Friday, April 07, 2006

Greenfields Restaurant

Churrascaria - another type of all you care to eat. This is Brazilian smorgasbord. It means house of barbecue in Portuguese. Green fields Restaurant is located on Route 110 in Farmingdale, New York, on Long Island. This restaurant offers a variety of ways to dine - all included in one price. The highlight of this restaurant is the skewers of meats - many types of meats - that are carried by waiters around the room and brought to your table for you to take what you like. In addition there is a very extensive salad bar and a hot buffet. Filling an entire wall of the restaurant from floor to ceiling is the fire pit barbecue. It appeared that they are burning wood chips and the flames broil the meats on the sword skewers that hang over the fire across the the pit. You can see everything roasting and what is coming off the fire and heading for the tables.

This is not an inexpensive restaurant, but what you get is well worth the dinner price of $24.99. It is the same price seven nights, all week. There is a lower price for lunch and children over 4 are $9.95. For your money you get everything on the buffet tables and the Churrascaria meats that are carried to you. The price does not include any beverage and fancy desserts are extra. There is fruit on the salad bar which makes a fine dessert - if you are so inclined after this filling meal.

You can start with soup. There were two soups offered the night that we went. There was Black Bean and Chicken Vegetable. The vegetable soup was loaded with large pieces of chicken, but light on vegetables. The salad bar is extensive with many unusual prepared vegetable salads, many of which are Brazilian in origin. There was also Greek salad, Caesar salad, and a variety of greens and leaf spinach to make your own salad with many toppings and the usual dressings. There is also sliced ham and salami on the salad bar. There is cold, peel and eat shrimp. There is fresh fruit. You can make a meal of the salad bar, but do not fill up here. There is lots more to come.

The hot buffet area has hot chafing servers filled with potatoes, vegetables,and entrees. At past visits the entrees included many exotic meats such as ostrich, kangaroo, buffalo, and the like. The menu has recently changed and the theme of the hot entrees is now Texas BBQ. At our visit there was pulled pork barbecue that was as good as any I have had in the South. There was beef bricked, but it was served with horseradish sauce and not like barbecue smoked brisket. It was tasty but not what I expected when I saw the sign that read brisket. It was more like New York style pot roast. There was also a chicken dish and pene pasta with shrimp in a light tomato sauce. There is a bread basket out in the middle. Again, do not fill up here because the main attraction is to come.

Go to the buffet area and take potatoes and vegetables. If you do not care for the hot vegetables, there is cold corn and cold string beans on the salad bar. Take your plate back to the table. Now the fun starts. On your table you will find a little salt shaker like jar with a red cap on the top and a green cap on the bottom. Turn that over so that the green is on the top and the waiters will start coming to your table with the meats. The meats are fire cooked on long sword-like skewers and the whole sword is carried to your table - sometimes two at a time. Your server will tell you what the meat is and if you would like some he cuts you off a piece or slides a whole piece on to your plate. We were offered Italian sausage, chunks of white meat turkey wrapped in bacon, chicken with a Brazilian spiced taste, steak, top sirloin, beef loin, pork spareribs (with a good BBQ sauce cooked on - again part of the new Texas BBQ theme), duck, lamb, chunks of meaty beef ribs. As long as the green cap is up the meats keep coming. Turn it over to red and the waiter does not stop at your table. Ready for more - turn it back over to green. Feel like more salad or hot buffet - go back up and get some more.

The meat is not cooked to order but it is juicy and not dried out. The taste is excellent. The outside is charred crispy and the inside is just right on the medium side. I like rare beef but I enjoy the meat here done medium.

All of the wait staff are Brazilian (or at least appear to be) and the atmosphere with the meats traveling around the room is festive. There is Brazilian music piped in with a great beat. The decor is Brazil. There are a variety of animal heads on the walls - wild boar, deer, etc.

In the past there were more exotic meats and there was roast suckling pig. There was no pig on this night. We went on a Tuesday night (special birthday dinner - Happy Birthday to ME!) and there were not many diners, though there were tables filled through out the evening. The room was most full as we were leaving at 8:30. I had thought it best to get there early on a weeknight figuring that it would be slow and empty and that it was more likely to not be empty early. I was wrong. On the weekends the restaurant is crowded - though we have never had to wait long for a table on a Saturday night. We asked about Easter Sunday dinner and were advised to make reservations. The price is the same for the holiday - dinner is served all day on Sundays - no lunch prices.

There is a chain of these restaurants (Greenfields) - two in California, one in Queens, NY, one in Rockville, Maryland, and one in Boston. The interesting thing is that this one is not listed on the website as part of the chain - but the name is the same, the style is the same, and the menu is the same. Perhaps this once was a part of the chain and is not any more - but the name is the same. There is a website for the chain (do a search) but I am not listing the website on the side of the blog as it does not represent this particular recurrent. If anyone who reads this has been to one of the locations of the chain, please make a comment about the restaurant and your experience. I can recommend this particular restaurant - and the style of eating in general- but I have not been to any of the locations on the website. If you are able to visit this restaurant in Farmingdale, NY - Go for it! If you are a MEAT EATER you will not be disappointed! If you come across any restaurant labeled Churrascaria, it should be just like this. Try it!


cobra said...

I am glad you enjoyed Greenfields but I was very disappointed. I should have known something was amiss when I went on a Sunday night (Aug 13, 2006) and the place was near empty. There were only a couple of items on the hot buffet, though the hot wings were good. There were only 2 waiters bringing around the hot meats. The spicy chicken and the skirt steak was good but the rest of the meats, including the beef, duck and lamb were tough. Since I didn't care for any of the meats besides the skirt steak I asked for two pieces and the waiter said he could only give me one. And they only came around twice with the skrt steak. The salad bar was also minimal and the ceasar salad was tasteless. I must say though that the chicken soup was tasty. Not worth the price at all. And for that price they should have included the drinks and dessert.

Robert A said...

This restaurant has since closed. I do not know why.