Restaurant Week

Thanks to Chloe at Chow Down Atlanta- another great Atlanta food blog- for the info on the North Fulton Restaurant Week taking place next week. Y'all know the drill by now- $25 gets you a 3-course meal at some of the finest dining establishments on the Northside. Check out the event site for info on the exact participants, but I will tease you with the great news that diPaolo- a Steakhead 2006 Top 10- is a participant!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sake & Sushi Event

Compound will host a Sake & Sushi event on Thursday March 8. The event takes place from 6:30-9:30, with tickets costing $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Participating restaurants include Zuma, Silk, The Real Chow Baby, Nakato and others. I am not familiar with some of the restaurants listed, and am somewhat confused by the inclusion of The Real Chow Baby at a sushi event, but I can vouch for the top notch sushi served by Zuma. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Gone Fishin’ at Atlanta Fish Market

It’s amazing that after 11 years of living in Atlanta, I still hadn’t ventured into the Atlanta Fish Market until this week. I mean, just the big fish jumping out of the ground is usually the kind of gimmick that would attract a goofball like me. Thanks to my boss, who gave me a Buckhead Life gift certificate for the holidays, this was the Steakheads’ destination for Valentine’s Day.

Like most Buckhead Life restaurants, the service at Atlanta Fish Market is top notch. Our waiter was fantastic, and really knew the menu, which can be daunting. Because this was a rare night out without the little one, we were not in any hurry, and we weren’t rushed to make our selections. For starters, we tried his recommendations of the yellow fin tuna carpaccio. This was outstanding, but as is the case with most carpaccios, there is not a lot of substance. So to complement that appetizer, we ordered a volcano roll from their sushi menu. This was outstanding- one of the better spicy tuna rolls I have had!

I really struggled with the main course. There was a long island boil that included a ½ lobster, scallops, mussels and clams that caught my eye. Numerous fresh fish selections and the crab cakes also looked appealing. But in the end, I went with the 1 ¼ lb. stuffed lobster. While this was good, I wound up regretting this selection for a couple of reasons. First of all, the deviled crab topping was too rich and really took away from the lobster. Second, this wasn’t the kind of dish that really showcases what a kitchen can do. I mean, how hard is it to take a lobster, throw him in a pot of boiling water, and serve him on a plate? From now on, when in the mood for lobsters, I’ll either have it at home, or go to Maine, where any lobster dock with a picnic table is a 5-star joint.

We did enjoy our evening at Atlanta Fish Market, and would like to think we will come again. While you may have noticed we haven’t been heading out much lately, we will be hitting the town hard next week. A pre-Spamalot dinner at Baraonda on Tuesday, and then Steakhead’s traditional birthday meal at Fogo on Wednesday! Can’t wait!

Steakhead Recommends: Yes
Price: $$$-$$$$