Authentic Portuguese food has come to Kings Park.
Zacarias Rodrigues and Vivian Liu have partnered up and transformed the former Long River Chinese restaurant into a lively, “rodizio-style” Portuguese spot, now renamed Long River Churrascaria.
Rodrigues, who grew up in Portugal, said it was time to bring a taste of his home to the Long Island hamlet.
“We thought there was a need for it and we got the opportunity,” he said.
The building at 4 Main St. next to the Kings Park train station, is a little over a century old and has an extensive history.
It operated as The Brooklyn Hotel in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it became Yesterday’s Pub in 1982 and then a Chinese food place called Long River Restaurant.
Now, Liu, who previously worked at Long River Chinese Food,, teamed up with Rodrigues to create their own history by serving a variety of barbecue, seafood dishes, and the main attraction: an all-you-can-eat “rodizio” option.
The “rodizio” section offers over 10 different meats served with rice, black beans, fried bananas, vinaigrette and sautéed collard greens — the ideal meal for a big party and a big appetitie.
How it works is simple: A green and red cork is placed at customers’ “rodizio” tables, and they flip green for more food and flip red to say it’s enough.
Liu and Rodrigues recommend coming in with an empty stomach.
Other signature dishes include choriço assado (Portuguese sausage), mariscada com vinho branco (shellfish combo in wine sauce with rice or vegetables), and bacalhau a brás (salt cod with scrambled eggs filled with fried potatoes and shards).
“These are the most common Portuguese dishes,” Rodrigues said. “I grew up on it.”
A highlight of the drink menu is Brazil’s national cocktail, caipirinha, which is Brazilian Rum with lemon and cane sugar.
And for additional fun for the weekends, Long River Churrascaria hosts live music and karaoke nights Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. There’s also a new outdoor patio with several tables and a stage area, with more ideas for the summer, the partners tell us.
Long River Churrascaria is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Check out the photo gallery below for a peek inside Long River Churrascaria.
Follow the restaurant on Facebook for updates on specials and events.