Lexington: Brasabana Offers Delightful Cuban Fare
Sometimes your uncle comes to town and wants to eat Cuban food. I recently had one of those days, and who was I to refuse? His target was Lexington’s Brasabana, a place that had also been on my radar.
Brasabana is a sister restaurant to the Southern food restaurant Azur owned by Chef Jeremy Ashby. Brisabana adds in the Latin influence of chef and co-owner Miguel Rivas, a native of the Dominican Republic.
The restaurant is tucked away on Lane Allen Road at the nondescript Commonwealth Plaza, but what lies behind the door at Brasabana certainly belies the facade. The space is well-appointed while remaining inviting and unstuffy. We arrived during off hours, so it wasn’t busy. Sometimes service is a bit lethargic in those off-times, but we were seated promptly. Our waiter tended to us well.
We started off with a basket of plantain chips and pico. It’s the sort of thing you approach cautiously but soon wonder how you’ve ever lived without them. It’s a fresher and healthier alternative to the standard chips and salsa you have at every Mexican restaurant on the planet.
The Brasabana menu is wide ranging, but I typically find it hard to resist pork. I ordered the Carnitas, “slow roasted chunks of pork, fried and topped with sweet pickled onions and peppers over beans and rice with sweet plantains.” Just typing that from their description makes me want to head over there. The pork was fantastic and the sweet plantains gave a nice counterpoint.
It’s hard not to approach non-Mexican Latin food without using ubiquitous Mexican as a reference point. The food at Brasabana certainly has a fresher approach and a more dynamic flavor profile than the institutionalized Mexican menu we all know so well. There’s less emphasis on heat than there is on spice. Of course, I recognize that Brasabana is a chef driven restaurant, which makes it a very different sort of place.
The experience at Brasabana was excellent from beginning to end. It’s worth the effort to seek Brasabana out for a tasty alternative to your regular restaurant rotation. And I’m looking forward to having my uncle back in town sometime soon.
Brasabana Cuban Cuisine
841 Lane Allen Road
Sunday – Thursday 11 AM – 10 PM
Friday – Saturday 11 AM – 11 PM