Spent Saturday evening celebrating my friend’s birthday at Churrascaria Plataforma in Hell’s Kitchen – and literally, the aftermath of the experience may have been hell.Â No longer a few months out of college, it seems that my friends have been celebrating birthdays bigger and better.Â Instead of a birthday party consisting of a 30 of Busch Light and a box of wine, birthdays now have become the quest for a great meal and great conversation, followed by a few drinks at the bar.
So I rekindled my Greek life roots and headed over to the infamous Brazilian steakhouse with a bunch of fraternity brothers who were determined to get their moneys worth.Â Now the price isn’t cheap – $50 for a prie fixe meal – not including beverages and desserts.Â So what does this get you?Â A trip to the salad bar which not only has your traditional lettuce salad, but potato, coleslaw, tortellini type salads, as well as an array of warm seafood entrees.Â In addition, there is also a sushi platter as well as shrimp cocktail, a calamari salad and other cold seafood dishes.Â While our reservation was at 8:30, we didn’t get seated until 9, so we dove into our buffet platter.Â I wasn’t even a few bites in when the meat started arriving at our table.
NowÂ Churrascaria Plataforma has coasters that are red on one side, green on the other, indicating to the servers when you would like more food.Â My issue with this was that I never wanted to press stop, should the servers come back with something amazing and I have to miss out. Our servers immediately arrived and gave us plates of bread filled with cheese (my two favorite things combined), rice, mashed potatoes, fried bananas, broccoli and fried polenta all for the table.Â Since our coasters indicated the go-ahead, all of a sudden servers arrived with filet on a stick, turkey wrapped in bacon, chicken, pork sausage, sirloin, lamb, filet wrapped in bacon, ribs, etc. all on a skewer.Â Interested in having some?Â Just let the server know, they’ll cut you a piece, and you use your own tongs to serve yourself from the skewer.
Overall, the food wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure the dining experience was enjoyable.Â A friend compared it to the I Love Lucy episode in the chocolate factory, as the meat kept on coming and we found ourselves trying to clean our plates as quickly as possible for any more meat that came by.Â The servers were extremely quick, rushing out of the gate to our table, and as our plates filled with meat, we didn’t even know at some points what we were truly eating.
While Churrascaria can be seen as a bargain for the ex-football/fraternity boy reliving his glory days (since when can you eat that much beef/lamb/chicken/pork/a whole cow in Manhattan for that price), for the average person, the meal was a little out of my price range.Â When it was all said and done, with tax, tip and one cocktail, the whole experience set me back 81 bucks, five pounds heavier and the vow never to eat beef again.Â Now, this is not to say that the food was awful – it’s just if I had my parents in town treating me to dinner and six hours blocked off for a nap, this experience may have been a tad more enjoyable.
As we headed to the bar to celebrate the rest of my friend’s birthday, many of us mentioned that we just wanted to go home, put on some sweat pants and sleep.Â I’m all for going out for a meal for someone’s birthday, but next time, let’s pick something a little more wallet friendly that doesn’t leave us in a food coma – like a street cart.The Basics Name:Â Churrascaria Plataforma Location: 316 W. 49th St Who to Take:Â Out of town guests – i.e. parents, relatives – or the guy preparing for a hot dog eating contest Price:Â Daddy, can you pay my rent? – $$$$$ Overall:Â They better have coupons.Â Three Stars.