One of the best places you’re not eating at yet is Pão de Queijo on 30th Street in Astoria. Today’s post aims to change all that as I recruit my fellow food-obsessed neighbors to try this truly excellent Brazilian spot that is located conveniently (dangerously?) close to my front door. What follows are my absolute favorite things to eat there, with the caveat that the menu is expansive and there is always something new to discover!
The first thing that you will want to try is the pastry for which the place is named. The pão de queijo (pictured below) is a cheese bun popular in Brazil and elsewhere in South America. The outside of this fantastic snack is baked to crispy perfection, while the inside has a buoyant chewiness provided by the tapioca flour used in making it. While excellent pão de queijo can be found elsewhere in Astoria, including Point Brazil and the Ipanema Girl Market, the one at Pão de Queijo is easily my favorite in the neighborhood.
Pão de Queijo is also home to the must-try Da Casa Sandwich (pictured below), one of my two favorite sandwiches in Astoria (the other one is the grilled haloumi sandwich at BZ Grill). The Da Casa is a sandwich that is epic in flavor, combining a well-seasoned chicken burger, two types of cheese, bacon, corn, potato stick, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise and served on a hard roll. I crave this sandwich once (okay, maybe three times) a week and hope that you’ll give it a try for yourself!
I am not going to tell you about Pão de Queijo’s perfectly fried croquettes stuffed with ingredients that vary by the day but generally include combinations of chicken, cheese, yucca, beef and/or potato for fear you’ll start worrying about my heart. But believe me, you should try them sometime. Instead I will move on to the Batida Brasileira smoothie which I like to pretend is incredibly healthy. After all, it marries banana, papaya, strawberries, oats, milk and honey into an expertly blended concoction and how on earth could that be bad for you?
Finally, you just can’t leave Pão de Queijo without trying one of their homemade desserts. I recommend trying the Docinhos, a Brazilian treat in the shape of ball that combines condensed milk, sugar and eggs with a variety of fruit, nuts, and other sweets like chocolate and sprinkles. My favorite Docinho (pictured below) is flavored with passion fruit and rolled in pistachios. This unique and wonderfully tasty dessert is the perfect way to end your hearty, delicious meal at Pão de Queijo.
Pão de Queijo, 31-90 30th Street, Astoria NY