Meat, it’s what’s for dinner (or lunch) at Folia Brazilian Steakhouse. Ok, that doesn’t tell the whole story of this Kennesaw restaurant. There is a cold bar where you can mix and match vegetables for a refreshing salad. And you can heap some mashed potatoes, black beans with pork, or steamed rice onto your plate from the adjoining hot bar. But Folia is a churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) first and foremost, and a pretty good one in fact.
Like most other rodizio style Brazilian restaurants, you pay a fixed price (lunch $12.99, dinner $25.99), and that will get you an unlimited amount of meat brought to you by servers called passadores. They carve the meat tableside, and you assist them by grabbing the slices with provided tongs. A card colored red on one side and green on the other controls the delivery of protein to your table. The dining ritual is simple: green means “bring on the meat,” and red means “halt.”
If meat is not your thing, you can pay a lower fixed price (lunch $8.99, dinner $14.99), which limits you to the restaurant’s cold and hot bar. On it, you can find a mayonnaisey potato salad — mixed with chopped vegetables — that is not too different in style from ones you would find at church picnics. One can construct a pretty decent salad made with the bar’s fresh offerings of romaine lettuce, oily hearts of palm, milky balls of mozzarella and pickled red onions. Additionally, each table is brought warm bananas sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and an equally addictive plate of chewy pão de queijo (cheese bread). Servers will give you more of both if you ask.
At dinner time, around 15 different cuts of meat are offered. Display the green colored side of the card and passadores will arrive with a random variety. The picanha, a seasoned top sirloin, is the star here. On one visit it has a soft and luxurious pink center (my preferred doneness). But on another visit it’s closer to medium-well, which I pass on but nearby diners gobble up. I can’t fault the restaurant for that inconsistency; part of the dining experience at a churrascaria is to understand that it can’t always cater to your specific tastes.
During lunch, the restaurant limits the different cuts of meat offered to eight, but the quality level does not miss a beat. The pork loin and leg of lamb are stellar. The cooked-through pork is tender and has a vinegary “steak sauce” flavor. The gamey lamb is mildly pink and seasoned with just a sprinkling of salt. Chicken drumsticks are slick inside from the fat rendered from their crispy outer skins. And beef tips are intensely flavored from an oily garlic marinade bath.
Not all the meat offerings satisfy. Petite filets and small chunks of chicken — both wrapped in bacon — are too tough and dry for my taste. Nevertheless, I enjoy most everything else about Folia Brazilian Steakhouse. And at half the cost of some of the higher-end local churrascarias, it makes a worthy alternative.FOLIA BRAZILIAN STEAKHOUSE 2606 George Busbee Parkway, Kennesaw, 30144, 678-324-5041 Food: Fixed price Brazilian churrascaria offering unlimited meats, chicken and sausages paired with a cold/hot bar. Service: Attentive and overwhelming like most churrascarias if you keep your card turned on the green side. Best Dishes: Picanha (seasoned top sirloin), pork loin, leg of lamb, complementary pão de queijo (cheese bread) and fried bananas are addictive Vegetarian Selections: Not an ideal vegetarian setting, but the cold bar offers diners a chance to build salads with a wide selection of vegetables. Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., dinner 5-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, lunch 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., dinner 5-10 p.m. Fridays, 2-10 p.m. Saturdays, noon-9 p.m. Sundays Children: Yes Parking: In Lot Reservations: Yes Wheelchair Access: Yes Smoking: No Noise Level: Moderate Patio: Yes Takeout: No