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Brasa Rotisserie Rest/ East Hennepin Ave/ Minneapolis

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ate there for first time last night. found it to be pleasant al fresco dining with decent but not spectacular food. nice neighborhood place. your take on it??

Brasa Rotisserie
600 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

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    1. re: keithinmpls

      Way better than decent. This place is a star in the Minneapolis dining scene.

    2. I agree. The food is pretty nice and well-prepared. I'd like to see bolder flavors, though, especially as I can't help but compare it to barbecue joints in Memphis or the Carolinas.

      1. We only rarely hit the original Mpls location these days, since they opened a 2nd one on Grand Ave. in St. Paul. But the SP location is one of our regular dining spots-- fabulous food, great atmosphere for kids, outstanding service, and it's food I can feel good about eating (since their sourcing is great and they treat their employees well).

        1. I suppose I'll go ahead and be the voice of dissent. I think Brasa's food is ok, but not great, and the service is generally slow and disorganized. The meat is not the holy grail of tastiness that everyone makes it out to be, I feel, though it's pretty good, and the sides are a bit hit or miss. They are, to be fair, characteristic of the cuisine style, in that they're rather bland and often both greasy and smoky-flavored. On a busy weekend night, food takes a long time to arrive and there's no guarantee it will all get to the table at the same time, or anywhere near it. It also tends to be rather loud, but lots of people like that kind of atmosphere. It is, as noted, apparently good for children, meaning that there will probably be a lot of them in the restaurant, as well.

          2 Replies
          1. re: gildeddawn

            I like Brasa and I like Alex Roberts. But ...

            The pork is not done in a way that I particularly like. Go try the pork bocadillo at Sonora Grill for an amazing pork sandwich. And the cheesy grits and yellow rice and corn bread are not anything I particularly like. Maybe it's the style they're going for, I dunno.

            I like the brisket, the black-eyed peas, the red beans and the collards. They're very good. The service has been professional when I've visited and the beers are good.

            So, when I order what I like there, I'm very happy. If I ordered only or mostly the stuff I didn't like, I would not like Brasa.

            Oh, and the smoker specials ought to be published on the web-site. The twitter feed seems to show the STP specials more reliably than the MPLS specials. I'm nearly 50. I guess I've got to get used to using their twitter feed, but even then, I'm not sure what's on special in MPLS.

            1. re: gildeddawn

              I am a vegetarian, so I can't speak for the meat. But their veggie sandwich is, hands down, the best veggie patty in the cities. Even meat eaters at my table will usually regret not ordering the veggie fritter.

            2. Put me down as a big fan. I've grown more fond of the STP location as well.

              My only gripe, as has been voiced already, is the speed of service. But if you are with good company and aren't in any particular hurry, it isn't a huge issue.

              1. One of the very few reliable, casual standbys on my list. I agree with the comments about service. It can be chaotic/slow/inattentive but I can deal--IMO it's outweighed by the non-skank meats and general tastiness of everything. It's the only place I can think of that does simple, good, 100% made from scratch food that's not grandma. I actually go more for the sides than anything else. A big bowl of salad all to myself and a selection of whatever other sides suit the day plus a bit of meat and I'm happy.

                I do have sadness about the beef. When it was first added to the menu it was SPICY. Like burn your lips spicy. Then they toned it down to midwestern spicy, and now it's not spicy at all. SUCH A BUMMER. And I could take or leave the pork and chicken, myself, but when I'm hungry for pulled pork and too lazy to fire up my wood-fired oven and source/babysit a huge hunk of pastured meat for 14 hours, it does the trick.

                5 Replies
                1. re: splatgirl

                  to take this discussion in a slightly different direction... would anyone like to compare and contrast brasa's chicken with pollo campero's?

                  1. re: zfwp

                    Pollo Campero -- Roast chicken spice blend is more noticeable. Very tender, good texture on the skin. Fried chicken is among the best in the cities. Ingredient sources are of unknown provenance.

                    Brasa -- Does not offer fried chicken. Roast/barbecued chicken isn't bad. Ingredient sources are about the best one can hope for.

                    1. re: KTFoley

                      Hooking into this tangent, the Pollo Campero appeal has been lost on me. I've had the chicken, fried and non-fried about 5-6 times now and, at best, it was mediocre. I had given up on it until the other day and, swayed by talking with a friend who raved about it, and thought I'd give it another chance. As it had been for me in the past the coating was flaccid and soggy, meat only moderately juicy, spices not really noticeable and, as with my previous experiences, salvaged only by the grace of Granny Donuts across the street.

                      KT, I always respect your opinion...nothing personal. Pollo Campero has been a huge disappointment for me.

                      Granny Donuts
                      1555 Robert St S, West St Paul, MN 55118

                      1. re: MSPD

                        No worries, MSPD. My experiences have been different. But I will agree, there's not much spice in the fried chicken and not much crispness in the roast chicken.

                        1. re: MSPD

                          I have eaten at Campero twice. The first time I had the fried chicken which was "nice" (most likely better than the neighboring KFC). The second time I had the "grilled" which I really enjoyed. I liked the marinade they used and would like to dupe that at home.

                          In either case, I found the campero beans to be pretty tasty.