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May 4, 2009 04:44 AM

Jfood to Brasa Rotisserie (MSP) - Excellent

A fellow CH from MSP suggested that Jfood try Brasa Rotisserie in NE MSP. Jfood's day was packed so he needed a take-out to eat in the hotel prior to a late conference call and he figured he could get a nice smorgasbord from Brasa. So he wondered up to the NE (even with the Twins in town it was not difficult to get through town) and back to Bloomington.

The outside of the restaurant has the appearance of a converted 7-11 (it might have been one in a previous life) with ~25 seats and a small lot in front. There is plenty of parking on the street. The kitchen is wide open and Jfood watched the chefs working away preparing the food. It was a vibrant scene with the average age of the customers in the low 20’s and Jfood enjoyed watching all these people who are the age of little Jfood really enjoying themselves. The menu is VERY limited so check the website before heading over. It is basically pulled pork, BBQ beef, roasted and pulled chicken. Numerous sides bring you the feeling of a diner in from the South. A fair number of beers are also available. It was a pretty happenin’ spot for a Wednesday night when the weather was not that great.

Jfood wanted to try the roasted chicken but there was a 30-minute wait so he went a slightly different route. He ordered (a) the Pulled Chicken sandwich with Smoked Pepper Sauce & Brasa Cabbage Salad, (b) a quarter pound of Twelve Hour Slow Roasted Pork (A version of the Spanish Caribbean classic) that was marinated & slow roasted, tossed with citrus, olive oil & garlic sauce, (c) a quarter pound of Spicy & Sweet Braised Beef
That was slow simmered and glazed with an aromatic BBQ style sauce, (d) an order of Roasted Yams with Andouille Sausage, and (e) a Masa Corn & Cheese Cake. Sounds like a lot of food, but the prices were too good to resist.

He sat on a bar stool and watched the two chefs putting together the dishes. It was like watching a BBQ version of a deli, lots of fun to watch.

After Jfood's order was completed, he drove back to the hotel and laid the food out on the desk.

The first item Jfood attacked was the chicken sandwich. This was brilliant. The chicken was succulent, perfectly cooked and the portion on the sandwich was generous. The sauce added a nice little kick to the chicken and the slaw produced a nice cooling and fresh balance. This was as close to a perfect pulled chicken sandwich as Jfood as ever eaten.

He next placed a nice portion of the pork and beef onto the plate and chose to try each without the sauce, which was in a separate container in the bag. The textures of both were perfect and the moistness of the two was fantastic. Now Jfood decided to try the two sauces on both. The BBQ had just the right level of heat for Jfood. It nicely balanced the flavors of both the pork and the beef. The citrus/garlic was milder and added a really nice flavor to both as well. Jfood really liked the yams with the Andouille and the corn bread was also excellent.

So Jfood wants to thank his MSP colleagues for this suggestion. It is a great find for a sit-down dinner if you have the patience to wait or take-away on the run. Jfood wholeheartedly recommends Brasa Rotisserie.

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  1. Thanks (as always) for an excellent review. I'm excited for Brasa to open up in St Paul soon.

    1. As always, great review. It may have been me (along with a few others) that recommended it, since I absolutely love that place. It is an old service garage, which is nice because they open the big garage doors when the weather is nice.

      If I lived closer, I would eat at Brasa every day. The meats are great and the sides are just as good. Cheesy grits + yams with andouille = heaven.

      1. sounds like another place i need to put on my to-try list! i wish i live closer to MSP just for the food!

        1. Awesome write-up!
          When my wife and I first moved to Mpls a about 2 years ago, we just happened upon Brasa on a weekday at early dinner time. After we ordered, a very congenial young man introduced himself as Alex Roberts, the owner. Very friendly, he talked about working in NYC early in his career at the Danny Meyer restaurants, Union Square Cafe/Gramercy Tavern/Eleven Madison Park. We were lucky enough to try all three before moving from NJ to MN. Chef Roberts told us about Restaurant Alma, his other restaurant. We've learned to love both places. My mouth is watering for that pulled chicked sandwich!
          There was some very recent recognition of Alma, 112 Eatery and La Belle Vie for restaurant awards. Can't think of what that was.
          Anyways, thanks JFood - I think I know what's for lunch tomorrow!

          3 Replies
          1. re: mplsbruin

            Jfood's pleasure. It was the James Beard Award

            Here is the thread:

            1. re: jfood

              As promised, wife and I split a pulled chicken sandwich and we both loved it. Awesome! Thanks for the tip.
              We couldn't get into Alma's for Valentine's Day, so we're due for a visit there as well.
              Can't wait.

              1. re: mplsbruin

                i know its been over a month since we were last there, so no gaurantees, but if they (alma) still have the chocolate pudding with sea salt and olive oil on the menu, you MUST order it.