Monday, March 12, 2012

Brasa Premium Rotisserie: North Minneapolis

Brasa Premium Rotisserie
Minneapolis and St. Paul Location
See Directions and Addresses Here

Website: http://www.brasa.us/
Menus: http://www.brasa.us/menus_eat.aspx

What Makes This Place Unique?
In short Brasa is gourmet food, gone country, and I think that it's uniqueness is best told by a little story.  Once upon a time there was a James Beard award winning chef (kind of a huge deal) named Alexander Roberts who was the Proprietor and Executive Chef at a critically acclaimed restaurant called Restaurant Alma in Minneapolis. 

Alexander's loved fresh and local food.  His dad even ran a farm back in Wisconsin and whenever Alexander could he loved to use organic, sustainable and locally grown produce in his highly acclaimed restaurant. Then after years of success with his high end restaurant, Alexander thought that it might be cool to have a place where he could cook the kind of food that he eats at home...then was bore the foodie brainchild behind Brasa.

Maybe it could be a place to showcase locally grown produce, dairy and eggs, slow roasted organic and free range meats.  And maybe they have the restaurant located inside a converted service station in Northeast Minneapolis??  Who knows??

Good thing is that it's all just too strange to be made up and as someone who appreciates some great roasted meats can tell you, it's fabulous!  Brasa now has two locations and the one that I've been lucky enough to eat at multiple times (and be catered in at work) is in North Minneapolis.

The ambiance and daytime lighting at Brasa is great (as long as you don't mind smelling like smoked meats for a day or two - hint hint - leave your jacket in the car) and along with great food chances are that your server will probably have tattoos, a smile and be quick on their feet.  It's a special kind of place that pulls off what they do so flawlessly and is truly a neighborhood gem.

As far as for what kind of food it is...it's got some Southern dishes on there as well as Latin American but why even argue about what kind of food it is when it's all just in the category of "Kick @ss Food"?  Is that a type of cuisine?  Because it should be.

What's On The Menu?
It's pretty short and sweet.  Essentially you pick your meat (rotisserie chicken, pulled pork, pulled chicken or smoked beef) and side (listed in second column) or pick your sandwich (third column).

They also have combination plates that are usually listed on the table menus which is what I suggest doing.  Because, you're not going to want to try just one.  And while the meat and sides sound simple, as does the menu, they're just not.  They sneak up on you with names like "pulled pork" and then come and punch you right in the mouth when they get to the table.

So if you're going to make a list of "must have" dishes I would suggest somehow working together to share the following dishes with your group (at a minimum):
  • Rotisserie Chicken  - roasted for over and hour, is fall off the bone tender and packed with flavor
  • Pulled Pork - Berkshire pork shoulder well seasoned and roasted to perfection
  • Creamy Spinach with Jalapeno - simple enough but seasoned to have a kick while still being able to enjoy the rich taste of spinach
  • Crispy Yuca w/ Citrus and Garlic - like potatoes only better - try with cilantro sauce
  • Rustic Style Grits w/ Cheddar - I didn't think that I would like grits.  Turns out I was wrong!
  • Cornbread w/ Honey Glaze- served still warm, soft, with hunks of corn kernels throughout with a pad of delicious butter and honey glaze on top
Rotisserie chicken lunch plate with mozzarella salad (meh - skip the salad next time) and a cornbread w/ honey glaze
Pulled pork lunch plate with creamy spinach & jalapeno and cornbread biscuit with honey glaze
Smoked beef sandwich: smoked beef, fried onions, sharp cheddar & BBQ sauce, served with chips
Brasa caters and offer a take out menu for those of you wishing to avoid the lines or the trauma of smelling like meat for a couple of days.  But sometimes I'll admit, it's totally worth it!  Here's a pic of my coworkers chowin' down! 
Insane catering plate from 12:00: corn bread muffins, yuka, macaroni and cheese (might only be on catering menu), rotisserie chicken, pulled pork, guacamole and chips.  This combination cannot be found at the restaurant to my knowledge but if you have an event to cater...highly recommended!
Would You Go Again?
I will definitely be going again and will also begin taking people that visit from out of town.  It's one of those cool little places that when you pull up your unassuming guests won't know what they're in for (since it looks like a automobile service center) and by the time that they leave, they will be in shock that a cute little place like that can have that level of cuisine.

Along with that, it's also a place that has and will continue to get media attention, which is always cool for out-of-town guests, especially if they follow the food scene.  As an example, the pulled pork meal that I had above was listed as one of Adam Richman's, from "Man vs Food", Top 5 American Meals Not to be Missed on the Today show.

To see what others are saying, you can also check them out on urbanspoon!

   Brasa Rotisserie on Urbanspoon

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