The street-level storefronts of the Metropolitan Place condos off West Wash are filling up. A La Brasa, a new restaurant featuring "Latin Cuisine," has moved into the 15 North Broom space previously occupied by Tropical Cuisine. And this past week, the ALRC heard proposals for an establishment to be called Metropolitan Coffee and Wine to go in at 329 West Mifflin. In the meantime, A La Brasa is open and serving a variety of South American dishes.
The interior remains mostly unchanged from its incarnation as Tropical Cuisine, and at lunch, a special from the steam trays is available as it was previously. On a typical day there might be white rice and a rice with pigeon peas, grilled chicken, a pork stew, something with beef (a plantain split and filled with ground beef, for instance,) sweet potatoes and a lettuce salad -- all for a price of $6.50.
The regular menu features soups, chicken (grilled and rotisserie), grilled beef, pork chips, lomo saltado, mofongo (mashed plantains), seafood, pastas and sandwiches (chicken, Cuban, pork).
Organ lovers might look to the appetizers for brochettes of cow heart marinated in "a La Brasa secret sauce." Specials on a white board included chicharron Colombiano, choritos a la chalaca (mussels Peruvian style), mojarra frita (fried tilapia), empanadas, and tamales (pork or chicken).
Desserts are homemade and include handmade alfajores (the South American sandwich cookie glued together with dulce de leche), not just tres leches cake but cuatro leches cake (three-milk cake with, in this case, a dulce de leche topping), coconut cream pie, pasteles de guayaba queso (a guava turnover), and more. A recent dessert run to A La Brasa found most of these in the case, including something that looked like a flan and also a bread pudding.