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"Carnaval" Time

A new Brazilian grill called Carnaval Restaurant (2501 Canal St., 822-4636) is now cooking up a huge variety of meats in the Mid-City area. The casual restaurant opened Aug. 25 in the freshly renovated building that had been RobinÕs Pancake House before Hurricane Katrina. Visitors to churrascaria-style Brazilian steakhouses will recognize the style of food here though the service format is different. In place of waiters wandering the dining room to slice portions of meat onto dinersÕ plates Ñ the norm at such restaurants as Fire of Brazil (725 Iberville St., 552-4446; Ñ guests at Carnaval get the same parade of protein directly from the kitchen, queuing up at a counter where a cook tends a grill filled with long skewers of meats ranging from beef, lamb and pork to sausages and tiny, salty chicken hearts. The buffet of hot and cold side dishes includes Brazilian versions of rice and beans, shrimp stew and chicken lasagna plus fried fish, plantains, salads and fruit. Prices are tallied by weight and guests measure their loaded plates on a scale after each trip through the line. It is inexpensive. The owners have applied for a liquor license to open a bar in the restaurant, but for now try the Guarana Antarctica, a refreshing Brazilian fruit soda.

Preludes to Dessert

Call it a new lunch option or a convenient excuse for a midday visit to the chocolate-scented air of SucrŽ (3025 Magazine St., 520-8311;, but the Uptown Òdessert boutiqueÓ opened by Joel Dondis and Tariq Hanna this spring now serves soups and sandwiches. The soup changes frequently while sandwiches include roasted portobello mushroom on focaccia or house-cured gravlax with lemon-caper cream cheese on a batard loaf. SucrŽ also makes a selection of premium chocolates, gelato, pastry and coffee. It is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Buffalo Without Wings

The casual breakfast and lunch spot called the Store (814 Gravier St., 322-2446; recently opened in the Central Business District with a few offbeat offerings. The burger, for instance, is made with a half-pound of ground bison meat rather than beef, while the black bean soup is jazzed up with bits of tasso, the highly seasoned Cajun ham. The Store opened in the space behind the Capital One Building (nee Hibernia) that had previously been the Japanese restaurant Jipang. Its menu includes many salads, sandwiches and daily specials for lunch, plus a breakfast menu that includes poached eggs with short rib meat or pulled pork, shrimp and grits and paper bags filled with beignets. The Store also offers catering. Ñ McNulty

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