I think the first time I tried Brazilian food was in the late 1980's, when Drew introduced me to the woman who was at that time engaged to be married to his uncle. Drew's Aunt "P" is Brazilian, born and raised in Rio. So of course she introduced us to some of the best Brazilian food in NYC. There was a restaurant on west 46th street . . .alas, it no longer exists.
So where is a girl going to get her "fix"?
No need to worry, churrasqueira restaurants have started popping up on Long Island!
"Churrasqueira" refers to grilled meats, which are usually served rodizio style -- the waiters walk around the restaurant with meat on the rotisserie, and stop at each table to serve portions to the diners.
So tonight we found ourselves in Bellmore, at Churresqueira Carvalhos. Warning -- it's a relatively small but very popular dining spot and tends to be crowded. We arrived before 6 PM and the place was already half full. By the time we finished eating there was a considerable wait for a table.
We started our evening with sangria. Drew ordered the red and I ordered the white. It was served with small chunks of apple and orange. Sweet, but not overpowering.
The breadbasket was accompanied by a dish of green and black olives. Neither of us eats olives, but if you like them . . . The house salad, served family style, was very simple -- lettuce, tomato and onions in a mild vinegarette.
The side dishes, also served family style, included black beans, rice, some sort of salsa that we didn't try, fried bananas (coated in batter, I thought they'd be sweeter), sauteed collard greens and french fries. Everything was very lightly seasoned, so as not to detract from the main event: the meats.
So what can I say about the meats?
You have a choice between traditional entrees (such as a steak or half a chicken, or a fish dish), most of which are grilled, or rodizio.
We chose rodizio, a/k/a carnivore heaven.
Steak, chicken, spare ribs, sausage, prime rib, smoked turkey . . .everything is boldly seasoned and cooked over a wood grill. It's tender, juicy and flavorful but not "spicy" or "hot". If you're hungry you can easily get your money's worth . . .
As usual we were too full for dessert. . .but the offerings looked so delicious that next time I think I'll go with a regular entree so I'll have room for that flan . . .
Because. . .yes, we WILL be back. . .
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