2006-08-02 / Restaurant of the Week

For A Taste Of Brazil, Try Copacabana

31-13 36th Avenue Astoria 718.545.3685

31-13 36th Avenue Astoria
718.545.3685

Since Copacabana opened five years ago, it has blossomed from a small pizzeria, churrascaria and take-out bar to an expansive eatery that occupies nearly the whole block now. This rapid growth is due to the popularity of the fresh Brazilian cuisine, led by an incredible selection of grilled meats.


        
        
          
        
          You can still order crispy, hot pizza, either topped with pepperoni and mushrooms, or all white. Brazilian style pizza is topped with hearts of palm and chicken or olives, onions and sliced egg. Owner Jose Bezerra also offers traditional Brazilian dishes at affordable prices. The adjoining churrascaria grills tender, delicious cuts of meat, chicken and sausage. Long skewers rotate constantly on the grill, rendering savory top sirloin sliced to order, as well as grilled loin of pork and the tastiest sausages you'll ever try, made with either pork or chicken. Beef short ribs are slow cooked for hours on the giant, steel skewers, as are juicy chicken legs. This method of cooking imparts exceptional flavor and juiciness to all the meats and explains the endless line of customers who come for the delicious food at reasonable prices. Just tell the expert grill man what you'd like to try and it is sliced on the spot for you to eat there at the many neat, wooden tables or take home.

"There are always plenty of fish dishes, chicken, pork and beef, as well as fresh vegetables, potatoes, and, of course, rice and beans. "There are always plenty of fish dishes, chicken, pork and beef, as well as fresh vegetables, potatoes, and, of course, rice and beans. Besides the goodies from the grill, Copacabana offers customers a hot and cold buffet and dozens of choices of hot entrees each day, reflecting the diverse culinary aspects of Brazil. There are always plenty of fish dishes, chicken, pork and beef, as well as fresh vegetables, potatoes, and, of course, rice and beans. I like the idea of the buffet, where I can sample many different dishes, such as Copacabana's chicken and corn stew, ladled on a mound of savory rice. Fried fish fillets were crisp and golden, while the sauted fish was juicy and flaky. The French fries are irresistible and the mashed potatoes and gravy are creamy and good. The smell is delicious and this food really sticks to your ribs.

Besides the good food, another attraction is the reasonable cost. For the hot buffet and salad, you pay just $3.99 per pound. Add the barbecued meat to that and pay just $4.99 per pound. You can even order assorted barbecued meats alone for $6.99 per pound, which actually costs less than buying the meat yourself and cooking it. Besides, you could never replicate the flavor from the rotisserie grill at home.

The salad bar is filled with fresh, crunchy green salad, potato salad, beets and tomato salsa, with several choices of dressing. Help yourself and pay accordingly. Either way, you can order exactly what you want and eat there, or, as most of the clientele do, take it home to enjoy with the family. 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 your meal. Soft drinks imported from Brazil add to the flavor, too. The food at Copacabana really satisfies you. Free delivery is available for pizza orders.

Copacabana is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can't miss their green awnings, just downstairs from the 36th Avenue stop on the N elevated train. For great pizza, Brazilian style barbecued meats and a full hot and cold buffet to eat in or take out, visit Copacabana.

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