First Whiff of Brasil

Review: Emporium Brasil, NYC

As it’s my first night of a few here in the Big Apple for yet another work assignment, and given the fact I’ll be getting in quite a bit of mileage this week in Central Park, I figure I should go out and enjoy myself a bit or at least take the opportunity to try some food that I’d normally never get back home in Philadelphia.

Cue Little Brasil on West 46th Street between 5th and 7th Avenues. I know there are a few churrascarias in Philadelphia, Fogo de Chao and Chima, to name a couple, but considering the fact I’m a vegetarian, those places will never appeal to me. And I’m SURE there’s got to be a Brasilian place somewhere in the city that doesn’t limit itself as a Brasilian steakhouse, just know it sure as hell ain’t in Center City, I can tell you that much.

That all said, I looked into Via Brasil on the 1-99 block of W 46th but looking at how people were dressed – I was in casual clothing – I stayed out thinking I was, or would have been, underdressed. Instead I strolled right over across the street to Emporium Brasil, took a look at the menu – most of their dishes appeared reasonably priced – and strolled right in, asking for, and taking a seat for myself at the bar.

I sat down, the waiter was very attentive and quite nice. In fact, all of the waiters that evening appeared to be very attentive. We had a bit conversation about the differences between Brasilian food and other Latin American foods – he claimed that Peruvian food was more spicy than Brasilian food, which tends to combine a lot of different influences. He then asked about my ethnicity and then gave me a hot pepper sauce with tiny chili peppers in the sauce to top off any part of my dish if I wanted to make it spicy. And my whilst it was good, it was incredibly spicy, I couldn’t have too much of it.

Brasil's national drink, the caipirinha. 26 Sept 2010.

For dinner, I ordered the camarao na moranga, or the shrimp and hearts of palm in an acorn squash with catupiri cheese ($20.99). I also decided to go ahead and order a Brasilian drink, their national cocktail, or the Caipirinha ($8.25), which is made with cachaca, sugar, and lime. Like rum, cachaca is made from sugarcane and the drink is common throughout Brasil. The drink, whilst strong, was certainly satisfying, and the food itself was brought out extremely hot, the acorn squash sauce dripping and oozing out beneath the hearts of palm and shrimp stacked within its shell. The dish had the cheese melted FAR beneath the surface of the piled seafood and vegetable, so I did not taste the cheese until I was nearly done with the dish. The dish itself came with rice and a side of black beans, so I ate the dish, mixed with rice and the beans, and my, oh my, whilst the cheese made the dish quite filling – I had zero room for dessert.

Seasoned with oregano and oil. 26 Sept 2010.

Camarao na Moranga at Emporium Brasil

Overall, I’d wished I’d have had the room to try appetizers and dessert. I fully realise any of the meat dishes could have been total crap, but that’s a completely moot point for myself. For what I had, the food was solid at a reasonable price. I’d definitely come here again and see if I can’t try something else on the menu.

EDIT: Pics added 30 Sept 2010.

Restaurant Info:

Emporium Brasil | 15 West 46th Street | New York, NY 10036 | 212.764.4646 | Website

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