Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The Hartford Food Guy Reviews: Broasterant
My neighbor who came with me to the Primevera Pub back in July has been raving for weeks (if not longer) about a "chicken lady" on Park Street in Hartford who serves up delicious pressure-cooked chickens. I'd heard of (and eaten) steamed cheeseburgers at the famous Ted's in Meriden (I'll be going again soon and will blog about it), but I'd never heard of a pressure-cooked chicken.
Today, my neighbor took me for lunch to check it out. The place is actually called "Broasterant" and it is on Park Street in Hartford, just west of the corner of Broad and Park and it was well worth the trip.
If you don't spend time there, it is easy to write off Park Street as a dirty, crime-ridden and drug-infested stretch of road, but the corner of Broad and Park is the heart of Hartford's Hispanic community and I read or heard somewhere that that intersection is the busiest in the state on Saturdays. I don't know if that is true, but I have been caught in traffic there on a Saturday and it is wicked, as there are many little shops, restaurants, and bars in that area that are pillars of the Hispanic business community. In fact, while it may not be LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center (but what is, right?), that stretch of Park Street is a viable, thriving commercial area that probably is not too much different than Front Street was 100-120 years ago; i.e. a cluster of small businesses on a very congested city street serving (mostly) the needs of a particular ethnic group that lives close by.
Anyway, Broasterant is a straight-up neighborhood joint. The lighting (even in broad daylight) is bad and ambiance consists of a fish tank, a few pictures, and a fire suppression system for the pressure cooker and fryolater. The menu is pretty straightforward - a large or small serving of pressure cooked chicken or some seafood dish I didn't pay any attention to (I think it had something to do with shrimp).
My neighbor and I each had a small chicken lunch, which consisted of a half-chicken and a Portuguese roll (which wasn't oven fresh, but still passable). We also each got an order of fries, which were plentiful and reasonably good. Total tab, including 2 drinks and taxes, was just over $20. Not bad at all.
The chicken was just amazing. The proprietor coats her chicken in a very light flour-based batter that has a good taste, but certainly does not overpower the chicken. When it comes out of the pressure cooker, there is a delicious, crisp, light, and golden brown crust, under which is a ton of very juicy chicken. There really isn't much to say beyond that. It is a simple, filling, and delicious lunch.
My neighbor tells me that word is that Brosterant does a ridiculous business on Friday and Saturday nights after the bars close and I don't doubt it. The prices are good, the service is quick, the portions are large, and the taste is excellent.
Brosterant is pretty much the antithesis of fine dining, but that's ok. It is a little diamond in the rough that was well worth the trip.
I couldn't find a website, or any on-line reviews, so all I can tell you is the address - 630 Park Street - and the telephone number - 860-522-1155. Go there. You won't be disappointed.