Chinchu makes delicious street barbecue with Argentine cuts in Curitiba

Afro Martins Jr. likes fire. And it’s not a metaphor. He works with fire and it’s as if he found a kind of balance in it. In fact, it is something remarkable.

Go to Chinchu Bar y Parrilla, on the corner of Saldanha Marinho and Brigadeiro Franco streets, and you will find Martins Jr. quietly playing the role of roaster. (As well as owning the place.)

Inexplicably, the heat of the grill doesn’t bother him. He feels at home, comfortable. Even though he’s dealing with a huge amount of requests—which he does with some frequency—he doesn’t break a sweat. Very different from the classic image of the panting roaster that seems to melt from the exertion and heat.

Afro Martins Jr.  owner of Chinchu in Curitiba
Afro Martins Jr. opened the doors of Chinchu without fanfare on February 4, 2022. (Photo: Braian Bogu/Disclosure)

The Chinchu is a small place, with about 20 seats inside and 20 more outside. However, if the clientele is creative in surrounding a table or standing on the sidewalk, the number can be much higher.

Depending on the day – even more so on Fridays and Saturday nights – people standing take care of the bar inside and out.

But there is a reason to crowd in Chinchu, now that crowding is more acceptable. And that reason is the barbecue.

Menu

The no-frills menu lists a few good options, with skewers (from R$15 to R$19) and roasts (the cheapest is the chicken, for R$29.90), accompanied by bacon farofa and grilled vegetables. . (Some say the bacon farofa is so spectacular that some people order meat as an accompaniment to the farofa, not the other way around.)

Chinchu is also becoming famous for the quality of its side dishes with bacon farofa and beans. (Photo: Brian Bogu/Disclosure)

It is a street barbecueor street barbecue. Inspired by Argentina, the cuts on the menu range from chorizo ​​(R$79 for two people) to ancho (same price). As for drinks, it mainly offers Patagonia draft beer and red and white wines. In addition to one and another distillate.

Inspiration

In fact, Afro Martins Jr., the owner of Chinchu, says that the idea for the establishment came from two specific places: O Beco, in Camboriú; and La Borratxeria (ex-Underdog), in São Paulo. Both have the same proposal: to offer good quality meats for a fair price.

For this matter, the Plural followed the rule of the “Michelin Guide” and visited the Chinchu four times without revealing his identity. Three times were very good. One, at Carnival, was terrible because the place was very, very crowded. And too many people get in the way of the whole experience. It’s good that you know.

The meats are tasty, tender and succulent. And the presentation of the dishes is done with care. Contrary to what happens in most steakhouses, the side dishes at Chinchu are worth it. Very. In addition to farofa, already mentioned here, beans also conquer fans.

Lastly, if you order the vegetables, you won’t regret it. For example, broccoli is an intense green and, as it is prepared on the grill, it is roasted and crispy.

Your history

The report tasted some menu options, such as the rib and the rump bonbon. In addition to all the skewers available. The sausage used in the house is the legendary Bizinelli, with an unparalleled flavor. The meats are from a producer from Paraná in the Guarapuava region, linked to the Cooper Aliança cooperative. “It is considered one of the best producers in the state”, says Martins Jr. For the quality of the food, the price is really fair.

Martins Jr. was born in Erechim (RS) and, throughout his life, went through 17 changes in 11 cities. In Curitiba, he opened a healthy food restaurant called Veg Lev, on Rua Prudente de Moraes. He took care of him for six years. Until he got tired. And he decided to open a business that had more to do with his story.

In addition, he wanted to find a way to work close to home, to be close to his 4-year-old son Raul. A kid with almost infinite energy. “Raul is a volcano”, says the roaster. Which explains the barbecue’s name… “Volcão Raul”.

The barbecue called “Vulcão Raul” in honor of the son of Martins Jr. (Photo: Irinêo Baptista Netto/Plural)

The sale of Veg Lev took place at the end of 2019. Shortly after, the covid-19 showed up in China. The pandemic was an interlude where almost nothing good happened. When the country’s situation got slightly better, Martins Jr. got ready to assemble the Chinchu, packed mainly by the memories of the gaucho grandparents who enjoyed a barbecue.

With a pinch of salt

In the middle of the conversation, he interrupts himself to finalize an order. He takes the rump bonbon (R$57 for one person), places it on the board and covers the piece with an iron lid for a few seconds. Then he sprinkles the meat with salt and slices into thin slices.

The salt came after the meat had been removed from the fire drew attention. That’s right? “Yes. Because, if you salt it beforehand, the salt will dehydrate the meat a little and it will be less juicy”, says Martins Jr. “That’s why I add the salt after I take the meat off the grill.” It’s not a rule, but a simple (and absurdly underused) trick.

Martins Jr. prefers to salt the meat after taking it off the heat. (Photo: Brian Bogu/Disclosure)

in stages

Without fanfare, Chinchu opened on February 4, 2022. The idea was to get the house up and running and structure it in stages.

Now, Martins Jr. is getting ready to open an extension of Chinchu in Brigadeiro Franco to sell draft beer and serve the public who prefers to stay on the street, standing, chatting. Then he will put in place a home delivery system.

street barbecue

Chinchu Bar y Parrilla. Rua Saldanha Marinho, 1144, Centro, Curitiba – (41) 99191-1849. The place does not take reservations. Instagram: @chinchuparrilla

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