DiFfErEnT DiSh – Brasa

Trying out a new restaurant each has been a lot of fun, especially when your basically locked inside during these cold months here in Minneapolis. The DiFfErEnT DiSh concept has been one of the few little joys that Nellie and I have been able to look forward to and our March 2014 experience was a great one! It was Nell’s turn to select a spot and she hit trending hipster food heaven when she selected Brasa!

A newer spot in the North East part of the cities that seems to be trending with many new foodie options.  Brasa, a restaurant where the cook staff have apparently mastered the wizardry of rotisserie. Having had it mentioned to her several times from friends, she felt that it would be a good place for us to visit and I am glad we did.  The restaurant itself is a break from the norm.  There is a unique atmosphere when you enter; It’s almost like entering an old automotive car shop with double glass garage doors just waiting for warmer weather to be sprung open.

We arrived at approximately 8:15PM for a late dinner. I was surprised to see how tiny the seating area was when we walked through the door.  However, we were kindly greeted by a host / server and told that there was a short wait (approximately 10 minutes, so we did). Luckily, it gave us a chance to look around and catch a starter beverage at their combo bar and to-go.  Apparently there are many customers that order ahead and get some gourmet food and take it home.

Enjoyed a few drinks as we relaxed and waiting for our food to arrive.  Nell was looking cute as always!

Enjoyed a few drinks as we relaxed and waiting for our food to arrive. Nell was looking cute as always!

Nellie sipped her Red Sangria and I enjoyed an Ace Apple Cider while a few tables were being cleared.  Soon we were sat and reviewing a very simplistic menu.  I was surprised that the menu was reasonably priced.  The menu design has the customer to start by picking a protein, then there are a slew of sides you choose from.  The menu is very much a-la-cart which makes it easy to make a few selections and share.  We shared the rotisserie chicken and pulled pork and for sides we had sweet yams, yuca, greens, and plantains.  Everything was quite delicious and sharing the meal made the experience unique and a lot of fun.

Our server was quite polite and paid us just the right amount of attention. There really was not any noticeable music playing that I noticed, which would have been nice, but we were busy chatting and sharing conversation.  With so much going on at the moment for the both of us, we never have a shortage of things to discuss.  I am not sure if they have dessert, but I didn’t see it when reviewing the menu and was not asked if we wanted any, sad face.

A look at our fantastic food, cooked fresh and to perfection! The atmosphere was full of close corridor chatter and tasty food aromas! Yummy!

A look at our fantastic food, cooked fresh and to perfection! The atmosphere was full of close corridor chatter and tasty food aromas! Yummy!

When we had our fill, our tab was delivered and we were left smiling.  With everything going on in the next coming months, including weddings, baby showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties, it was nice not spending a lot on a really good dinner.  The price point was much better than some of the other places we have been. It was a great spot and we will definitely recommend it to our friends looking for a quaint little dinner.

Brasa Recap:

  • Food – 4/5 stars
  • Decor – 3/5 stars
  • Music – NA/5 stars
  • Service – 4/5 stars
  • Price – $$

Till next time, this was DiFfErEnT DiSh – March 2014!

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Couples Cooking – Betta Bruschetta!

On our premier episode of couples cooking Nellie and I enjoyed whipping up some quinoa inspired dishes.  We had fun preparing some new delicious recipes and I was really looking forward to see what Nellie would come up with next.

Being the sweet husband that I am, I agreed to bend the Couples Cooking rules and I stopped and picked up the groceries on Nell’s behalf.  She has been crazy busy these days at work, so I felt it was the least I could do. The cost was comparable to our last cooking date night. The fresh ingredients had me curious about what we were soon to be making. I think in my mind I was putting different food combinations together, but couldn’t really figure out the main course.

When we got down to brass tax at the house, there were sleeves rolled up and wine poured; soon we were working on a bruschetta appetizer dish.  We started off with several fresh ingredients including: Roma tomatoes, garlic cloves, basil, sun-dried tomatoes and Balsamic vinaigrette.  With a dash of olive oil and some elbow grease, Nellie whipped it up.  While she was doing that I was taking a bread knife to a bakery fresh baguette and warming the oven.  Spoon by spoon we topped the slices with the tomato infused mixture and sprinkled on the mozzarella. Into the oven they went, they baked for about 5 minutes and were taken out. They came out perfectly, I loved the crunch of the bread, super tasty!

Fresh out of the oven, our bruschetta was fantastic! Fresh tasting and healthy, we really liked this as a starter. Note - if you leave onion out, you can avoid the bad breath, just saying! ;-)

Fresh out of the oven, our bruschetta was fantastic! Fresh tasting and healthy, we really liked this as a starter. Note – if you leave onion out, you can avoid the bad breath, just saying! 😉

Our entrée was quite unique, a spinach stuffed chicken dish wrapped with a slice of bacon, recipe here.  The prep work was simple enough.  Seasoned chicken breasts ‘butterflied’ and stuffed with a creamy spinach mix. The ingredients included feta cheese, chopped spinach, mayo and garlic.  We carefully spooned the filling into the breasts and wrapped it with a couple of pieces of bacon.  We provided extra assistance in holding it all together by adding a few toothpicks, probably because we got greedy with the stuffing process.  Covered with aluminum foil and placed neatly into the oven we were T-30 until our main course was ready to be served up.  As a side we made a box of regular mac and cheese, lol, not much skill required, but it paired really well.

As we waited for our dinner to cook we chatted about our busy day. We assembled a simple ‘out of the box’ dessert, a cookie/brownie mixture.  It was a quick swap and out came the chicken and in went our dessert. Finally, when we had cleaned up and we were ready to sit down and eat, we devoured our meals. I think she beat me on this one, I am going to have to step up my game, she is good!

This dish was much easier to make than I thought. After broiling for about 35 minutes, it came out perfectly!  The bacon really added to the flavor and with the toothpicks, the stuffing stayed right where it was supposed to! Guess what time it is... NOM NOM NOM!

This dish was much easier to make than I thought. After broiling for about 35 minutes, it came out perfectly! The bacon really added to the flavor and with the toothpicks, the stuffing stayed right where it was supposed to! Guess what time it is… NOM NOM NOM!

Couple Cooking was again a ton of fun, until next time, stay classy!