Cuisine: Creole: (American and Caribbean)
Restaurant Features: Bar (Beer & Wine only), On-Site Parking
Locations: St Paul & Minneapolis, MN
Addresses & Maps:
St Paul– 777 Grand Avenue St. Paul, MN. 55105 651-224-1302
Minneapolis-600 E. Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55414 612-379-3030
Atmosphere: The St Paul location of Brasa is located on Grand Ave, near many other popular restaurants. The inside of the restaurant is contemporary, with a mix of tables and booths. The pendant-style lighting is comprised of long, skinny, transparent light bulbs.
The walls of windows inside Brasa are not actually windows, but rather garage doors that can be opened during nice weather.
I saw one little nook at Brasa that contained a large round table. Perfect, cozy little place for a group to share a meal!
Menu: Sides of Vegetables and Salads at Brasa include Yams and Andouille, Collards with Smoked Turkey, Creamed Spinach with Jalapeno, Sweet Plantains, Fried Green Plantains with Garlic Oil, Crispy Yuca with Mojo, Romaine & Tomato Salad, Cabbage and Mozzarella Salad.
Grains and Beans include Yellow Rice and Beans, Rice and Pigeon Peas with Olives and Ham, Cornbread and Beans, Rustic Cheese Grits, Homemade Chips and Guacamole.
Side orders of bread include Cornbread with Honey Butter, Griddled Garlic Toast, and Masa Corn and Cheese Cake.
Sandwich options at Brasa are thePulled Chicken, Roasted Pork, Braised Beef, Vegetarian Bean Fritter, Smoked Sausage, Scrambled Egg and Chorizo, and Fried Catfish.
Meat & Fish Platters include Rotisserie Chicken, Pulled Chicken, Slow Roasted Pork, Braised Beef, Smoked Sausage (Mpls only), and Fried Catfish (St Paul only).
Dessert specialties include Pineapple Upside-down Cake, Chocolate Pudding, Rhubarb-Strawberry Shortcake, White Birthday Cupcake, and Big Cookie of the Day.
Price guide: Breads $2 Veggies $3.75/5/9.50 Grains/Beans $3.25/4.50/8.50 Sandwiches $6.50-9.50 Meat/Fish $5-20 (Served 1/4 lb, 1/2lb or 1 lb) Desserts $2-5
What we ordered: We started with the Corn Bread Muffins with Honey Butter ($2/ea). These were big muffins, moist and on the sweet-side from the honey butter glaze. Very tasty!
The Pulled Pork at Brasa was delicious! It was seasoned with Mojo, which is a marinade of lime juice, garlic and olive oil. The pork was tender and quite flavorful, the marinade was distinct yet subtle.
The Braised Beef was out of this world! The meat was very rich, tender and moist, cooked in a sweet and flavorful red sauce (made with brown sugar). A pound of this delicious beef might not go very far, depending on how hungry you are!
I had never had Fried Yuca before, but so glad I tried these Crispy Yuca Fries! They were thickly cut (like large steak fries) and then fried like potatoes. The taste of them was similar to potato but with a hint of sweetness and more flavor! They were served with a delicious homemade cilantro-lime-garlic mayo for dipping. So darn good! I wish more restaurants would start serving these, they are a great change-up from the usual potato french fries.
Service: We were lucky to find a parking space that was relatively close, as parking on Grand Ave can be tricky sometimes!) We sat ourselves as the sign indicated and were greeted by our server within just a few minutes. Our server was very friendly and helpful with the ordering process; you could tell she genuinely enjoyed everything on the menu! The food took awhile to be served but I have to admit I was starving and slightly impatient. Everything was excellent.
Overall Impression: I had heard about Brasa long before I had the pleasure of eating there and can honestly say its reputation is well-deserved. The ingredients are fresh, all natural and local. The Roasted Pork is delicious and the Braised Beef is phenomenal. Prices are a little high but the food is worth it! Try the Crispy Yuca Fries!