Person Behind The Place:
Originally from South America, Daniel Siegert knows what great steak tastes like. At just 19, he packed up his things and moved to Los Angeles to attend ESL school followed by college. During his life in Los Angeles, Daniel ran a multi-unit company of Brazilian Steakhouses before ending up in Bellevue.
It felt like a perfect match when Siegert learned one of his favorite restaurants opened in Downtown Bellevue. With his connections from the many Brazilian Steakhouse he worked for, Siegert landed a sales manager position for Fogo de Chão, a restaurant rooted in Brazilian tradition with traditional-inspired small plates and award-winning wines and cocktails. What started as a job to get himself through college turned into a life-long career and beyond. Read on to hear about what makes Fogo de Chão unique and Siegert’s favorite spots in the Heart of Bellevue.
What makes Fogo de Chão your longtime favorite restaurant?
It’s the abundant number of options you get to have when you walk in. There are 50 different types of salads and fresh seasonal fruits. I love the healthy choices that accompany the 17 different types of meat we offer. You can’t forget the seafood we serve too for those who don’t want to indulge in meat. Fogo de Chão is a place for everyone, including options for vegetarians and vegans. We have a phenomenal cauliflower steak that will meet all expectations. It truly is about abundance. It’s the perfect place for groups and celebration. Here, food is your last concern because we’ve taken care of it.
What makes Fogo de Chão stand out from other Brazilian Steakhouses in the area?
Because of the way we serve our food and how interactive the entire experience is, our service is incredibly unique. From the very start, your server will direct you to the market table, the area where you grab your vegetables and sides. When you get back to the table, there will be Gauchos dressed up in the traditional cowboy outfits from Brazil walking around all the main dining room with meat and skewers ready to serve you. Every bite is a discovery.
How has the pandemic affected Fogo de Chão?
When the restaurant first opened, it was sensational. Being one of the first Latin American restaurants in the area, everyone wanted to dine here. The issue with the pandemic is we’re one of the only Fogo de Chão restaurants that doesn’t have a patio. It was a tough time; we couldn’t do outdoor dining like everyone else. We rolled out our take-out and delivery option. That’s how we survived and that’s how we’re continuing to survive. The program is very successful now with the support of the community.
What is the most popular item on the menu?
When people typically come to Fogo de Chão, they come for the meat, and one meat in particular: Picanha. When we cook it, the meat keeps a layer of fat right around the edge making the texture crispy. It is considered one of the most traditional cuts, tender and soft. It’s delicious.
What is your favorite part about working in Downtown Bellevue?
I love the excitement of being right in the middle of all the growth happening in Bellevue. The tech scene, for example, is one of the coolest things to see here. Every day there’s more news about Downtown. I’m excited to see more.
Do you have a favorite place to dine out?
No surprise, I tend to frequent steakhouses to see what others are doing. I like Daniel's Broiler and STK Steakhouse. They both have great happy hours and provide an awesome experience.
What are your favorite places to shop?
If I am shopping, I would head across the freeway and shop at REI. My favorite thing to do is spending time outdoors, from backpacking to fishing. I love it all.
What is Fogo de Chão focusing on in 2022?
In my role as sales manager, I'm focusing on letting the community know that we’re here to offer a unique dining experience. We strive to have the highest quality product we can find in the market. Something new we’re introducing is the Wagyu steak, and the way we present it to our guests is phenomenal. We roll it out on a cart, slice it and serve it on a salt block. Our customer service is incredible. We’re here to give people an interactive experience that should come with any restaurant all the while sharing Brazilian culture with the Bellevue community.
Follow Fogo de Chão to hear more about their menu and new promotions coming up.
Person Behind the Place is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.
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Fogo De Chão
440 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA 98004