When restaurants shut down dining rooms in March due to Covid 19 they had to rely on takeout and delivery until the lock down ended in May. Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao was no different furloughing 90% of staff with managers becoming cooks, order takers and delivery drivers. The restaurant offered Fogo to Go butchered raw meats, meals to go, catered off site meals for small groups and Caipirinha cocktail kits. Management at the headquarters in Dallas were devising a plan for locations throughout the country as how to adapt to the new reality when dine-in service resumed.
Fogo de Chao is known for its generous assortment of meats skewered and served table side by gauchos but also for its generous assortment of cold salads, meats and cheeses at it salad bar. That’s where it biggest challenge would be on how to serve guests who were used to making their way to the salad bar stocked with over 30 items.
The new normal at Fogo de Chao
A recent visit to the Scottsdale location I found out what has changed since they re-opened for dine-in service last month. The changes were obvious once you enter to restaurant, hostess’s and all employees wear face masks, a poster board next to the hostess stand reviews their commitment to health and safety and fewer tables in the dining room for social distancing. Gone were menus, salt & pepper shakers and the green (Go) and red (Stop) coaster cards diners use to let gauchos know whether to approach you for more meat.
As for the buffet, selections have been reduced. Servers now bring a charcuterie board of meats, cheeses and olives followed by courses of salads to choose from. Gauchos continue to roam the room carving slices of beef, chicken, pork and lamb to your heart’s desire as they did prior to Covid 19. Only difference is they approach you asking if you’d like more meat.
Fogo continues to offer Fogo- to-Go’s butcher shop, catering with curbside pick-up and contact-less delivery. Summer promotions are being finalized and I will update as soon I as I hear what they are.
The Scottsdale location is at 6300 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85250. The restaurant offers full service dining as well as group dining, an outdoor patio and bar. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner & brunch on weekends. For more information and to make a reservation head to their website.
Years ago people would purchase their cheese from a cheese shop, fish from a fish market and meats from a butcher, today you can find the one stop shopping with few peddling their product knowing only basic information. With that in mind the Arcadia Meat Market is set to open on January 11th 2018.
Partners Nick Addante and Luigi Paroli plan to bring back the old school butcher shop offering Arizona raised beef, pork, chicken and lamb and will source all natural products from Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and California.
Need for the Arcadia Meat Market
Addante is a partner in Arizona’s only grass-fed beef producer who realized that the mass marketed meat industry lacked what consumers want including transparency, product knowledge and the treatment of animals.
“All our meats are free range and pasture raised, never had any antibiotics or hormones, and the animals we sell have always eaten healthy food resulting in the best quality meats.” Addante says.
“We believe that healthy animals raised in open pastures make for a healthier planet and healthy happy customers. We work with producers that care about our planet and the animals they raise. Our ranchers practice sustainable farming methods so their business may continue to thrive for generations to come.”
Addante also wanted a skilled neighborhood butcher who cared about the meats they are butchering for their customers and the customers themselves.
Enter Paroli, a 2nd generation butcher from New Zealand who’s worked across the country and will hand cut all meats in-house.
“It’s all about bringing back trust and transparency, because I was raised on that, including 8,000 hours of training under a master butcher in Wellington, New Zealand,” Paroli says. “I’ve run butcher shops from Alaska to Manhattan and it all comes back to good, healthy, grass-fed, pasture raised, organic proteins. Plus, you can come and get something specially cut for you and feel good about providing for your family.”
Arcadia Meat Market will be open daily Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Also offered will be ready-to- cook meals, grab & go items and more. In the future they plan to sell wine, cheese, charcuterie and cold pressed juices.
Arcadia Meat Market will be 3950 E. Indian School Rd. #150 Phoenix 85018.
Calling all Jerky fans, Golden Island’s www.goldenislandjerky.com Grilled Barbecue & Korean BBQ pork jerky is now available in your local Costco. Golden island is the leading brand and manufacturer of gourmet jerky for over 60 years. Based in Rancho Cucamonga CA. they’re known for their own marinating and cooking method that includes grilling the meat. The pork jerky is made with no preservatives, no nitrates and no fillers, the meat comes from premium pork hams.
Jerky is great for snacks and active lifestyles as it is packed with 8 grams of protein and up to 60% less sodium per serving than other jerkies. The Grilled Barbecue jerky has the flavor of Spare Ribs found in Chinese restaurants while the Koren BBQ flavor has a sweet and smoky flavor and both taste as if they came right of the grill. Both flavors can be very addictive. The Korean BBQ recipe is gluten free.
These jerkies are well worth picking up a bag or two on your weekend trip to Costco.
