by janet on April 28th, 2008

My week of hell is over but now I am a new auntie to a new puppay. ((Simon, said owner of new puppy, is Filipino, and those folks call all female family and acquaintances “auntie.” Looking through his phone contacts is hilarious, as there are about a thousand entries in “A” that begin with “Auntie.”)) How can I think about food when all I want to do is eat her delicate ears?

Is it already April? Ah. In fact, it is almost May. Waaay back in February, I went to visit dear Liz in her new home of Minneapolis. It was quite a lovely time, filled with two cute baby boyz whose energetic antics and extremely energetic fights were adorably and funny because they weren’t my kids.

The eating was good, too. As Liz always says, Minneapolis is great if you have money and want super upscale food. But this little Brasa joint seemed like a perfectly good normal-scale lunch spot.

Actually, to call it “normal-scale” is cheating because it’s a little brother of one of the super fancy restaurants. The big brother is Restaurant Alma, and both are headed by noted and James-Beard-nominated [NOM NOM NOM!] MN chef Alex Roberts.

Brasa looks like it was built into a large garage. I think it was. I think this because one entire wall of the restaurant was a garage door.

The menu is fun – lots of intruiguing sides, such as Garnet Yams with Andouille Sausage, Slow Cooked Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey, Rustic Style Cheese Grits, Creamed Spinach with Jalapeno, Yellow Rice with Rosada Beans, Fried Sweet Plantains, Crispy Yucca Tossed with Citrus & Olive Oil Sauce, Brasa Style Cabbage Salad, and Creamed Corn Bread.

Palms so patiently and politely clasped…

You attach these sides to one of their signature meats, which are Spanish Creole Style Rotisserie Chicken, Twelve-Hour Slow Roasted Pork, or a combination plate.

ACK! Decisions!!! ((I just learned in Dr. TOTNL’s lab today that there have been experiments done where they find that people are less likely to buy jam if there are 26 flavors of jam rather than 3 flavors of jam. So let that be a lesson to stupid big-menu places like Cheesecake.)) Luckily, there were four of us (me, Liz, and two very esteemed social psychologists…I would have been more starstruck if they weren’t so silly-acting and normal, if a bit flaming in one case and granola in the other), so we divided and conquered.

I got the chicken and the yams and the cabbage salad. Good choices, right? Others got collard greens, rice & beans, yucca, the special (many grains including hominy), and Liz got the pork as her main with spinach and plantain.

I was somewhat dissatisfied by how quickly everyone reneged on their “let’s share all our sides!” promise once the food came, but I was supremely happy with my salad and yams and stole a good chunk of Liz’s food.

The pork was smooth and creamy – if I ever went back this is what I would get. The texture was more akin to cotton candy than pork!

Highlights beyond my yams (sticky, especially in the back-roof area of my mouth – oh, delightful!) were my cabbage salad (crunching between my teeth with a “shkin shkin”), and the collard greens (bitter around the edges of my tongue, but in a nice way).

Lowlight: yucca (which was yuck-a).

OK, I gotta go. I have a pupperson named Payback looking at me with plaintive eyes and pink tongue.

600 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414

2 Responses to “Brasa”

  1. Simon says:

    Ok I just checked my contacts and those are all, in fact, my real aunts. Filipinos also tend to come from big families.

    Ok, time to check on Payback!

  2. Liz says:

    Guess I better not share this with the esteemed, yet flaming or granola social psychologists!

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