Copacabana Beats The Cold With Hot Food To Go
Want to take the chill out of a winter day or night? Warm up your tummy—and tantalize your taste buds—at Copacabana Pizza and Grill on 36th Avenue in Astoria. Copacabana is the place to go for hot, crisp pizza with all the toppings to a full meal from their steam table and churrascaria grill. Best of all, everything on the menu, from pizza to delicious Brazilian dishes from the buffet, can be easily taken home in Copacabana’s convenient take home trays.
Jose Bezerra, who hails from Brazil, opened the pizzeria about five years ago to much success. People line up for his crisp, hot pizza topped with pepperoni, mushrooms or the all-white pizza. Brazilian style pizza is topped with hearts of palm and chicken or olives, onions and sliced egg. Expand your horizons and try the pizza with tuna and onions for a unique treat.
Less than a year ago, Bezerra expanded to offer traditional Brazilian dishes at affordable prices. The adjoining churrascaria grills tender, delicious cuts of meat, chicken and sausage. Long skewers constantly rotating on the grill render savory top sirloin sliced to order, as well as grilled pork and the tastiest sausages you’ll try. Just tell the grill man what you’d like to try and it’s sliced on the spot for you to eat there, or to take home. Juicy chicken is another specialty of the house and you can even take these succulent meats home, as most customers do.
I like the idea of a buffet where I can sample many different dishes. Copacabana’s buffet offerings include dozens of hot entrees each day, reflecting the diverse culinary aspects of Brazil. There are always plenty of different kinds of fish, chicken, pork and beef, as well as fresh vegetables, rice and potatoes. I really enjoyed Copacabana’s chicken and corn stew, especially ladled on a mound of savory rice. Fried fish filets were crispy and golden, while the sautéed king fish was juicy and flaky. Plump shrimp prepared in a creamy yucca sauce were quite tasty.
I tried some sliced, roasted pork with some chopped Swiss chard, Brazilian style beef stew and a traditional winter dish called feijoada that combines several cuts of meat in a rich sauce that takes hours to cook. The aroma is heavenly and this food really sticks to your ribs.
The buffet also has a plethora of side dishes, including French fries, fried bananas or yucca and delicious soups. Garlic knots are fun to nibble on, too. Alongside the steam table a cool salad bar is filled with fresh, crunchy green salad, potato salad and tomato salsa with several choices of dressing. Help yourself and pay accordingly—the hot buffet and salad are just $3.99 per pound. Add the barbecued meat and pay just $4.99 per pound. You can even order assorted barbecued meats alone for $6.99 per pound, which is less than buying the food yourself and cooking it. Besides, you could never replicate the flavor from the Copacabana rotisserie grill at home.
Don’t forget to try one of their homemade desserts, such as the passion fruit mousse, which was delicately sweet and lighter than air. Creamy flan made of coconut or pineapple lends a tropical note to a meal.
You can order exactly what you want and eat at one of a handful of small tables, or, as most of the clientele at this bustling little place do, take your selection home to enjoy with the family. In its tiny space, Copacabana makes everyone feel warm and satisfied inside. They offer free delivery for pizza orders.
Copacabana is open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. For great pizza, barbecued meats and a full hot and cold buffet to eat in or take out, visit Copacabana.
31-13 36th Ave.