My friend Jeff from Foodmento organized an instagrammer event at Pao de Queijo, a Brazilian sandwich and burger joint in Astoria. Lucky for me, I was invited!
This place also slings some really great smoothies and shakes, like this “Verano” shake, with pineapple, coconut and graviola (similar in flavor to a mango).
This hit the spot and was super refreshing on such a hot, sunny day.
With a bunch of instagrammers on hand, there was a barrage of sandwich pics and stack shots going on.
I managed to grab half of two sandwiches/burgers that I was really interested in trying. On the top/right in the pics below is the “X Banana” burger, which is a beef burger with banana, cheese, corn, potato sticks, lettuce, tomato and mayo. On the bottom/left is the “X Brazil” sandwich, consisting of sliced beef, cheese, egg, Brazilian sausage, corn, potato sticks, lettuce, tomato and mayo.
Both were really great. I preferred the burger over the steak sandwich, mainly because the burger was more properly seasoned, and that banana was a great surprise that really drove some standout flavors. The burger patties have herbs and spices in the mix, which make these burgers very unique among the landscape of other burger joints.
“X Banana” Burger:
The “X Brazil” was great in concept. I have two critiques: I think the steak just needed a bit more salt before it hit the grill, and perhaps the sausage should be chopped up a bit before it gets put onto the sandwich, that way your teeth don’t have to work through the snappy casing as much when biting down. Otherwise I loved it, and I would definitely order this again without any second thoughts.
“X Brazil” Sandwich:
The best part about these sandwiches is that they’re properly constructed to minimize slippage and crap falling out the sides, which could otherwise make for a messy eating experience. The bread surrounds the contents nicely, and they’re wrapped compact enough so that it’s easy to get your whole mouth around for a bite.
There is so much more to try on their menu, like a burger with pineapple, or sandwiches with ham and chicken thrown into the mix. The sandwiches and burgers run anywhere from $3.75 for a simple ham and cheese to $12.50 for the “X Brazil.” Very reasonable.
Fries come separate at $3, and they’re really great when you add some of the green sauce on them, which you can find on each table.
But the real star(s) of the “side show” are the restaurant’s namesake: Pao de Queijo, or cheese breads.
These toasty little balls are a bread dough that’s been kneaded and mixed with cheese. The outside is crisp and warm, and the inside is a cross between bread and cheese. So awesome, so soft, so tasty… but beware: these things are fucking addicting.
In fact, as a promotion from this Instagram event, when you go here, if you mention the word “acai” you will get three free Pao de Queijo (three balls).
And speaking of acai, if you’re still hungry for dessert after all that sandwich gorging, or if you’re dieting for some ridiculous reason, then grab an acai bowl while you’re here.
This one has acai puree on the bottom, which was like a cold berry soup, and is topped with bananas, mango, granola and mint.
PAO DE QUEIJO
31-90 30th St
Astoria, NY 11106