Last week I checked out with my family Sabor Latino with my wife and in-laws. Sabor Latino or “Latin Flavor” has typical dishes from Mexico, Salvador, Colombia, and Venezuela and is located in South Salt Lake on State St. It shares the same building with some business that has exotic dancing, and “Parking in the Rear” Don’t pay any attention to that part of the building! LOL. I found Sabor Latino to be satisfying in some areas and lacking in others. Overall if you are looking for gourmet home-cooked meals from that region, this place will scratch that itch.
One of my favorite parts of the meals was actually the accompanying salsa they offer. That tall white bottle of green sauce was legit. If you have ever been to Andinita’s on Redwood Rd. for arepas, then you may recognize it. In fact there is a family relation between the owners of the two businesses. The bottom left corner was a garlic ahi sauce which you can also put on pretty much everything. The bottom right was a sweet tomato based salsa with some zip to it. All 4 of them were fantastic. You will find a lot of rice, banana, meats etc. in South American cooking and each of these sauces will taste great on pretty much everything you can order.
We ordered an appetizer for the table, the mini-patacones. ($5.99) Probably the best decision I made all night. The order comes in 6, and you can choose between chicken, beef, and ham. The patacon is a plantain banana, which is sliced up, and then smashed into chips and deep-fried. They form the “sandwich” portion of the appetizer, then they are stuffed with cheese, meat, and sauce. These things are freaking amazing!
Of course we had to also go with an order of “maduros” which is basically fried banana, covered with crumble cheese. You see this dish a lot in the Northern part of South America, as well as the Caribbean. I personally love eating them straight up, but they also go well with soups and rice.
Sabor Latino has a daily menu of choices for the house special. Each special is basically a big bowl of soup of your choice, with a platter of rice, salad, and meat. I went with the above lentil soup to accompanying my plate. The bowl was huge, and delicious. I’ve really learned to love and appreciate lentils in Latin-America cooking over the last several years. This soup also had nice big chunks of beef in it. This bowl alone with fill you up.
As part of the special I went with, I ordered the costilla frita, or fried ribs. As you can see, it comes with rice, meat, more platano verde, and salad. All for just $7.99. The dinner specials here are very reasonably priced, and you get lots to eat. The costilla part of the meal, was a little off for me. I guess I just like my ribs barbecued and not fried.
My father in law got the same special, but went with the Carne Guisada. Other options include Pollo a la plancha, Carne Asada, Pescado, and others.
Sabor Latino had a lot of positives. I will be back because I love this style of cooking. They make arepas as well as pupusas here. Everything is very reasonably priced and affordable. The appetizers and soup were excellent. I really only have 2 big complaints. The first was the lack of soda fountains for drinks. We went just last week when the temperature was flirting with the upper 90’s. All of the sodas are imported from Latin America in cans, so there are no re-fills and I was pretty thirsty. I don’t like to have to think about how much I’m drinking and pace myself. Would be nicer if they had a soda fountain. Also they had an open kitchen, which normally is fine, but I was facing it, and they had a microwave right in the middle, where I saw them stick plate after plate. I’m sure most restaurants have a microwave for various reasons, but it might not be something to leave out in the open for guests, because it can be a little disconcerting to have the plate you just order come out of the microwave. (Just a suggestion for the restaurant)
Overall I liked it. Good authentic food prepared by people who know what they are doing. I’ll be back here for sure.