This week, I must stray from my traditional Dish of the Week format to review Fogo de Chăo, the Brazilian steakhouse chain that opened last month at the Westin Copley Place in the Back Bay.

That’s because at Fogo, there is no one dish to review. The concept is that of the Brazilian gaucho tradition, in which meats are roasted over an open fire. Outside of drinks and dessert, your dinner price gets you all the meat and trips to the hot and cold salad bar your heart desires, lending you to feel as though you need to eat your money’s worth.

And then the next day, you’ll have to call out of work because your pants don’t fit, and all the Tums in the world can’t solve the fact that you ate 40 ounces of red meat for dinner.

Yeah, see, I’ve been there. The food at Fogo is so delicious, that you just can’t stop. I enjoyed my experience at Fogo, but to ensure you don’t have the same “my eyes are bigger than my stomach” syndrome I had at dinner, I suggest you follow these seven simple guidelines. And having a pack of tums nearby still wouldn’t hurt.

Don’t eat the day you go. OK, maybe nibble on a celery stick and some crackers to get you through the day. But that’s it. Seriously. (I accidentally ate pizza for lunch the day of my Fogo experience. Big mistake.)

Drink slowly. Fogo’s cocktail menu boasts 12 varieties of Caipirinhas, the national drink of Brazil. Made with sugar cane rum, sugar and lime, the drink is so refreshingly easy to sip, that you can fill up on two before you even make it to the salad bar. Don’t do this. Sip very slowly.

Do a lap around the salad bar. From pre-made salads to roasted vegetables to cheese and deli-cuts of meat, Fogo has the most fantastic salad bar I have ever seen. Walk around it once, maybe even twice, before you put anything on your plate. Vegetables may seem like a healthy choice before your meat, but they will fill you up quickly. Snag a few pieces of cheese and some olives to nibble between meat slices, and you should be all set.

Don’t be afraid to say no. There are 16 varieties of meat to choose from at Fogo, from lamb to chicken to bacon-wrapped steaks. If your medallion is turned to “green,” servers come to your table in an endless parade of meats on sticks. If you don’t like a certain cut of meat, don’t feel obliged to put it on your plate. Don’t feel bad flipping your medallion to “red,” either. Just because there are 16 kinds of meat doesn’t mean you need to eat all 16 kinds of meat. You won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

Don’t be afraid to speak up. Check out the meat menu, and if you see an item on there that you haven’t seen paraded around the dining room, ask for it. Or, ask for more of what you already like. That being said, I asked for their signature Picanha steak about five times. Yeah, it’s that good.

Save room for dessert. I was almost too stuffed to order dessert, but I’m glad I found an inch of room in my stomach for Fogo’s Papaya Cream. Made with fresh papaya and vanilla ice cream, drizzled in Crčme de Cassis liqueur, this was just the palate cleanser I needed after being ravenous carnivores all evening.

Walk home. You need the exercise. And the fresh air.

For more on Fogo de Chăo in Boston, check out the following reviews from the blogosphere:

For photos, check out this slideshow from Yelp reviewers below.

The food reviewed in this post was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.