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Sabor Restaurant – Cuban/Latin – Schaumburg, IL


Sweet Willie
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Have been meaning to go to Sabor for awhile now, finally went for lunch today.

Sabor is located in the Schaumburg Town Square, near the Schaumburg Library and a Dominicks. (SW corner of Roselle and Schaumburg Road). Décor is funky purple high couch seating along one wall and windows on the other side. Some small outdoor seating existed.

The chef/owner graduated locally from Schaumburg’s James Conant High School and Kendall College in Evanston.

I started out with the Empanadas – picadillo of ground beef, tomatoes, raisins, and capers in a puff pastry shell with a roasted red pepper coulis & sour cream. WOW! Terrific. The puff pastry in place of the normal dough used with empanada made it very light, also the addition of the coulis/sour cream was stellar. 4 are served, makes a great appetizer for 2 or more.

I had a favorite when trying Cuban, Ropa Vieja or “traditional Cuban beef stew made w/shredded beef in a red wine tomato sauce, carrots and peas on a bed of white rice served w/maduros (sautéed sweet slices of plantains)” This was very good, ok great. although I don’t know how traditional the carrots or peas are as I’ve never had it that way any other place.

I also picked up two sandwiches for co-workers who could not get out to lunch. For payment of my delivery services, all I asked for was a small section of each sandwich so I could try it, seeing as they normally eat Subway crap, they readily agreed.

One sandwich was a Cuban or Cubano – roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, pickles on Cuban bread that has been toasted flat. Great sandwich, one of the best Cuban sandwiches in Chicago for sure. Bread still lacks something IMO, but I don’t know what.

Other sandwich was a Vaca Frita – garlic marinated shredded steak with carmelized onions on an onion roll with mayo. The shredded steak was a little dry, perhaps should not have been sautéed as long, if it was not for that a very good sandwich.

A flyer with the bill mentioned that on Thursday nights Sabor offers a Tapas menu.

Sabor Restaurant

160-E South Roselle Rd.

Schaumburg, IL 60193

847.301.1470

all major cc accepted

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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We happened to be staying in Schaumberg during a visit to Chicago a while back and went to Sabor for dinner, not long after they opened for business. We also were impressed with the food and the funky decor; it felt like the place dropped into suburbia from another dimension. We almost returned there a couple of Sundays ago, but Ms. Alex's meeting in Elk Grove Village ended well before their 2 p.m. opening time so we just headed back home. :sad:

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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  • 1 month later...

just had one of the finest soups I've ever had yesterday for lunch.

a dark, smoky, pork and vegetable chunked soup with fried strips of potato and lots of spice.

It was the last bowl from the pot so I'm guessing it simmered for awhile thus really concentrating the flavors.

Had the vaca frita sandwich as well.

Client had the chicken sandwich which was terrific.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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  • 3 months later...

After recommending this restaurant to more than half a dozen people who listened to my recommendation and enjoyed it, I figured it was time that I went. The inspiration for this was just a series of bad, grumpy days. Nothing specific that I could pinpoint, just general annoyances. The only cure, I decided, was a night out for a good meal. A small dip into the emergency restaurant fund provided capital, and after no debate my SO and I headed for Sabor.

The reason I know Sabor exists is because of a friend, Scott, who owns a small bookstore. The chef had been coming in to order out of print seafood cookbooks, Scott's brother-in-law is a chef (my partner for my Iron Chef battle), there was conversation, and Scott told me to check it out.

A year later last week, I did. It's tricky to find because of its strange strip mall location. Because it is in a strip mall within a strip mall (got to love the suburbs) they aren't allowed to put any signs on the streets. We have driven by it enough times that we only had to meander through the parking lot twice to actually get in front of the restaurant.

There was a tiny voice that worried that it had better not be bad, or I would be even grumpier. There was no need to worry. The tiny restaurant was mostly empty in the early Tuesday gloom, but a nice table for two by the window with wonderful comfy seats cheered me. The menu cheered me more.

We started with beef empanadas for him, calamar frito for me. The calamari was mingled with artichoke hearts and hearts of palm and the sauce was a nice balance of fruitiness and spiciness. The empanadas were tasty, and the sauce (as Sweet Willie mentioned) really made this dish. My sweetie cleaned the plate with a bit of brioche. I went for the rosemary herb roll, which we decided went better with my calamari sauce.

