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Brahma Grill raises the steaks

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Brahma Grill raises the steaks (Photo courtesy of Brahma Grill)

New Bangor steakhouse aims to keep it simple

BANGOR The Bangor area has seen a lot of great new restaurants pop up in the last few years; interesting eats abound. But one of the new kids on the block is adopting a more meat-and-potatoes approach than most.

Brahma Grill, located at 96 Hammond Street at the site of the former Massimo's, opened for business last month. It's an independently owned and operated steakhouse something the downtown area hasn't seen for years.

Brett Settle is a familiar face to anyone who has spent time in Bangor's food-and-drink scene. Brahma Grill is his latest endeavor one that has been in the works for both a longer and a shorter time than you might expect.

'I had been after Massimo for years about possibly buying the building,' Settle said. 'It started as a joke, but at one point this winter, we started talking seriously about it and before I knew it, we struck a deal.'

Settle knew from the beginning just what he wanted to bring to the space.

'This place always screamed steakhouse' to me,' he said. 'And I feel like a steakhouse is something that downtown Bangor really needed.'

If it seems like the turnaround from Massimo's to Brahma was fast, wellthat's because it was. Eight days, in fact.

'I loved the dcor, the layout of the place, the kitchen was there and ready to go,' said Settle. 'We just needed a couple of things, so we were able to turn things around pretty fast.'

Settle went on to talk more about why he wanted to bring a restaurant like Brahma to life. It isn't about competition he had nothing but glowing praise for his fellow area restauranteurs. Instead, it seems to be more about trying something just a little bit different.

'Bangor is packed with great restaurants right now,' he said. 'Everybody has these really great, eclectic menus; they all have their own thing. What I wanted to do was meat and potatoes. I wanted to do something well, something that no one else was making their main focus.

'I like simplicity,' he continued. 'I like a one sheet menu. [Brahma is about] grilling a steak, putting it on the plate.'

However, don't mistake simplicity for any kind of lack of quality. Brahma's beef, chicken and pork come from some of the highest-quality providers anywhere in the country. That quality is important to Settle.

'People know quality these days,' he said. 'The level of education for the consumer today is 10 times what it was 10 years ago. People know what's good, so I want to give it to them.'

The menu at Brahma features numerous cuts of steak (obviously), but there are other options as well. The appetizers are seafood-heavy (seafood being Settle's personal specialty); there are a few salad and pasta options as well. In addition, there are BBQ offerings and a number of steak-friendly sides such as bacon mac-and-cheese, creamed spinach and of course various incarnations of potato.

(Just as a personal aside, if you do find yourself at Brahma Grill, do yourself a favor and try the BBQ Wild Boar appetizer. The meat is braised and served open-face on a baguette with caramelized onion and sharp cheddar; it's just as tasty as it sounds.)

In short, the downtown Bangor restaurant renaissance continues. Brahma Grill gives area foodies yet another top-notch option for their dining pleasure. For his part, Settle seems pleased with his newest contribution to the scene.

'I'm really proud of what we do,' he said.

(For more information about Brahma Grill and its offerings, call 573-1464, visit their website at brahmagrill.com or find them on Facebook.)

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