Barril Grill is a tropical oasis on the corner of Broadway and 31st Street which makes it a convenient location for cool cocktails,
The atmosphere is relaxed and breezy, like Brazil itself, from where the flavorful cuisine is derived.
A multi-ethnic crowd assembles at the bar to enjoy the national cocktail called a "caipirinha", a tropical concoction of Brazilian liquor, lime juice and sugar. Large screen televisions broadcast international soccer or "futbol" matches via satellite for the fans to watch while they eat, drink and socialize with friends and family.
Owners Carmine Polito and Lucia Cruz greet their guests and make them feel welcome as the friendly staff shows you to your table. The casual set up is simple; an elaborate buffet features several Brazilian salads, main courses and side dishes, while a master barbecue chef works the "churrasca" or grill. Dozens of skewers, the size of swords, are laced with some of the finest Brazilian style meats, chicken and sausages. Diners are invited to help themselves to as much as they want from the buffet and churrasca, and then pay a reasonable price per pound for their plate. Meals from the buffet only are priced at just $4.99 per pound and the combination buffet and barbecue costs just $6.99 per pound for dinner and $5.99 per pound at lunch time. You can even order barbecue alone for $7.50 per pound. Best of all, you can take this wonderful food home with you and keep your kitchen cool while you enjoy freshly cooked dishes and juicy grilled meats without the fuss. Apartment dwellers with no access to outdoor grilling will especially appreciate this convenience.
A wine list on every table details reasonably priced "vinhos tintos e brancos", red and white wines, from South America and the U.S., available by the glass or bottle to complement your meal. The buffet features a tempting selection of refreshing salads, including hand chopped chicken salad, tossed green salad, zesty cucumber, tomato and red onion salsa and fresh fruit. Hot dishes include savory chicken stew, fricassee of beef, fish stew, sautéed fresh vegetable, crispy French fries and plantains. A decadent treat of deep fried pork rinds are eaten as a snack by the local Brazilian diners, while they watch the game. An integral part of Brazilian cuisine is rice and beans. Barril Grill serves two kinds of rice and delicious pink beans and black beans, both of which have been cooked for hours to tender perfection. Simply make a mound of rice on your plate and spoon your choice of beans on top. I found that the salsa of cucumber, tomato and red onion also tastes great on top of fluffy white rice.
A trip to the churrasca is a carnivore's dream. The finest, most tender skirt steak came sizzling off the grill and was cut into bite size pieces by the chef. Tell him how you like your meat cooked and he will select the perfect skewer for you. A Brazilian cut of sirloin called "picanha" just melts in your mouth. Beef short ribs hold tender, juicy meat that falls right off the bone. All the meat prepared at Barril Grill is of such fine quality that only a sprinkling of sea salt is used to season it before cooking. The trick is in the heat of the grill and the skill of the barbecue chef. Tender tips of beef and meaty chunks of lamb glide off the skewer and onto your plate. Center cut loin of pork tastes great when cooked on the grill, as do flavorful pork sausages and lean chicken sausages, mildly spiced.
To add to the relaxed atmosphere at Barril Grill, a live jazz trio performs every Thursday evening. I will return on a Friday night for live "bossa nova", one of my favorite kinds of music, invented in Brazil. Saturday nights feature live Brazilian and international pop music for all to enjoy.
Barril Grill is open seven days a week, serving lunch from 12 noon until 6pm. Dinner is then served from 6pm until 10:30pm. The lively bar stays open on weeknights until midnight and until 4am on weekends for your pleasure.
For the flavorful cuisine of Brazil and some of the world's best barbecue, visit Barril Grill. Enjoy international soccer matches, live music and cool cocktails, too. Stay cool this summer and let the chefs at Barril Grill do the cooking and grilling for you.