The menu offered at Brassa 51 is definitely new to Johnson City, being a showcase for the culinary traditions and foodstuffs native to the South American country of Peru.
The Mega Salchpollo, which is real Peruvian street food, was simple and delicious.
Properly prepared, pollo a la brasa is marinated for three days before entering the rotisserie.
The menu offered at Brassa 51 is definitely new to Johnson City, being a showcase for the culinary traditions and foodstuffs native to the South American country of Peru.
The Mega Salchpollo, which is real Peruvian street food, was simple and delicious.
Properly prepared, pollo a la brasa is marinated for three days before entering the rotisserie.
Brassa 51 Peruvian Rotisserie is one of the newest and most intriguing restaurants to join the north Johnson City dining out scene. Owner Daniel Tejada and his partner Alejandro Rivero have brought a unique and delicious cuisine from an equally remarkable country and its people.
The menu offered at Brassa 51 is definitely new to Johnson City, being a showcase for the culinary traditions and foodstuffs native to the South American country of Peru.
Peru’s history, both culinary and political, pre-dates that of Columbus by several centuries.
The name “Brassa” derives from the Peruvian national dish, “pollo a la brasa”: chicken grilled in the Peruvian manner, where large charcoal-fired rotisseries do the cooking.
Finding Brassa 51 couldn’t be easier. In north Johnson City, take West State of Franklin Road to Hamilton Place. Brassa 51 Peruvian Rotisserie is the latest tenant in the rightmost end of that business complex, with plenty of parking out front.
Brassa 51’s interior is open and airy, seating 80 or so patrons in a dining area immediately off an open-plan kitchen with its prep line, grill and large charcoal-fired rotisserie. There is also a well-tended bar stocked with strong waters both Peruvian and local. (Try a pisco sour cocktail or a bottle of Inca Kola.) Restrooms are found beyond the bar and down a hallway.
Accompanied by dine-around bunch members the Retiree and Poppie (but no Nonnie this time) my dining partner and I dropped by Brassa 51 for an early (5:30 p.m.) evening meal, showing up just as the dinner rush was getting underway. After being seen to by our server, the very friendly and professional Elena, we got down to business. The Retiree had heard good things about pollos a la brasa and ordered a quarter-chicken (breast & wing, on the bone, $10.99) along with a bowl of the chicken soup ($9.25). Poppie chose the Chaufa rice entrée ($14.50) while my dining partner ordered a Cesar Salad B51 ($9.50) enhanced with some pulled rotisserie chicken ($3.50). Wanting to eat like a true Peruvian, my supper came from the Piqueos (“Appetizer” for us Anglos) portion of the menu, being an order of Mega Salchipollo, ($12) “Peruvian street food” as was noted in the menu’s small print.
Since good things come to those who wait, ours was about 20 minutes or so while the grilled chicken for our meals finished its trip through the charcoal-fired rotisserie. Our seating afforded us an unobstructed view of the staff unloading the rotisserie of grilled chicken, and the loading of another batch for cooking.
Meanwhile, our chicken was being prepped and plated according to our table’s order. Properly prepared, pollo a la brasa is marinated for three days before entering the rotisserie.
My dining partner noticed the difference right away, saying the Brassa 51 chicken was moist, smoky and redolent of the marinade’s spice bouquet.
The Retiree was very pleased with her chicken soup, a recipe from owner Tejada’s grandmother. Her quarter chicken was also very good; Tejada’s family marinade showing touches of vinegar, garlic, chili peppers, soy sauce and … beer?
Poppie’s Chaufa rice had its origins in the fried rice brought by Chinese immigrants of the 19th and 20th centuries, making it one of, if not the first Chinese-Peruvian fusion dish found in the New World. With red peppers combining with chopped scallions, a touch of soy sauce, ginger, rice and pork, then mixed and stir-fried in a very hot wok, Poppie had a plateful of goodness the rest of the evening.
Meanwhile, I was digging into my Mega Salchpollo, that was real Peruvian street food indeed: simple and delicious. Take roasted pork sausage medallions, plate them at the compass points of a pile of thin-cut French fries, shot through with chunks of pulled Brassa 51 grilled chicken. Keep ketchup, mustard and a Peruvian condiment called Aji near to hand for dipping. Totally yummy.
For those of you who are ruled by wristwatch and smartphone, Tejada and crew can and do make some superb sandwiches for you and the rest of the “Just lunch, please” crowd. Try the Rotisserie B51 sandwich ($9.99) or the Royal Burger ($12.99).
Whether for lunch or supper, just remember that, when you dine at Brassa 51 Peruvian Rotisserie, be sure that you imitate the dining behavior of the people of Peru, and linger a good while over your meal.
Believe me; it is not hard to do.
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Brassa 51 Peruvian Rotisserie
2059 Hamilton Place
Johnson City
302-0991, 302-0992
Mon – Thu 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri – Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Available on social media & at
www.brassa51.com
Credit cards accepted
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