The low-rise red building at First & Denny has a checkered past.
The proud prow of Belltown is how it was once described, a triangular building at the corner of First and Denny, where Belltown meets Lower Queen Anne.
When it was Minnie's, this was the archetype of a shit-hole 24-hour diner. The employees knew better than to eat here themselves; the restrooms were beyond Third-World. Five years agor, the Feds padlocked it for non-payment a hundred grand worth of payroll taxes. Then it became Whym, a whymsical name for a joint that never closes, but close it did within a year. The space reopened as a lounge called Blush, studiously avoided by party-goers, it was renamed the 101 Restaurant and repainted bright red, with a menu limited to frat-boy food like onion rings and mozzarella sticks.
Into this culinary void comes now Fogo Brazilian Steakhouse, with Sandra Pizarro listed as president and Maritza Texeira as Chef and VP. The two women worked together in 2010 at Ipanema, Seattle's first "rodizio," or fixed-price roasted-meat buffet, where Pizarro was a manager and Texeira ran the kitchen.
Texeira, who is still listed as exec chef on the outdated Club Sur website, also cooked at Gitano and Buena Vista, and was at Amazon Grill in Bellevue before it shuttered.
There's a lot of work to be done to the place before Fogo can open. The pile of leatherette-enclosed foam rubber banquettes out back (with a "Help Yourself" sign) is untouched.
The website, fogo-seattle.com, promises a $24 all-you-can-eat lunch and a $40 dinner "barbecue." Among the a la carte items, there's a $9 dinner appetizer of grilled beef heart skewers in ají panca. Yucca fries, and rocoto pepper coulis.The proposed $13 Hamburguesas sounds better: 10oz Kobe beef burger on Macrina bakery brioche rocoto with Peruvian pepper aioli and purple garlic fries. The site also apologizes for the sins of the proprietors at Ipanema and Amazon Grill for bailing on hundreds of Groupons.
This post originally appeared on Eater.com