Whether you’re heading down to scuba dive, check on your money or warm up from the winter blues Grand Cayman Island has its variety of dining for everybody. Considered by many to be the culinary capital of the Caribbean (say that a few times after a few Pina Coladas), Grand Cayman is a rather small island in the western Caribbean Sea with several influences native to island or imported. The majority of the dining scene is on the western side of the island near George Town, but throughout the island you’ll find several other restaurants (in some cases barely that) frequented by locals which is the best way to taste the flavor of the island and the region. This is exactly what we did on a recent visit.
Surrounded by turquoise blue water, you’d be correct if you guessed that a lot of seafood is being served along with “jerk” food. “Jerk” is a mildly spicy seasoning found throughout parts of the Caribbean including Jamaica and Grand Cayman. The use of cloves gives it a distinctive flavor than most other spicy seasoning and it’s most commonly found on chicken and pork.
After getting some recommendations from hotel employees and checking local guide books we made our way to RankinsJerk on Shamrock Rd. on the border of Bodden Town and Lower Valley. No big menu at this walk up restaurant just a few daily specials and couple of staples that include Jerk chicken($8), Jerk pork ($10) both w/ red beans and rice and small salad which were very tasty as was the Mahi Mahi filet and the chicken soup. We knew it would be good as we walked in to the minimal looking dining room to await our food, which was packed with locals eating lunch. So quiet you could hear a pin drop. It was also one of the few places I saw goat on the menu but decided to pass.
If you’re craving kangaroo or crocodile Make your way to the Gun Bay area of the Eastern Districts to Tukkawww.tukka.ky where Chef Ron who hails from the Queensland area of Australia will introduce you to Australian food with a Caribbean flare at his beach side restaurant. With an extensive menu we were there for his Walkabout Wednesday tasting menu which included 3 courses for $40 C.I plus gratuity. Crocodile and Conch Fritter, Breaded Brie and a Lobster & Shrimp Spring Rolls were the 1st course followed by a choice of pan seared Barramundi, Grilled Mahi Mahi and Prawn Skewer, Mixed Grill Brochette consisting of lobster, shrimp, chicken and lamb cutlet or Angus beef filet and Kangaroo sausage. All the food presented tasted great and the presentation was the best we’d seen on the island. The Date & Walnut pudding w/ Butterscotch sauce was my choice for dessert delicious and had me wanting to lick my bowl. This was by far the fanciest restaurant of our visit.
If you make it to the North Side be sure to visit Over the Edge Restaurantwww.over-theedge.com over looking Old Man Bay. With a variety of sandwiches, salads and main courses served in a nautical setting this was the restaurant we kept saying we had to get to and finally did for our next to last lunch. With a nice variety of fish that included Snapper, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Codfish and Lobster just to name I few. I went with the Fish & Fries (fish n chips). This was not your battered and fried fish that I was expecting but a seasoned and breaded then pan-fried filets which was a pleasant surprise. It was also the only place I noticed turtle steaks on the menu for those that crave it. Also be sure to ask for the jar of pickled peppers if you want to add a spicy kick to your meal.
If you find yourself hungry in George Town or along Seven Mile Beach and want to avoid the touristy places you can watch the waves rolling in at The Royal Palms Beach Clubwww.royalpalmscayman.com Part beach club, part patio restaurant this was slightly more mainstream with burgers, pizzas, salads and sandwiches. I went with the Mahi Mahi sandwich ($10.50 C.I.) with the Jerk mayo which was very good.
We also ate a couple of good meals where we stayed at the Morritt’s Grand Resort on the northeast corner of the island at Colliers Point. At David’s Restaurantthe seafood risotto and coconut shrimp salad were winners.
Other good choices we visited was the Wreck Bar and Grill at Rum Point www.rumpointclub.com for eating at picnic tables and under the palm trees after a visit to Sting Ray City. On one visit I went with the Traditional Style Jerk Pork ($11 C.I.) which was a generous portion
of pork along with red beans and rice, corn on the cob and coleslaw. For my final meal of our trip we returned I had the Jerk Chicken Wrap off the special board which was very flavorful. Definitely the most kicked back place of our visit with its hammocks and clear blue water to stare into.
A few other places were recommended to us that we could not get to were Chester’s Fish Fry in Bodden Town, South Coast Bar & Grill on the water by Frank Sound and Vivine’s Kitchen in Gun Bay that looked like someones home and identified by a sign hanging on a street side mailbox. All of these were in the Eastern Districts part of the island.
The Cayman Islands have their own currency (C.I.), some places quote both C.I. & U.S. dollar prices & U.S. prices are 20% higher due to the exchange rate and any change given from U.S. dollars is given in C.I.
So whatever your reason for visiting Grand Cayman Island be rest assured you won’t go hungry and if you take these recommendations and others from the locals you should be leaving very satisfied and a few pounds heavier.