2015-10-21 / Restaurant of the Week

Carioca Grill Brazilian BBQ

Carioca Grill on Broadway in Astoria exemplifies the delicious diversity and variety of Brazilian cuisine. This popular buffet/churrasca (BBQ) is a big hit for the locals, and is especially convenient as it is on your way home from the Broadway stop of the N/Q train. The décor resembles a comfortable, sit-down restaurant but the ‘help yourself’ concept makes Carioca Grill a delectable bargain. The concept is simple: choose what you want and pay by the pound. Whether you are a meat lover, or a vegetarian, there’s something for everyone at Carioca Grill, including beer and wine!

Owner Raphael ensures that only the best ingredients go into the family’s classic recipes for Brazilian fare. You’ll find a cold salad buffet, a hot buffet with meat, fish, vegetable, rice dishes, and more, and the star of the show: the sizzling churrasca rotating barbecue grill from which all the succulent cuts of meat come from. Stephanie brought us a beer and a glass of wine which went very well with our plates.

Let’s start there with juicy cuts of top sirloin called picanha, tender skirt steak called fraldinha, and caveman-sized beef short ribs, served bone-in. These ribs are unbelievably rich and flavorful and if you have a dog, please bring the bones home for your loyal friend. Something you don’t usually see at Brazilian barbecues is the leg of lamb, tender and juicy, and fresh Atlantic salmon, which gets a wonderful, smoky flavor from the searing hot grill. We also had to try the spicy linguica sausage, chicken sausage, and pork sausage, whose skin is crispy while the inside is juicy. Chicken legs and chicken hearts are both very popular in Brazil and in Astoria…you’ll love them, especially when paired up with all the items on the hot and cold buffets.

Moving on to the hot buffet, just try to decide among fried flounder fillets and French fries or oven roasted chicken and roasted red-skin potatoes with parsley. Succulent barbecued ribs fall off the bone and go well with the fluffy mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables. Tender chicken Francese cuts with a fork, swimming in lemon, butter and white wine sauce, perfect over a bed of white or brown rice, or perhaps a side of pasta. Brazilian shrimp casserole or corn casserole might be on hand and if it is, take a scoop of this delicious baked side dish. No Brazilian meal is complete without rice and beans and Carioca Grill offers both black beans and brown beans with white or brown rice, and farofa, which is ground corn meal to sprinkle on top.

Cool down with the salad bar featuring lots of healthy greens, juicy tomato salad with onions, Russian potato salad with peas and carrots, savory couscous salad, a host of fresh sliced vegetables and Carioca Grill’s homemade salsa, which goes great on the sizzling meats and over the rice.

For dessert, Carioca Grill makes their own Brazilian style flan, passion fruit and coconut mousse, as well as sweet pastries and confections that you’ll want to take home. In fact you can take anything home from Carioca Grill because the buffet alone costs $5.99 per pound. Add the BBQ and it’s just $7.99 per pound. You can even take home the meat alone for $8.99 per pound, which is cheaper than trying to make it yourself….and it won’t taste nearly as good as it does here! Carioca Grill has a unique delivery menu where you choose your favorite meats and side dishes for one fixed price (not available in the dining room). Stop by for a delivery menu or visit their website.

For casual, well-priced Brazilian fare in a restaurant setting, visit Carioca Grill soon!

29-03 Broadway, Astoria


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