Point Brazil - 38-01 31st Avenue, Astoria NY 11103
N/W Train to Broadway or R/V/G Train to Steinway Street
After a lot of planning, Meg and I finally got out to Point Brazil restaurant. What attracted us to it was the all day buffet menu and their offering of bbq-style meat. I've never had a bad experience at a Brazilian joint and while this one wasn't horrendous, I wouldn't go back. From the lukewarm food to the mediocre service, Point Brazil just isn't worth a dinner out, no matter how inexpensive it is.
The surroundings here are casual and simple, which I don't have a problem with, except the dining room is laid out strangely and feels slightly claustrophobic. Everything is self serve, just like in a traditional buffet joint. The salad bar is to the right and a hot food, meat and sides bar on the left. If you'd like bbq meat, you have to ask for it at the counter. They're always cooking up a variety of meats including chicken, sausage, beef, and other specialties, which looked excellent.
Meg and I got an assortment from the salad, hot food and bbq bar. While some of the food looked promising, I was mostly disappointed in the quality and the seasoning.
As you could see from my plate above, I got two kinds of meat including roasted chicken and barbecued sausage. The sausage had great flavor although it was on the salty side and the same goes for the chicken - flavorful and juicy but very salty and oily.
My sides included collard greens, which were my favorite - slightly crunchy and seasoned gently with oil, salt and pepper. I also liked the sweet plantains, which were a great substitute for potatoes and the hearty baked yucca. The grilled veggies such as zucchini, peppers and other squash were weak - they were cold and oily and just plain unappetizing. Same goes for the feijoada, which was dry, mealy and just didn't do anything for the palate.
Although their sweets looked interesting, we decided to opt out. I saw a variety of cakes including orange cake, coconut macaroons, nut delicacies and other things that looked yummy.
Service and Cost:
I can't say much about the service since we pretty much helped ourselves, but I will say this much, they didn't exactly make us feel welcome. The staff assumed that we'd know how everything worked and acted bothered when we asked them to explain it to us. When Meg inquired about sauces to put on the meat, the man behind the counter looked at her like she had five heads. She patiently explained to him that she was unfamiliar with Brazilian food and then he was kind enough to show her where the sauces were located and how to use them.
The good thing about this place is the price point at $4.99/lb for the salad and the hot bar. The bbq is $5.99/lb and the whole meal cost us about $8 a piece. Very affordable but the quality reflects the costs.