You don't have to journey to South America to feel the heat of the equator-some new Havaianas and a taste of Carnaval should do it.
Mon May 31 2010
Formerly of So Paulo, Williamsburg resident Gil Inoue likes the “inspired vibe” at Beco (45 Richardson St at Lorimer St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-1645, becobar.com). For brunch, he orders bife a cavalo ($11), a filet mignon and two eggs with rice and beans. He also recommends coupling the dish with a cold glass of caju mimosa ($6), consisting of champagne and cashew-fruit juice.
Experience a Brazilian-style buffet—it adopts a pay-per-weight system similar to Manhattan delis—at Copacabana Pizza & Grill (31-13 36th Ave at 32nd St, Long Island City, Queens; 718-545-3685), a cafeteria that dishes delicious and inexpensive ethnic cuisine. Grab a tray and a plate and help yourself to as much of the freshly made salads, rice, beans, pastas, breaded chicken and fish as you can stomach ($4.99/lb). Observe how the locals order their tender grilled beef—known as churrasco—and ask for the same. Don’t forget to pair your grub with a Guaran Antartica—this soda tastes like ginger ale, only sweeter.
Another favorite expat eatery is Casa (72 Bedford St between Commerce and Morton Sts; 212-366-9410, casarestaurant.com), beloved for both its ambience and tasty stews like feijoada ($23.95), a beans, beef and pork concoction considered to be Brazil’s national dish, and moqueca ($20.95), a seafood dish that hails from Bahia. “They say it’s Grandma’s home cooking,” boasts owner and So Paulo native Jupiera Lee. “The taste of our food brings them home.”