Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Mineiros Bar and Steak House

371 Union Street, Rockland, MA 02370
(781) 421-3454 Find location!

Photo of Mineiros Bar and Steak House, Rockland, MA There are a handful of Boston suburbs that get little notice when discussing dining, including small towns with very few options (Carlisle, Dover, Topsfield to name a few) and slightly larger communities that are just enough out of the way to keep them hidden from much of the region (Hanson, Maynard, North Reading). This latter category could also include the town of Rockland, which abuts Hanson and is somewhat cut off from other areas by Route 3--which forms a very short border in the northeastern part of town--and various parklands and open spaces, including the sprawling Union Point area to the north which is where the South Weymouth Naval Air Station had been and which could eventually become a brand new city, of all things. The bottom line is, Rockland will never be confused for, say, Waltham, which is near two major highways and has a booming restaurant scene, but this close-knit community does have some dining spots worth checking out, including Mineiros Bar and Steak House, a little Brazilian eatery in the center of town that rivals some of the best ones found in cities closer to Boston such as Everett, Woburn, and Somerville.

Located across the street from the Rockland fire station and the library, Mineiros takes up two tiny storefronts, with the right side having most of the seating and the left side being where the buffet station, rotisserie/BBQ area, and counter are. A small bar with a handful of seats is situated further back into the space, basically running along where the shared wall would be if the two storefronts were completely separate. As you might expect at a Brazilian restaurant, the buffet station includes mostly appetizers that are constantly being refilled, while the rotisserie/BBQ area is where diners ask people behind the counter for various cuts of meat that are put onto their plates. Though a tad dark--especially further back and away from the windows--Mineiros has a comfortable and homey overall feel to it, almost like you've walked into someone's private club, albeit a club that's welcoming to everyone, from locals to newcomers to travelers who might have gotten off Route 3 looking for a place to eat.

Being that Mineiros focuses on buffet dining, there is basically something for everyone here, though you have options as to how exactly to order. One option is to pay by the pound, which may be better if you're looking for a lighter meal, while the other option is a fixed all-you-can-eat price, which works if you want to try a bit of everything or are very hungry and may want to have two (or more) plates of food. A few items offered among the starters include two types of beans and two types of rice, a savory cheese bread, crunchy fried yuca, plantains, fried tilapia, buffalo wings, mashed potatoes, and more. A number of meat options are offered at the adjacent rotisserie area, including a tremendous bacon-wrapped sirloin, and equally-delicious chicken-wrapped sirloin, pork shoulder with a good amount of fat left on, short ribs cooked rare enough so that they are full of juices but also have a nice sear, a lean top sirloin, nicely-browned pork and chicken sausages, and tender brisket that has just enough fat on it. For those who somehow saved enough room, a few desserts are offered at Mineiros, including a sweet passionfruit pudding along with a classic flan and a rice pudding. Brazilian beers and South American wines are available here as well as a terrific red sangria made with fresh fruit, and the restaurant does have a full bar, so any number of mixed drinks or shots can be ordered, too.

Rockland isn't exactly a dining destination, but there are some decent options for food in this southern suburb of Boston. And Mineiros Bar and Steak House is certainly one of the better spots here--and one that really wouldn't be out of place in or near the city. If you like meat-heavy meals without having to break the bank, definitely check this friendly--and very little known--restaurant out.