Went to Brasilianville in Astoria tonight. It's very simple, but pleasant, and the meats are great.
The owner, a Bahian man named Dilson, had a churrascaria-worthy roaster shipped from Brasil. It's worth taking a look at through the window into the kitchen. Meats are roasted on skewers.
In general the place follows the "kilo" formula that's very common in Brasil. New Yorkers would be reminded of Korean salad bars that assign a per-weight price to a wide variety of hot and cold dishes. Many Brasilian places are kilometers ahead of that comparison, the quality being much higher than the sad offerings of (my opinion, anyway) many Korean salad bars. Unfortunately the buffet at Brasilianville is the least interesting of the offerings. There are some rice and beans, some fish dishes, and some salad, but the presentation is disappointing. Dilson mentioned that most nights there is pão de queijo (cheese rolls), but not tonight.
But the meats were very good -- picanha, which is equivalent to sirloin; an excellent linguiça, or sausage; chicken drumsticks; medallions of pork wrapped in bacon, and more.
The desserts were beautiful to look at, the usual condensed-milk cakes and pudims.
There is no alcohol served; I didn't ask about their BYO policy. But it's not really a wine-and-dine sort of place, it's more like a simple eatery serving the Brasilian neighborhood. You'll hear a lot of Portuguese here, from the staff and the patrons, and also on the satellite TV. Fortunately the staff all speak English as well.
Prices are amazingly good. Buffet without meat is $2.99/lb. Meat without buffet is $6.99/lb. But -- here's the real deal -- some combination of both is $4.99/lb. So get a little rice and beans and farofa and go heavy on the meats. My ample plate cost less than $6, although I have to admit that I went back for seconds because the meats were so delicious.
Brasilianville Cafe & Grill
43-12 34th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11101
(R train to Steinway)
Tel. (718) 472 0090
P.S. If you're in the neighborhood and want to shop for Brazilian products -- sweets, pão de queijo, calabresa (a kind of sausage), go to nearby Rio Bonito Market, 32-84 47th Street @ 34th Avenue; take the R train to 46th Street, one stop past Steinway.