Restaurant Review: Sabroso

>> Wednesday, April 9, 2014

In my current day life I interface with a lot of Spanish speaking individuals due to the projects that are occurring right now with my company in Mexico. For that reason I’ve had to start taking Spanish lessons, which I’m enjoying a great deal. It’s an interesting language with the unique segregation between masculine and feminine words plus the conjugations of the verbs, none of the current languages I speak require me to have that knowledge. So needless to say it’s been quite the journey, but I’m really intrigued by the challenges that it poses. The language also reminds me a great deal of our trip to South America, making me miss the culture and especially the food down there. Luckily for me, Calgary is such a diverse city that I was able to get a bit of Latin culture and cuisine here in town. So it wasn’t long before I found myself reserving a table at Sabroso, a Latin inspired restaurant just off of 17th Ave downtown.

Atmosphere: Latin inspired dining room with splashes of color brightening up the space. Get a feel for the Latin vibe during their live music performances on the weekends.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $20+

Food & Wine: We knew we were going to be ordering a meat heavy entree and wanted to begin with some seafood appetizers to balance out our meal. We ended up ordering the Albacore Tuna Tiradito, the tuna marinated with a sweet soy sesame glaze and topped with pickled vegetables. The tuna itself was fresh and the portion size was decent for an appetizer. I enjoyed the soy glaze but did find that it somewhat masked the tuna flavour, but it could be due to the quantity of sauce on the plate. If it was used with a lighter hand the dish would be nicely balanced.

We also sampled the Calamari which had a crispy breaded coating and served with a wasabi mayo. I enjoyed the batter on the calamari because it was light and didn’t absorb too much of the oil during the frying process. The calamari was tender and well seasoned and perfect with the creamy mayo and a zing of the tangy lime.

Our entrée was the Parrilla para dos – a grill for two which includes grilled flank steak, prawns, chorizo, chicken drumsticks, vegetables and crispy potatoes on the side. The parrilla is famous in Argentina and this sample platter is perfect if you’re undecided on a particular entrée meal. It provides you a little taste of each item. My favorite was the flank steak. It was extremely tender and full of flavour. Topped with lots of crispy onions and the soy glaze, it was truly spectacular. I really liked the potatoes that were served on the side. I appreciated that they were separated from the rest of the platter, allowing them to maintain their crispiness. They were nicely seasoned and really reminded me of home fries, very dangerous!

I adore churros and had to have an order of the Cinnamon Churros. When they came, they were accompanied with a side of hot chocolate dipping sauce. The churros themselves were crunchy and lightly dusted with cinnamon and sugar. When you bite in to them they were airy and not dense, which is characteristic of a good churro. There is nothing better than dipping churros in to chocolate sauce. The match was truly made in heaven.

Sabroso offers a nice selection of Latin wines to choose from. We opted to stay with the reds that evening due to our main but I’ve heard that their cocktails are also quite delicious. They offer pisco on their menu and I highly recommend trying it because it can usually only be found in Peru or Chile. It’s a brandy type liquor made from grapes. I really enjoyed it in South America and have been looking for it in Calgary since and am glad to see it served here.

My Picks: Parrilla para dos - specifically for the Flank Steak, Cinnamon Churros

Overall: Nothing beats a good Argentinian grill and it was refreshing to see it on the menu at Sabroso. Couple that with some great churros for dessert and it’s a perfect reminder of Latin America. I can’t wait until my next trip down South but in the meantime there’s always a quick trip to Sabroso to quell my food cravings. Maybe I can practice my Spanish the next time I visit!

1504 16 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(587) 350-2679

Sabroso Restaurant on Urbanspoon


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