I’m always looking for good Mexican restaurants in my area, so I get pretty excited when I can find one that is both authentic, and well reviewed. This was the case for Sabor Latino, in Ann Arbor. Everything I had heard said it offered delicious, authentic Mexican, Colombian and Puerto Rican dishes for a very affordable price. Morale was high.
I’m a believer that it is fairly easy to make average Mexican food by throwing different peppers and spices together, but extremely difficult to make great Mexican food using fresh ingredients and family recipes. It’s always disappointing to me when I come into a Mexican restaurant and see that their menu consists of unoriginal items like wet burritos, quesadillas and simple burritos. This just happened to be the case for Sabor Latino.
As I saw down, this restaurant seemed to fit all of my criteria for a great Mexican joint.
- The salsa seemed to be freshly made, the chips were warm and there was no charge.
- The building was not free standing.
- Our chips and salsa were brought by someone other than our server.
- The menus were slightly dirty.
- No yellow cheese
- The walls seemed to have been painted several times
- There were several sombreros hanging from the wall
- The menu was up front and simple.
My hopes were extremely high. Things began to go down hill from there. The temperature outside that day was around 75 degrees, and as we walked in I realized that the restaurant was warmer than it was outside.
The chips and salsa were a good start. The salsa was served in a small jug and tasted pretty good. It was a little over pureed, but the taste was pretty good and spicy. We decided to start with a bean and chorizo dip. What we got was one of the saltiest things I have ever eaten in my life. I know chorizo adds a lot of salt to any dish, but this was absolutely ridiculous. We found ourselves pouring salsa on top of the dish to attempt to cut the saltiness. Also, the chorizo was somehow ground and combined into a huge pile of refried beans. I expected somewhat of a layered dip with chorizo and cheese, but instead we got this over salted pile of beans. The worst part? Our waitress abandoned our table for ten minutes, leaving us dying for refills on our drinks. We couldn’t get get through half of the appetizer because of the saltiness.
The menu was extremely limited, and I attempted to order from the specials menu which apparently is only available on Fridays. I ended up settling on the fajitas with chicken, steak, and shrimp because the waitress said they were very good there. I’m always very hesitant to order fajitas at restaurants because I like to think that my family has the best fajita recipe in the world. My girlfriend, Stephanie, was more observant than I and saw that there was a daily special for chicken mole. I was immediately jealous.
When my fajitas arrived, and I was extremely disappointed before even trying them. The platter contained more large cuts of bell pepper than any of the meats. The peppers were only slightly roasted, and a large amount of liquid had formed under the toppings. The next thing I noticed was that in my small plate of fajita accessories, there was no sign of any cheese. No cheese on fajitas? I was assuming it was some sort of mistake, but found out when I asked for a small side of cheese that it was a dollar extra. Party foul. The fajitas were extremely bland, and when I finished the meat I was left with a heaping pile of peppers and onions. Not impressive at all.
Surely, the mole would be better. Nope! The shredded chicken was smothered in a mole sauce that had a little kick to it, but no real notable flavor. I can’t even begin to write a detailed review because of the blandness of the taste. You will have to settle for a picture of this one. I will note that when I asked for some form of hot sauce or green salsa, the waitress gave me a confused look and stated there was none.
We ended up leaving most of the food we ordered because of the heat in the restaurant, and the lack of any impressive food on our table. I would have to say this is the second least impressive Mexican restaurant I have ever visited, aside from the always terrible Tios in Ypsilanti. I’m not sure if it was simply the selection of food we chose, the lack of quality service, or the heat, but I left extremely frustrated and unhappy with the experience. I tried to write this review as nicely as possible, but if you want normal ranting John’s opinion.. It sucked. Terrible. Don’t ever eat there.