January 28, 2011

A Sweet Reunion: Me and Brasa

iPhone pics not cutting it--is it wierd to take my camera with me?

Holy happiness.

That is what I feel every time I go to Brasa. Before our stupid “let’s try to only eat out on the weekends” thing, we used to make an appearance every couple of weeks. Lately, our frequency has decreased. And I’ve missed it.

It was good to be home tonight.

Sorry, ridiculously corny, I know, but I feel really strongly about Brasa. The food is fantastic—delicious and comforting. I could eat Brasa every night, and if they had a location that was closer to our house, I probably would.

I had to look up how they describe their food, because I have a hard to summarizing it for people. Southern-style comfort food? Definitely comfort food, but “southern” takes me to Paula Deen. And it's so much better than Paula Deen. Rotisserie? Sounds so limiting. Here’s what they, those Brasa experts, say: “Brasa serves comfort food inspired by the Creole cooking traditions of the Americas & Caribbean.” Okay. Sure. Whatever you want to call it, I love it.

All of it. As demonstrated by what the 2 of us ordered tonight:

¼ lb pulled chicken.
¼ lb pulled slow roasted pork.
¼ lb braised beef.
Small crispy yuca w/ mojo.
Small romaine & fresh mozzarella salad.
Small rustic style grits w/ cheddar.
1 cornbread w/ honey glaze.
1 sangria.
1 retro bottle of Dr. Pepper.

I’m slightly embarrassed. But I have no regrets.

Seriously, folks, everything they make is delicious. I’ve had almost everything on that menu and have never been disappointed. It really just boils down to what you like. The sandwiches are stellar if you’re in the mood for a sandwich. I particularly love the Slow Roasted Pork Sandwich (with ginger mayo, cilantro, and pickled vegetables) and the Braised Beef Sandwich (with fried onions, sharp cheddar, and bbq sauce).

All of the meats are great. I usually find myself deciding between the pork and the beef. As for the sides, the grits are great. The masa corn cakes are great. The black beans and rice are good in a “my palate needs a little break” kind of way. Their chips and guac are very good too. I generally shy away from the creamed spinach and yams, but only because I’m not a creamed spinach or yam kind of gal. They’re both very well-prepared.

And the yuca. Don’t even get me started on the yuca. Because I’ll never stop.

But I’m sorry, you haaaaaaaaaaaaaave to hear about the yuca. I’ll try to keep this short. The yuca is kind of like a potato, but better. They fry them. They drizzle some sort of citrusy oil on them, it seems, that makes your mouth pucker ever so slightly. They serve them with a side of cilantro-y, garlicky, creamy mojo sauce. And you never want to stop eating them. So you don’t. And you promise yourself you will never go there and not order them. And you don’t. They are life changing. I think maybe…just maybe…they are my favorite food.

As for logistics, Brasa has two locations—NE Minneapolis and St. Paul (right on Grand Ave.) I prefer the Minneapolis location. The food is better and the space is cooler (renovated old auto garage). I’ll be honest, they could have more friendly wait staff. But who cares when the food is that good? With the outdoor seating out of commission in the winter, the wait can get kinda crazy on weekend nights. But, if you get there before 6, you’re golden. And I happen to think waiting is worth it if that’s what you get faced with. And be prepared to wait longer than they say it will be. Predicting wait time is not a strength of theirs.

As for prices, we got all of the above tonight for $50 bucks. A steal.

Brasa is great for random Friday nights, random weekday nights, takeout, dining in, lunch, dinner, whenever. But I reco not going with a large group. They’re not set up for that. You’ll surely wait forever.

Go. Run. You’ll love it. Not as much as me (it’s not possible). But you’ll love it. I promise.

Brasa Rotisserie on Urbanspoon

Brasa Rotisserie on Urbanspoon

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