Before you go to Villa Brazil, you’ll need to master the art of making a plate. Specifically, the cookout plate. The setting here is a cafeteria-style buffet complete with sneeze guards and tiled floors, and all of the food is sold by the pound. But unlike your typical buffet, this Astoria spot has amazing homestyle cooking and a dedicated Meat Guy (the nexus of any good BBQ).
After you’ve piled your plate with freshly-made Brazilian corn pudding, seafood casserole, and perfectly salted white rice, go to the churrasco window where the Meat Guy (who's also the head chef) will offer you the day’s selection of grilled meats. You can choose from a rotating selection of things like picanha, frango, and sausages right off the spit.
With so many heavy meats sold by the pound, you’ll likely end up surprised by the final price tag (no matter how much math you do)—but this is one of our favorite homestyle Brazilian spots in the neighborhood, and the quality of the food is on par with what you'll find on higher-end à la carte menus.
The intimate dining room is calm and quiet, and the buffet spread is impeccably clean, so don’t let the spotty reputation of buffet-style dining deter you from coming in for a nice, wind-down weeknight dinner. And don't leave without trying one of the 10 or so freshly baked desserts on display behind the counter. Take home a huge slice of bright yellow chocolate carrot cake, and see how long you can wait for those sausages to digest before digging into it.