MERIDEN — Banana Brazil Grille opened Wednesday on Hanover Street, offering a unique array of Brazilian-style grilled meats and buffet options. Here are seven things you need to know about the new restaurant.
Banana Brazil Grille is located at 124 Hanover St., the former home of Tian’s and Il Forno. Before that, the building housed Verdolini’s for more than 60 years until the restaurant was destroyed in a 1992 flood.
2. The basics
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. It is the business’ fourth location to open in the state. Other locations are in Danbury, Waterbury and Hartford. Owner Nilton Coelho said Meriden’s central location and large Hispanic population made it a perfect spot for another restaurant.
Customers have three options for ordering. The all you can eat buffet is $12, while the buffet and barbecue is $15. Customers can also order any of the meat options for $7.49 a pound.
4. So many meats
There are 18 different meat options, including sirloin steak, chorizo, short rib, chicken wings and chicken hearts. The meat is cooked on rotating skewers so it is hot and ready to serve. Cooks simply remove the skewers from the heat and cut off slices for customers.
“The barbecue is natural charcoal,” Coelho said. “It’s very unique. It makes the meat juicy and flavorful.”
5. Other options
In addition to barbecue, two large buffet stations offer guests an array of dishes including healthier options like fish, salads, butternut squash, beats and fresh vegetables.
“Every day we change the set up of the buffet,” Coelho said.
Fresh juice and deserts are also available, including flan, which Coelho said is extremely popular at his other locations.
6. Dine-in or take out
The restaurant offers ample seating for customers to eat in, but all menu offerings are available for take out as well, Coelho said. Major interior renovations were done to give the restaurant a sleek and modern feel, with new floors, paint, counter tops, tables and decorations.
7. What the downtown needs
Economic Development Associate Paola Mantilla visited the restaurant for lunch Thursday, scooping up some rice, salad and chicken from the buffet. She said a new restaurant downtown is what residents have been waiting for.
“We truly believe this is what they’ve been wishing for, a nice sit-down environment with lots of options,” Mantilla said. “We wish them the best success.
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