hahaha gotta love Duran Duran :)
Seeing as how we are full throttle into quite the chilly winter, we here at JIA thought it a good idea to review a place that would warm you from the inside out and have you feeling like dancing the samba- well your taste buds anyway! Located in the old Wassi/Tell Astorya spot now lies a Brazilian coffee shop/light bites spot.Let me introduce you to the deliciousness that is Rio's Mania (37-05 28th Ave).
Walk in and soak in the a mural of the Rio beachfront on the far wall and take a seat at one of dozen or so tables. The staff is super nice and informative and can help you navigate the somewhat foreign menu. It's not too complicated but if you need some help on deciding if you want the hearts of palm or the catupiry cheese, they can lend a hand. Now let's get down to the grub!
I started off with a can of Guarana, one of my favorite drinks ever. I was brought up drinking it (my mom lived in Brazil for about 10 years and brought alot of her tastes to the U.S.) and always order it if it's on the menu. I try to stay away from carbonated beverages but this one doesn't seem as bad, kinda on the ginger ale side.
After perusing the menu for a few minutes, it was pretty plain to see that I HAD to order the "with everything" or what they call X-Tudo ($6.50). It does in fact have everything on it and did not disappoint! In the warm bun, layered oh so carefully- there was a perfectly herb seasoned beef patty, some ham that had been set on the grill for a slight toasting, fresh bacon, a fried egg with a touch of softness to the yolk, corn nibblets, tomato, lettuce and mayo. Sounds crazy right? Somehow this was so delicious and light that it filled me up but I was still able to comfortably eat half the dessert without that "oh no I ate too much" feeling! I highly recommend this dish.
The #4 Crepe ($6.50) was also a win win. A warm pocket of chicken, catupiry cheese, corn & hearts of palm. I didn't try this but my dining mate was happy with it. I like the fresh idea of corn in some of the dishes, it's a different kind of filling and tastes really good with the other flavors. They also have sweet crepes with the typical Nutella and fruits. This time we didn't have the room to try one but they are on the list for next time.
The Acai Traditional ($6) is the star of the "bowl" menu. They blend frozen acai berries to the consistency of sorbet. Fill up the bowl with it then top it with granola, honey, bananas & strawberries and you either have a healthy dessert option, an energizing afternoon snack or the breakfast of champions. I could seriously see myself killing a few of these a week especially in the thick of summer.
So whether you're just looking for an after dinner espresso or a healthy snack of lunch/dinner, you can find all of the above at the un-assuming little Rio's Mania. If this sounds good to you, stop in and let the guys know it. They've only been open a couple of months, so you know the deal- we have to keep our businesses open by going to them! I'd love to keep something open in this spot, and from what i've seen so far- this is a great candidate.
Rio's Mania Brazilian Cafe
37-05 28th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11103