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Favela in Astoria?

I spotted this place the other day as I was driving up 34th St., waiting for the light to change at 30th Ave. It was cute-looking, with a brick-walled interior, outdoor seating w/ flower boxes - you don't see that every day in these parts. I have no idea about it beyond that. (Didn't have time to park and scope it out. I was on a mission to score a baguette and nothing was going to slow me down.) I assume it's Brazilian, from the name. I'd love to hear from anyone who's stopped in.

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  1. They just opened up- it used to be a tiny churascaria called Girosol I think. I picked up the menu and it looks tasty and inexpensive. Definitely Brazilian- Lots of meat, a roasted rib dish caught my fancy. They have specials every day- different stews, bacalau on Fridays, etc. I plan on trying it this week, and I'll report back.

    1. Where on 34th street is this? I walked down 30th Ave to 34th street and checked out all the corners of the intersection but didn't find it.

      1. It is actually on 28th avenue- near 34th street- hope you didn't get too wet!

        1 Reply
        1. re: quentinC

          Oops - sorry. I could've sworn it was on 30th.

        2. Does anyone have an exact address for this place? This could be another option for me this evening, but I can't find an address or number. Is it def. on 28th?

          1 Reply
          1. re: lambretta76

            probly too late for you. yes, it's def. on 28th, right next to a chinese takeout and al-omda or whatever that mideast place is called.

            i haven't been to favela yet.

          2. I just had lunch there and it was GREAT!!

            The people working are friendly and fluent in English. They have a la carte entrees for $12 to $16. The entrees are more adventurous and somewhat cheaper than Sabor Tropico. $12 gets you "sauteed chicken on the bone with peppers in a pan seared wine and tomato sauce served with polenta" On weekdays, there's a daily special with rice and beans for $10. Before 3 PM it's $7 (smaller portion). That's what I had. It being Friday, I got a stew made of dried codfish (bacalhau), potatoes, olives and onions cooked in olive oil with parsley and bay leaf. I wish I'd ordered the bigger portion.

            I've passed this place several times before and it's always empty. Eat there while you can. It just could be the best Brazilian around.

            33-18 28 Av
            (718) 545-8250

            1 Reply
            1. re: Brian S

              had to try this place out since i too have been looking for delish brazilian food. it was very very very good. the staff was lovely and the food was perfectly done. i had the picanha which is my fav cut of meat, it came with black beans and rice and farofa which i love. The portion was huge ($15-def worth it) and would have fed 2 people if they weren't as starved as i was! they don't have a liquor license yet for hard alcohol so a brahma went along just fine with dinner. i would highly recommend a visit.
              here's a pic of my picanha in case you wanted to check it out...i love photographing my food!

            2. Went back again tonight. The place, where I've never before seen more than one table taken, was jammed, and as tables left people streamed in to replace them. I had the "sauteed chicken on the bone with peppers in a pan seared wine and tomato sauce served with polenta" It wasn't exactly as described (but quite good anyway). Almost half a chicken, atop polenta, and topped by a mountain of okra (like frango com quiabo, from Minas Gerais, and in fact maybe that's what I got)in a bit of sauce thickened by the okra. The portion was three times as large as the $7 lunch, and came with a plate of rice and a bowl of yummy beans.

              1. picked up a menu the other day; they have rotating specials per day of the week, and on saturday they advertise "Feijoada di Dona Lina". could this be lina of the late, lamented cantina? i wanted to go yesterday but decided to a eat light dinner -- def. not feijoada.

                1 Reply
                1. re: babar ganesh

                  Is Lina involved in this place? Man, I hope thats true, I miss her cooking. Last I heard she had moved back to Brazil. She made the best oxtail I've ever had.

                  Okay, enough drooling, I gotta try this place.

                2. so i tried this place tonight via delivery. the man on the phone was very friendly and the food arrived fast!

                  we ordered the carne de sol...a brazilian style beef jerkey,with lots of onions, and manioc fries. this dish was full of flavor and delicious. i wouldn't compare this at all to american style beef jerkey. quite a bit more moist ;)

                  favela chic salad, lettuce, tomato, LOTS of hearts of palm, onions, cucumber, in a lemon vinaigrette. all very fresh and good.

                  special of the day: lombo de porco, braised pork tenderloin with vegetable rice and beans. the pork was somewhat of a hit with my companion and disliked by me. i thought it was dry and forgettable.

                  i ordered the frango fundo de quintal- chicken on the bone with peppers, tomato, wine sauce, okra and polenta. this arrived without tomatoes and without polenta. it was dry chicken on the bone full of over cooked okra. i think i took two bites of this dish and threw it away. wasn't disgusting but definitely not worth eating.

                  maionese- brazilian style potato salad with peas, carrots,and green beans. if you love mayonnaise, you'll love this. it was full of mayo (which i love) so very good!

                  the rice and bean accompaniment were both good, standard brazilian style.

                  i would order from this restaurant again because it was fresh, some of it was very good, and prompt. but i would definitely change my menu choices. not sure why my chicken dish came completely different from what was listed in the menu?

                  1. tried the feijoada today. not very good...

                    1. Ate at Favela for lunch yesterday. The restaurant is a quick walk from the 30th Ave stop and easy to find. The inside is nice and tasteful, with Globo TV playing on flatscreens behind the bar. The place was completely empty.

                      Went for the standby, pincanha. As stated in another review, way more food than one could hope to finish. The cuts of beef were a little bit thin for my taste, and maybe needed a little more salt brine splashed on during cooking, but the entire package- with the great fluffy rice, beans, farofa and molho- was awesome. Two people could definitely share one order.

                      I also ordered a portion of coxinhas to go, and snacked on those last night. Tasty and pretty spot on as far as authenticity goes.

                      The service was just about the nicest I've had in the city. Maybe it's just something about brasilian hospitality, but I almost felt like I was eating at someone's house.

                      I'll have to go back to try a couple more things, but my first impression is that this is a solid place for stick-to-your-ribs brazilian food. Simple and pleasant... which is all I want brazilian food to be.

                      1. Tried Favela for delivery last night and was quite disappointed. Started with the salgados (fried appetizer pastries), which I thought were pretty good and my girlfriend thought were okay. I'd get those again, especially if I were dining in the restaurant (fried food never travels that well).

                        We also got the daily special (Carne Assada -- braised pot roast), which was just bad. Seriously, like airplane food bad. The beef was a poor-quality cut, cooked to a dry grayness, with almost no flavor. Even with a hearty dose of salt and pepper, the roast was almost inedible.

                        Based on the promising salgados and the favorable reviews on this board, I'll try Favela once more, but my girlfriend won't. I'm prepared to accept that the Tuesday special is just a dish to be avoided -- next time I'll try more of a standby. But another similar experience to last night would cross them off my list for good.

                        1. brasilianville cafe was much better imho and you can pick the exact amount you want because its a buffet!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: junglekitte

                            and I got a really good thirteen ounce grilled skirt steak at Brasilianville Cafe for less than six dollars! You'd need a heavy-duty time machine to beat that price.