Brasilianville Café & Grill 43-12 34th Avenue, Astoria 718-472-0090
he Brasilianville Café & Grill is a unique concept in Brazilian fast food and barbecue. At this clean, comfortable, sunny yellow café, dozens of traditional hot and cold entrees and salads, as well as a tantalizing barbecue, known as churrasca, are offered. This little café is a must-try for anyone unfamiliar with Brazilian cuisine. Those already in love with the variety of flavors and ingredients in Brazilian cuisine will find Brasilianville Café & Grill a must-go.
Owner Deilson Teixeira opened his café and grill nearly one and a half years ago, utilizing a concept that is already quite popular in his native country. At the rear of the casual dining room is a steam table brimming with homemade specialties, many of which change each day to satisfy the throngs of regular diners. The concept is simple: help yourself to whatever you want, as much as you want, and pay by the pound. A mere $3.99 per pound will get you a generous sampling of wonderful entrees. About a dozen tables are usually near capacity for diners wishing to eat in, while a large number choose to take these delectable dishes home. Best of all, just opposite the steam table, a master griller tends to the churrasca, where giant steel skewers hold the finest beef, pork, chicken and sausage, all slow roasted on a rotisserie over an open flame.
We sampled supremely tender fillet of beef tenderloin sliced to order off the skewer, then replaced for more slow cooking. A zesty salsa from the salad bar further complements the flavor of this savory meat. Next, we tried the beef short ribs, which fell off the bone and melted in our mouths. Marinated skirt steak is also a meat lover's dream. A decadent treat is tender pork tenderloin wrapped in smoky bacon made crisp over the open flame. Wow! There are also sweet and flavorful barbecued sausages and chicken. The price for the barbecued meats is just $6.99 per pound, quite a bargain when you consider that any fat has already been rendered and the meat has cooked for hours already. Just choose what you want and dinner is served and can be eaten in your own home. A $4.99 price includes barbecued meat and salad from their fresh salad bar.
The steam table features homemade dishes such as a golden potato soufflé made with chunks of chicken. Codfish stew and a chicken stew with vegetables are two typical dishes. A baked casserole with chunks of ham, peas and corn is a delightful dish and there are vegetable side dishes such as yucca, okra and corn casserole. Of course, there’s plenty of fluffy, garlic scented white rice and tureens of black or pink beans to ladle on top. I could live on rice and beans alone, especially when accompanied by the fresh salads available-tossed garden salad, fresh beets, potato salad and more.
At lunchtime, the Brasilianville Café & Grill offers hefty sandwiches of chewy rolls filled with sliced beef, pork and chicken. When the cooler weather arrives, an array of homemade soups will be available each day. You can even pick out a chicken croquette or empanada from their bakery section to enjoy as an appetizer or a light snack.
The dessert case is hard to ignore, tempting with fresh pineapple cake soaked in coconut milk. Passion fruit mousse and flan with caramelized sugar are some of my favorites. The beverage cooler offers a variety of Brazilian soft drinks made with fruit juice, as well as Brazilian beer that goes well with the hearty meats and casseroles.
The self-serve concept is great because you select just what you want, and pay only for the amount you take. It also eliminates tipping, though most people leave a little something for the master griller. You can eat in a hurry or take home a feast for your family and friends after a hard day of work.
Visit Brasilianville Café & Grill for the multifaceted flavors and ingredients used in Brazilian cuisine. The food is flavorful, but not spicy, so try something new and different in Astoria.