198 Second St., Mineola. 516-307-1201
This tiny hole in the wall—a takeout counter with a handful of tables a few steps off busy Mineola Boulevard—picks up where Mineola’s recently departed Brazilian fast food-ers left off. Opened just a month ago by Luciana Souza, to “serve the local Brazilian community,” Taste of Brazil is a great new option for exotic food lovers near and far. One could be forgiven for overlooking the main attraction: the churrasqueira grill where various cuts of meats are barbecued directly on the grill and on long skewers. A menu taped to the countertop lists beef steaks, pork and chicken at ridiculously low prices. I ordered the Top Sirloin and in less than a minute out came two nice-sized slabs, sizzling hot in a simple and flavorful marinade. Cost: $3.50! The printed menu consists of sandwiches including the Cachorro Quente Simples, a hot dog covered with ham, cheese and special sauce on a roll. I loved the Caldo Verde soup ($4) made with collard greens, sausage and potatoes. There’s a limited by-the-pound buffet ($6.95) that one night featured a good pork stew, breaded chicken cutlets, salad and mostly carbs in the form of fried potatoes, fried yucca and rice. The popular dish known as Feijoada is a special on Saturdays, as is the tradition. It’s a hearty stew made with pork and beans, perfect for a cold day’s meal. Try one of their Brazilian Gourmet juices ( mango, passion fruit) or the soda called Guarana Antartica and end with one of the sweets from the display like passion fruit pudding.
Nader’s Fish On The Run
217 New York Ave., Huntington. 631-423-6300
Much more than a clam bar, this takeout counter with a half-dozen tables is all about making fresh seafood quick and accessible, according to owner Nader Gebrin (also the friendly owner of nearby Bravo! Nader). The Fried Oyster Po-Boy ($8.95), on a soft bun instead of a hero roll, was loaded with freshly battered oysters but was inexplicably covered with wasabi-tartar sauce which obliterated all the briny flavor. Ask for the sauce on the side. Same goes for the Crab Cake Sandwich ($9.95) served on a Po-Boy roll. The two cakes hold up well without the sauce. Huntington Clam Chowder ($4.50) is the red kind and full of chopped clams. The two Shrimp Tacos ($9.95) already come with salsa, sour cream and “guac” on the side, but for five bucks apiece there should be a good deal more of the good grilled crustaceans on the soft tortilla. But I won’t give up on Nader’s lofty concept, and plan to return to try some raw bar offerings including Tuna Tartar and perhaps a Lobster Croissant or Portuguese Grilled Octopus.
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