Yummy Yuca Bites
Richardson is home to a new Peruvian restaurant where the rotisserie chicken is already wowing the locals. Called The Brasa Bar and Grill, it's a family-run spot featuring Peruvian classics such as lomo saltado — sirloin with onions, tomatoes, and french fries — plus American dishes rendered with a Peruvian flair.
The restaurant opened in March at 430 N Coit Rd., in a former Walmart that's been retrofitted for retail businesses such as Champs Restaurant Supply. Felipe Muñoz, a former chef at Cheesecake Factory and Matchbox, founded Brasa with three partners, who did much of the work involved, from designing the menu to some of the woodwork in the place, themselves.
"We've put in a lot of effort," Muñoz says. "And from the first day we opened, we've had so many people come by. We didn't plan to be that busy so soon."
Brasa draws in the community thanks to festive events such as salsa night on Saturdays with a live band and dancing. They've been hosting live screenings of the UEFA Champions League games, the international football competition which is ongoing through the end of April.
Customers love their rotisserie chicken, cooked over hot coals, a process that's visible in the dining room; Brasa translated to English is "ember."
The chicken can be ordered whole, half, or quarter, with choice of two sides from a selection that includes broccoli, succotash, corn, fries, plantains, or rice.
Appetizers include tamales, Buffalo wings, fried calamari, and two notable items starring yuca. One is yuca cheese bites, like little yuca cheese fritters, drizzled with huancaina sauce, the creamy golden mix of queso fresco, aji amarillo peppers, and onions. The other is "loaded" yuca fries, topped Snuffers-style with bacon and cheese.
There are soups such as seafood soup, shrimp soup, and Creole-style beef soup; and salads such as Cobb, Caesar, and an Oriental salad with rice noodles and sesame dressing.
Traditional entrees include salmon with mushed potatoes and asparagus; rib eye with fingerling potatoes; and BBQ ribs with cornbread and cole slaw.
There's also a mash-up section with fun fusion items such as steak with pesto pasta, "Peruvian lo mein," and spaghetti with huancaina sauce.
Their Peruvian fried rice is a pretty dish, with stir-fried rice topped with a "blanket" made of a thin sheet of scrambled eggs.
Sandwiches include a Cuban, Philly cheesesteak, pulled pork, and 2-ounce sliders, two for $10. A full bar includes beers from Peru such as Pilsen Callao and Cusqueña.
"We use very fresh fish for our ceviche, including flounder, which is a fish they use in Peru to make ceviche," Muñoz says. "We make our lomo saltado to order in a wok, we shave the steak. We're doing everything possible to give Peruvian people what they recognize from Peru."