When I arrived at 6:00 p.m. at Brasa on a Tuesday evening in late June, it was already packed. The restaurant has a sort of warehouse feel, with exposed duct work and two actual garage doors facing the street (attractively retrofitted with glass panes) that suggest it was, in fact, formerly a garage. There's also outdoor seating on a patio. The ambiance is perfect--it's busy and a little noisy, with waitresses busting about and getting food from an exposed cooking area. A previous reviewer was right on: this is a sort of tapas version of Caribbean-inspired food (with a little soul kicked in): pulled pork and chicken, a terrific assortment of sides, and sandwiches. The idea is to order a meat dish and then sides to fill in. Almost everything if gluten-free with an emphasis on local and quality produce. Most of the food comes priced in three quantities, and the restaurant seems intent on making sure that you order the right amount for your needs and the number at your table. As a sole diner, I ordered a small portion of meat (the braised and seasoned smoked beef, which is done in a sweet/spicy barbecue sauce, but not drowning in it: $5.95), and two sides: the (special) caramelized brussel sprouts with a light lime dressing and pickled ginger and sunflower seeds, and the roasted yams and andouille sausage, each in a small portion for $2.95. Everything was fabulous, but I can't rave enough about the spouts (see previous reviewers' comments). I seriously want the recipe. They were chopped up and then braised and mixed in with the other ingredients--I was tempted to order another portion. Also, I hate leaving a restaurant when I'm on a business trip either so full that I feel lousy for two hours, or having to leave behind food that I can't take back to a hotel. The portion-wise emphasis of this restaurant was one of its assets: I left feeling completely satisfied but not over-full. There's beer and wine (not a huge selection but good variety); wines are about $7 per glass, and there's also sangria by the glass or carafe ($27). My bill for the entire meal (meat, two sides, and two glasses of decent chardonnay) was $29; subtract the wine and the meal was $12.00. If you're looking for an interesting dining experience at a reasonable price, with very tasty dishes to share, in a vibrant atmosphere, check this place out.
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