Brasa. Just typing those five letters makes my mouth water.
Chef Alex Roberts (Restaurant Alma) opened Brasa in 2007. It was tailor-made to have multiple locations, and today there’s a second spot in St. Paul. Brasa is so good, and so perfect, and has been for so long – that a lot of us forget about it’s excellence.
The menu is simple: beef, pork, chicken and a bunch of awesome sides – arranged into sandwiches or platters.
I visited the St. Paul location, and while I fell in love with Brasa in Minneapolis – the St. Paul spot is superior in many ways. There’s more parking in the lot, the room is much bigger, and the menu has a few more items.
What’s not different is the quality of the ingredients, and the perfection of the cooking.
The slow roasted pork is a thing of beauty. It’s marinated with a savory mixture of peppers and chiles and tomato sauce. When servevd, it’s so tender, so delicious, it very nearly melts in your mouth.
I had the pork as a plate with a side of collard greens (made with creme fraiche and quite spicy, one of my favorite sides, served with corn bread for $9.75.
The mains are so good, that in almost any other restaurant the sides would be the stars: the roasted yams and andouille sausage is my wife’s favorite, my kids love the fried crispy Yuca with citrus and garlic.
The side green sauce is legendary. While I visited, Foxy Falafel’s Erica Strait was jonesing for the sauce, and whoever runs the Brasa Twitter account ended up delivering her a container!
Where’s my straw? “@BrasaRotisserie: Makin’ Foxy’s Day! #greensauceforever @FoxyFalafel @DeRushaEats @tniver pic.twitter.com/jkg3rdUOnv”
— Foxy Falafel (@FoxyFalafel) March 6, 2014
Brasa was built for sharing: go with your family of four and order a medium pork, medium beef (sweet-spicy BBQ sauce), a medium yuca, yams and collard greens, and thank me later.
And hey Alex: when are you going to open a Brasa in the suburbs? Maple Grove would love one!
600 E. Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 9pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am – 10 pm