Brasa Premium Rotisserie – St. Paul

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I’m sure there are many reasons why Soul Daddy did not make it as America’s Next Great Restaurant in the Mall of America. I’ve heard that the food there was just awful; but the place closed before I got a chance to try it. So I honestly can’t judge. However, serving soul food “fast casual” style, like at Chipotlle Mexican Grill, may have been part of the challenge.

Still, Brasa Premium Rotisserie seems to be doing this just fine. And while it’s not technically a “fast casual” restaurant by definition {you do get a waiter at Brasa}, it’s as close as you’re gonna get. I mean, really, it did win Best Takeout in the Twin Cities by City Pages.

In fact, when my husband and I were trying to decide where to dine one particular weeknight in May, he was reminded of a co-worker who went to Brasa earlier that week to pick up dinner. The friend mentioned that the food is good that he ordered a larger quantity and extra items just so he would have leftovers. Decision made.

I had been to Brasa once a few years back with my friend Sally. We asked for recommendations on what to order and I was totally taken aback by the collard greens. Me? Eat collard greens? Would I even like collard greens? How ’bout love collard greens! When Rob mentioned Brasa, I was anxious to go back and see what he thought of it.

But what kind of restaurant is Brasa… really?

  • While Brasa is not actually a soul food restaurant like Soul Daddy was meant to be; the menu there does have a sort of southern comfort food feel to it to me.
  • Still, the people at Brasa describe their food as “inspired by the Creole cooking traditions of the Americas and the Caribbean.”
  • Then, there is the word brasa,which in Spanish can mean ember, hot coal or grilled.

I guess that’s where the rotisserie and the Latin part comes in. Guacamole and chips to start, anyone?

But it really doesn’t matter how we try to define or categorize the food they are serving up here, because it’s just damn good. What’s more is that they use high quality, fresh ingredients of which many are found locally and are either organic or sustainably raised. They even proudly list their farmers and suppliers here. Furthermore, everything is made from scratch in-house. This includes the slow-cooking of their meats.

Many items are served family style so that you can split and share them. That is exactly what we did:

Spicy Masa Corn Cake with Cheese

Run, don’t walk to get one of these corn cakes! At $1.95, they are worth getting one of your own. 

Top: Creole Dry-Rubbed Rotisserie Chicken with green sauce, Bottom: Macaroni & Cheese

I just love, love rotisserie chicken. {Though I’ve just learned that many are injected with fat. If this is true, that may be why.} I also love creole seasoning. Perfect combination. I ordered the two piece order and since Rob can’t eat chicken, I ate one piece at the restaurant and took the other home to shred and top my salad for lunch the following day. I have no idea what the green sauce is, but maybe it should be called Addictive Sauce. I wasn’t the only one who thought so. There were little to-go dishes of it ready and waiting for takeout at the front counter.

The Mac and Cheese didn’t have a whole lot of flavor; but it was good. It’s what you’d expect from some down home comfort cookin’. But it was still a little too easy for me to eat too much of it.

Griddled Garlic Toast

I think Rob liked the garlic toast more than I did. I do remember liking it, but not much more about it.

My plate: rotisserie chicken, garlic toast and collard greens

I will not lie. That mac and cheese made it’s way onto my plate, too. And the corn cake did not go uneaten. We were both determined not to let that one go to waste. I did not realize that the collard greens were made with smoked chicken. This means that Rob couldn’t have any and this made them all mine!

Scrambled Egg & Spicy Sausage with
Jack Cheese & Tomato

Rob ordered the sandwich above, but we only ate half of it. We just ordered way too much food! And while it was good, we decided we probably wouldn’t order it again. There are just too many things on the menu we want to try!

The quality of food at Brasa is not a joke. It’s top notch. The chef wouldn’t have won a James Beard award for it otherwise. However, if you aren’t careful, it can be really easy to overdo it on quantity. My advice would be to take a little bit of everything you’d like to try. Decide what you like best and only if you are still truly hungry, take a spoonful more. Remember that it’s okay to have just one bite of anything.

Brasa has locations in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. Most of their menu items are gluten free.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

Cheers~
Carrie

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4 responses »

  1. Yum! That sounds like an amazing spot – I’m drooling just reading through it all! Thanks to you I have about a million spots now that we have to hit together somehow! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Revival – Reviving My Trust in The People | Season It Already!

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