I rarely get to a new restaurant when it's still actually new, but when I heard that Brasa Rotisserie just opened yesterday, I had to rush right down. (Brasa's owner is also the chef/co-owner of Restaurant Alma, one of my favorite places.) I'm now basking in the glow of a full and happy tummy. Brasa is great!
It's a small place with a small menu. There are two choices for a main dish - roast chicken and roast pork shoulder - and a dozen or so side dishes. You can order family style or choose "individual plates," which offer meat (small or large portion) with a choice of two sides plus cabbage salad.
Mr. Tastebud and I shared some chicken, some pork, and five sides: cabbage salad, collard greens, pink beans and yellow rice, fried plantains, and marinated chickpeas with barley. The collard greens and cabbage salad were my favorite, but all the sides were delicious.
The pork is to die for, but very rich - it's shredded and resembles carnitas in its richness and flavor. The spice-rubbed chicken is simply roasted, without saline injections. As a result, it was drier than a supermarket rotisserie chicken, but had much better flavor. And such beautifully crispy skin - I can usually pass up the chicken skin, but not this wonderful stuff.
We shared an order of tapioca pudding for dessert - it comes topped with passionfruit sauce and diced fruit (pineapple today). Yummy and rich. (Actually, a little too rich for someone who ate all that pork and plantains and chicken skin.) They also have chocolate cake and a fruit-and-cream biscuit/shortcake kind of thing.
The only negative I noticed is that vegetarians don't have a main-dish option, but there's a vegetarian plate that offers a choice of four sides plus bread. (Note that a few of the sides contain ham or sausage or bacon, but most appear to be meat-free.) If I were a vegetarian, I'd eat collards and cheese grits and rice-and-beans and cabbage salad and corn bread. In fact, I think that's what I'll get the next time I'm there.
Our bill came to $45 with two glasses of wine. I thought it was a bargain for food of such high quality - an especially good value because Brasa uses locally sourced, free-range and/or organic, fair-trade, and sustainable ingredients. I can't wait to go back. Maybe tomorrow!
600 E. Hennepin Ave. (in the former "Betty's Bikes & Buns" site)
The menu says they're open Monday-Saturday, 11am-11pm.
I couldn't find a web site, but here's a recent Downtowner article: