BEST CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICAN RESTAURANT - 2006
Sabor Latino - CLOSED
Readers' Choice: Cafe Brazil
Sabor Latino's feel-good ambience makes this an easy place to love. The dining room is comfortably rustic, and the atmosphere hangs somewhere in that inviting, tender middle ground between aging white-tablecloth class and neighborhood eclecticism. The restaurant does a brisk trade in baked empanadas filled with pino (a Chilean mix of chopped meat, fried onions, raisins and deep, earthy spices), in workaday fajitas, in Mexican moles and tamales that are big and subtly sweet, filled with seasoned pork and steamed in banana leaves rather than corn husks. There's Peruvian lomo saltado on the board, as well as bistec a lo pobre -- poor man's steak -- that's a diner benchmark across the Americas sur de la frontera, draping an eight-ounce rib-eye over rice and french fries, topping it with grilled onions, then topping that with a fried egg. Sabor Latino does so many things well -- and so many things from so many different ethnic traditions -- that it deserves extra honors as the best purveyor of a continent and a half's worth of cuisine.