>> Chalanas Restaurant | Eat the World NYC

18 June 2019

Chalanas Restaurant


If you have ever done any traveling in Brazil, you will know that Brazilians from the most populous cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro will constantly talk about the wonders of Minas Gerais, the beauties of landscapes and colonial architecture as well as the richness of the cuisine. It is not controversial to call it some of the greatest food in the entire country.

That state is the original home to many of the folks who have come to make Mount Vernon their home, starting back in the 1980's when the economy of Brazil was not in the best shape. Nowadays, churrascarias both Brazilian and Portuguese can be found near the center of this small city just north of the Bronx, along with bakeries, butchers, and other businesses catering to what is said to be more than one in every ten people in Mount Vernon.

Having walked through the area on a couple occasions but never eaten, recently an opportunity finally presented itself at Chalanas, a casual churrascaria that is a good primer to town. On a Sunday evening a few weeks back, as a live band was playing to patrons outside, an indoor table was chosen on what had turned into a very muggy day. Sitting inside affords the opportunity to keep watch on all the meat-related activities, the focus of any visit.

While many churrascarias will charge one price and allow unlimited dining, some ask diners to make plates for themselves, weigh everything, and pay up front like they do here. For people who never quite feel that they can take full advantage of an all-you-can-eat rodizio situation, this is preferable and also doubles as a way to limit your indulgence knowing that every extra cut of picanha or spoon of beans will cost you.

A man will be tending to all the meats over the fire, keeping different cuts cooking at different heats and making sure everyone can have their favorite meats at their preferred levels. Have a conversation, ask what's good, and take a look inside to see if the cut is the way you want it. It is not uncommon to ask for something more or less well done.

After he slices off the portion you desire, he will sprinkle a bit of salt back on the less cooked and now exposed meat and pop it back into the cooking rotation. In the end, the only complaint here may be that the meats are salted too much, but they are all excellent cuts and supremely satisfying.

Meats are weighed separately and at a higher price, so grab another plate for the buffet, usually just as tempting in a Brazilian restaurant. There is something truly unique and special about a simple portion of Brazilian black beans, white rice, and farofa, the beloved toasted cassava that can be sprinkled over just about everything.

Rice prepared by Brazilians always has a nice shiny gloss to it because before water is added it is fried in oil with cloves of garlic and onion, giving it a pleasant aromatic quality. Add this, some of their wonderful black beans (feijão), and some other "healthier" fare to your plate if desired.

Vegetables in a vinegar marinade make for a nice way to cut through the fats of the meat, as does the nice chimichurri sauce which can also be eaten with just about everything.

Chalanas also has a full bar, so on nights when that becomes necessary they are here for you. After dinner, grab some drinks and head outside under the tent for live music with Mount Vernon's Brazilians.

Chalanas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. Nice write up on one of my go-to spots in Lower Westchester County. Matter of fact, I just ate there 2 days ago. I love it!

    1. I could definitely see this being a go-to spot if I were closer!


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