For new mothers, toting a sleepy newborn to a restaurant often means having the option to quietly tuck their carrier under the table or hang it in a carseat sling, all while savoring in the peaceful sounds of the not-crying-at-this-moment window. Bringing a kid out to eat? Not bad at all. Should they wake during the meal, they’d quickly be met with a bottle and often times drift back to slumber. Really, how much trouble could a miniature meal companion cause? Perhaps there are other parents like me who have also experienced these naive thoughts that come from the initial dining experiences with baby. Fast forward a year later and I take it all back.
Public mealtime with a one-year-old has evolved into a rushed state of trying to maintain some state of calm, all while trying to obtain a tiny slice of personal enjoyment. Preparedness is integral in achieving this. One must come with a stock of snack options, sippy cups, wipes, and toys to withstand his attention span (since it’s apt to jump from one thing to the next in a matter of seconds). This work is rewarded by the entertainment and pleasure you receive by introducing them to new foods. But being in the midst of a solid food exploration phase, it seems there’s usually not much to choose from that goes outside of the macaroni and cheese and / or hamburger box.
Cue Brasa, the brainchild of Chef Alex Roberts (also of Alma, pictured above). A father himself, Roberts gets what parents want: a variety of nutritious food choices, quick and friendly service, and upbeat music to muffle the occasional scream or cry. Brasa, an American / South American / Caribbean rotisserie, has locally sourced, organic plates of dishes like pulled chicken and slow roasted pork available from 1/4 to a full pound. With side options like rice and beans, cornbread, and creamed spinach with jalapeno, there are a unique sampling of choices that are easily chewable. There are a few options for children: Order a meal off the kids’ menu ($7) — with a main course, side, drink, and dessert — get a side or two for the little one ($3 each), or go family style and share everything.
Brasa feels gourmet without being stuffy. The food is adventurous for kids. (Think crispy yuca and locally sourced roasted pork). Plus, on any given day it’s likely there will be other children there, promising sincere glances of empathy that are incredibly comforting when your little one decides to dump their cup of spinach on the floor to see what it will do. And if need be, order yourself a Surly and bask in the exhausting glory that is parenthood.
Learn more about this business on Heavy Table’s Atlas of Ethical Eating and Drinking.
600 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414
777 Grand Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
Sun-Thurs 11am – 9pm
Fri – Sat 11am – 10pm
BAR: Beer and Wine
RESERVATIONS / RECOMMENDED: No / No
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / Yes
ENTREE RANGE: $5 – 20