This is why I love Brasa

brasalogo.jpgAs usual, I’m one of the last people to hear about awesome new places like Brasa Premium Rotisserie. Though to be honest, if I hadn’t been railroaded in for an impulse lunch on Sunday and instead had the opportunity to peruse the menu first, I may not have ever made it through the door.

The meat – dear Lord – so much meat. It wasn’t love at first sight.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll eat meat like a starving buzzard in most situations, (sorry Alexis!), but allow me to encapsulate the intimidating menu for you:



Plate of Beef
Plate of Pork
Plate of Chicken

Beef Salad
Pork Fries
Chicken Puree

Beef Cake
Pork Turnover
Chicken Pudding

Beef Tea
Pork with Limon™
Fresh Squeezed Chicken Juice

In short, meaty. But guess what? It was effing awesome anyway!

I had a beef sandwich that must have been marinated for about 12 years, because it was falling apart and so sinfully delicious that I started trying to picture it naked. My companion had the chicken sandwich, but I didn’t get to try it because mine was too good to put down and besides she threatened to leave if I didn’t stop touching myself in public. (God, I miss Italy.)

As it so happened, due to fatigue and inadequate blood-caffeine levels, I briefly felt compelled to go off my self-imposed Coke prohibition. When I ordered a Coke, I was flatly informed that they didn’t carry Coke or “any corn syrup-based beverage!”


“OK…. So what do you have?”

“Mexican Coke.”

“Does Mexican Coke have caffeine?” I asked digging my fingernails a quarter inch into the underside of the table.

“I’ll check.”

[Five agonizing minutes later]

“It has caffeine!”

So I got one. And it was incredible! So sharp and tasty! Why don’t they serve Mexican Coke everywhere? It tastes like the Coke we had back in the 70s, like Buddha intended! Whoever started putting corn syrup in Coke needs to be lobotomize immediately. I bet the guys in the kitchen at Brasa could do it. They can do anything with dead meat.

Finally, they have an ambitiously-priced $5.50 piece of chocolate coconut cake served with raspberry and chocolate sauces and a pile of whipped cream for good measure. Now, I struggle with purchasing desserts that are this expensive in a no-nonsense place like Brasa, but I’ll grudgingly admit that the cake was rich and wonderful and experimenting with different sauces every bite was a nice little thrill. Also, as my companion handily demonstrated, the sauces can be a standalone dessert in and of themselves if you spend 10 minutes scraping every last speck from the plate. This from the woman that wouldn’t let me touch myself in public. Hypocrite.

Oh and the décor. Well, either the building that Brasa occupies used to be a car repair shop (in which case, kudos on removing the oil stench) or someone went through an awful lot of trouble to build garage doors into the front of the building. When the weather is nice (like it heart-breakingly was on Sunday), they yank open the garage doors and it’s like dining outside, except without crap from trees and bushes falling into your food!

I hear tell that when the weather is not so nice however, like all winter for example, not only are the garage doors prudently shut tight, but there’s nowhere for the hoards of people piling into Brasa on the weekends to stand and wait for a table. Also, table assignment is allegedly done at whim, meaning line jumping is possible and indeed, enthusiastic in some cases.

These minor flaws aside, it’s a great place that I’ll be biking to often this summer. And well, the name is OK I guess, but I bet they’d get way more business if they cut to the chase and called themselves ‘Bralessa’.

[UPDATE: Bralessa was just named “Best Takeout” by City Pages.]

600 East Hennepin Avenue

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Eating | 23.04.2008 12:53 | 6 Comments

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