“After a sumptuous buffet featuring a plethora of outstanding appetizers, what I should have said was “check please”; instead I made the only smart move possible: I continued my dining experience as only a carnivore can.”
I believe that for anyone who is in school, underpaid, or who like me is on the job hunt, one foodie fact is for certain: we are all thankful for being blessed with the rarity known as an excellent buffet! I do not speak of the Atlantic City or Las Vegas casino varieties; nor do I refer to the commercial advertising a five dollar all you can eat buffet. (I’m fairly certain the latter would not exist in New York City; if so it would be much more expensive in the same way that chain restaurants charge $10 for an entree in certain locations but $25 here.) An excellent buffet must be carefully maintained, with only the freshest and highest quality food possible.
My dream of the ideal buffet recently came true: a full fledged feast of epic proportions presented itself to me recently in the form of a Brazilian restaurant called Churrascaria Plataforma. It should be noted that my knowledge of Brazilian food is approximately similar to that of quantum physics. However, the same thought occurred to me as when I purchased the one thousand page textbook “synopsis of psychiatry”: I don’t know much about this but I’m willing to learn more. Oh, and did I mention the endless array of grilled meats which are offered after the buffet? Yes, being selective here is not only beneficial: it is simply necessary!
316 W. 49th Street (between 8th and 9th avenue)
New York, NY
4.5 stars out of 5 stars
From what I have read: Churrascaria is distinctly a South American style of rotisserie, its origins result from the fireside roasts of the gaúchos of southern Brazil traditionally from the Pampa region. There are two parts to the outstanding feast at Churrascaria: the first is a large buffet of various antipasto and appetizer selections. (More on that in a minute) However, please make sure not to overeat, as I almost did. Instead, apply the cliché technique of eating in careful moderation to prepare for round two. After finishing your delicious hors d’oeuvres, get ready for the next phase of your repast: waiter after waiter will come around with plates of grilled meat on skewers (there was one plate of grilled cheese and at night there is grilled fish as well as filet mignon).
I found a virtual cornucopia of mouth watering foods during my visit to the buffet. Side note: as someone who is totally blind, at times I use the clock system in order to locate certain foods on my plate (I.E. chicken is at 12, vegetables at 6, potatoes at 9). However, there was such a variety that it was impossible to identify which food was where. I sampled Italian delights such as tortellini pesto, asparagus risotto, prosciutto wrapped broccoli, a piece of flavorful grana cheese, and a tasty farfalle creation. All of these dishes were excellent and I felt compelled to devour every single crumb on my crowded plate. In addition, there were a variety of vegetable selections including the scrumptious grilled Portobello mushrooms, string beans, eggplant with melted cheese, and scalloped potatoes with, wait for it, bacon! It should be noted that the service here was exceptional and the buffet was impeccably maintained at all times. This could have been a meal in and of itself, and I didn’t even try half of the options which were available. (I’ll admit it: I skipped the salads, don’t judge me!) I don’t regret eating one thing and I highly recommend each of these items from the buffet. After completing round one of my dining experience, I turned over the token on my table: the red side is up at first, but when you are ready for the meat skewers, you put the green side up and the feast commences!
Round 2: Meat Galore!
I believe the best way to describe this part of the meal is to rank the skewers from worst to best. It is essential to know that even the “worst” option was still quite delicious and I had absolutely no complaints. (Except for the fact that I didn’t try the chicken hearts, I am adventurous but I must draw the line somewhere.) As each waiter arrived at the table, a new variety of skewer would be presented, and I had the option of choosing if I wanted it, how much, and level of doneness. I sampled five varieties:
- 5. Chicken leg and sausage: This was the first skewer I tasted and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. The grilled flavor was evident in the chicken and the sausage had a nice kick to it but was not overwhelming.
- 4. Grilled cheese skewer: This was simply round pieces of cheese which were put on a skewer and then grilled. However, the complexity of the cheese was excellent even though I still have no idea what kind of cheese it was.
- 3. Flank steak: I was surprised about the tenderness of this steak; in my mind, flank steak can be hard to cut at times. I was getting full at this point; however, this is when seasoning became an important factor and I was impressed with the subtle addition of spices.
- 2. Prime rib: It is necessary to prioritize at some point during the meal; otherwise you might become overwhelmed with all of the available food. The prime rib should be one of your top priorities: long circular ribbon like pieces of grilled and seasoned beef are simply irresistible! Somewhere in my mind, I was thinking “a doggy bag would be great right now” but I didn’t dare say it.
- 1. Drum roll please! Top sirloin: The pentacle of my meal was top sirloin: a delight where the quality of the meat, grilled and charred flavor, and excellent seasoning intersect. Biting into the first piece of this steak, I was lost for words and this is a rare thing indeed.
As I finish writing this review, one week after my feast, somehow I still feel full from this meal. A visit to Churrascaria Plataforma is an unforgettable experience; despite the price and complaints from my stomach, doctor, and talking scale, it was totally worth it. Speaking of price please be aware that this is an expensive meal, but going for lunch is a more budget friendly option. Bottom line: this restaurant is Blind Taste Test approved! Until next time please remember:
“The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.” –
Antoine de Saint-Expiry