Our 2017 Super Bowl Deserted Restaurant Getaway


Picanha, a.k.a. garlic sirloin, one of Anne’s favorite bites of the night.

Each year my wife Anne and I have indulged our own special Super Bowl tradition: while the rest of the world is watching football and swapping snacks and beers with best friends and chatting about The Sports, the two of us have dinner at a fancy restaurant we’ve never tried before. Between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., anyplace without a large-screen TV is usually deserted and totally ours for the taking.

The last few years have also seen Super Bowl Sunday coincide with a local event called Devour Downtown, in which dozens of upscale establishments in downtown Indianapolis offer a limited-time sort of blue-plate special that allows plebes like us to come in and sample their cuisine from a specially selected discount menu. It’s still a bit pricier than five-dollar footlongs, but in our experience the quality has always been immeasurably higher, no matter where we’ve gone. This year the event was merged with several others of its kind, expanded citywide, and renamed Devour Indy. We ended up heading downtown anyway, but it’s nice to know we’ll have more compass options in the years ahead.

Tonight’s feature presentation: Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse with over two dozen American locations in addition to their flagships back home. For one solid price that was more than we would ever dream of paying for non-special occasions, their Devour Indy special offered a buffet of fancy unlimited appetizers, while the waiters approached every table with a few unlimited side dishes and numerous small yet unlimited meat portions all prepared in the Brazilian way, by which I mean they were made of meat. Good enough for us.

While you’re still watching or recovering from your big Super Bowl party and any deleterious overtime side effects, please enjoy the photo gallery of smorgasbord samples, and then feel free to go back to your sports and politics. Or not. Far be it from me to force you, honestly. You can join us over here in time-out corner with the other conversational dropouts if you’d like. We have meat!


Random appetizers I tossed together with abandon included shaved cheese from one of those giant, authentic cheese wheels; mozzarella caprese salad; fancy chicken salad; tabbouleh; and feijoada, a black bean stew I was supposed to serve myself on rice. I decided my feijoada should go commando.

bananas + polenta!

Sides included crispy polenta, caramelized bananas, and competent mashed potatoes shoved into the background as punishment for the crime of Being Ordinary.

butternut squash soup!

Anne enjoyed a bowl of butternut squash soup made with coconut milk and handily shaming every bowl of tomato soup we’ve ever touched.

pork rib!

Once we eliminated the non-meats, the first waiter we saw armed with a giant skewer brought Costela de Porco — pork rib, slow-roasted and marinated.

pork sausage!

Linguica is an upscale term for this slow-roasted pork sausage that’s meant to contain a “Ç”, but I can’t locate its lowercase counterpart in the Character Map.

Bottom Steak!

Fraldinha (bottom sirloin) was the largest chunk held at our table, but the waiter merely sliced off modest portions for each of us rather than leaving all 20-odd ounces for our indulgence.

chicken + porkchop!

Two dishes not appearing in the Devour Indy listing: chicken in beer, brandy and paprika (my favorite bite); and porkchop marinated in citrus-orange and white wine.

parmesan crusted pork!

Lombo — parmesan crusted pork loin — was one of the more overtly decorated dishes.

key lime pie!

Dessert was included with our meals, thankfully in sensible portions that would not make us explode after all that meat. My chocolate mousse cake was more about chocolate than about sweetness, which is fine by me, but Anne’s key lime pie was more picturesque.

Fogo de Chao!

By the time we left a little before 7:30, the place was half-empty as diners rushed home to see the Atlanta Falcons take advantage of that early 28-3 killer lead.

…and then we all went home and died. Some of us from overeating, other from being Falcons fans. The End.

2 responses

  1. Looks like a good time was had by all.
    I once had lunch at a Brazilian steakhouse. The meat! The meat! It was not easy to go back to work afterward. A nap would have been so much better.


    • Thankfully our self-control saved us the one time, but that’s not always the case when we’re faced with an assortment of this delicious magnitude. Anne and I did our best to restrain our appetites rather than risk calling in sick Monday morning with a tragic case of meat sweats.

      Liked by 1 person

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