For dinner he went with the Paella de Mariscos. I'll quote him -"i'm not the world's hugest fan of clam slime, but the mussels weren't too bad, and the shrimp was excellent. at times the peppers were a little too much, but the onions were especially nice, and the whole mess made the chicken really good. i had a glass of some white wine i'm forgetting with it, which went pretty well and i would probably buy a bottle for myself.." This from a guy who would go out for dinner and ask for the onions removed from everything when I met him. He recognized the saffron. I'm so proud.

I had the Tico Tilapia, a crusted tilapia served with some fabulous rice (Our waiter claimed the rice was his favorite thing in the restaurant. I though that was weird until I tasted it.) seasoned with tomato, cilantro and the whole thing was topped with mandarin oranges. I thought I could live without the oranges, but actually they made a nice fruity addition. The fish was perfect, moist, not flaky dry.

Dessert was a shared dish of banana empanadas with coconut ice cream and brandy caramel sauce. We ordered this because the waiter said it would be going off the menu in the next week - they are changing for the summer season - but I really hope that coconut ice cream stays on the menu in some fashion. The caramel sauce, made to order, seemed a bit grainy to me, and the banana empanadas were good, but that ice cream. Threats were issued to ensure that I shared. The subject of bill payment was volleyed back. I got more than he did. I win. Even if I did pick up the tab.

Overall, I left not grumpy anymore, glad that I had recommended it to so many other people, and planning to return to check out the summer menu in a few weeks. If you're planning to be in Schaumburg, I'll tell you how to find it. Just don't tell too many other people. Our secret. :)

--adoxograph

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There was a tiny voice that worried that it had better not be bad, or I would be even grumpier. There was no need to worry.

Nice! Gotta love it when a place comes through like that!

Thanks for the report. :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 3 months later...

UPDATED REVIEW FROM 8.6.04

While waiting for my wife, I was in conversation with the bartender about Mojitos and Caipirinhas as I sipped my mojito. He mentioned the Brazilian liquor used in a Caipirinha, cachaca. I expressed a wonder at what that would taste like. In an instant, I had a small portion of cachaca in front of me, he also poured a small tasting of Bacardi’s product (Carta Oro) that is similar, but much sweeter w/o the harshness of the cachaca. I really like service like that, he was knowledgeable and wanted me to become educated so he poured, great touch. By that time Judi had arrived, she liked the Bacardi and I liked the cachaca (so typical!).

This time we went in summer and were seated in a small outdoor patio that has 5 tables. You face the fountains in the pond out back which is nice as it drowns out the traffic noise and sort of makes you forget the strip mall effect.

Josh our waiter was very enthusiastic and explains almost every dish.

Started out with the emapanadas again, still incredible.

We split the Cabrales salad. a 1" wide wedge of Cabrales a blue cheese atop some greens and very thinly sliced onion, a balsamic based dressing. Excellent, but seeing as I love blue cheese, it would be pretty easy to please me.

Before the main courses came out, we had finished our mojitos and Josh asked if we would like some wine with dinner, of course we answered. Judi was pretty sure what she wanted but I was not really swayed by the small wine list. I told Josh I had narrowed it down to two wines, at that point he disappeared and brought out two small samples of the wine I had narrowed it down to. Again, service like this is rare in my opinion.

For the main course Judi had the ximxin (pronounced chimchin) which was a scoop of coconut curry rice surrounded by a stew of chicken and shrimp. Very good!

I had the pork medallions which had a very garlicky pineapple salsa on them. The pork was of very high quality and had a lot of flavor. Pork was also cooked perfectly to my requested MR-M.

Prices are about 4-7 for salads or appetizers, $9-16 for entrees.

A real gem in Schaumburg. The only complaint I have is that the sage dinner roll did not have more of a crust on it!! :angry::biggrin::wink:

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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  • 1 year later...
Sabor is now closed for good. :sad:

Foo. I was looking forward to getting back there before too long.

Any idea why they closed? I'd think that that area would be sophisticated enough to support such a restaurant, but maybe not.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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