If you are looking for an array of ethnic food options in Birmingham, look no further than Greensprings Highway. The most heavily concentrated dose of culture that the Magic City has to offer resides here. We recently visited one of the many ethnic restaurants of the area: Sabor Latino, a hybrid Peruvian/Mexican Restaurant.
The restaurant is located in an off-the-beaten-path shopping center atop a hill on Greensprings, next door to Office Depot. The building looks pretty shady; some of the letters are broken on the sign outside and the area is generally run-down. But we persisted!
Upon walking in, it seemed more like a regular Tex-Mex restaurant.
We were presented with the menu and excited to find some options that we’d never tried. The menu is divided between Peruvian and Mexican options. On this trip, we stuck mostly with the Peruvian offerings, based on the reviews we had read and our current desires to sample some new flavors.
We ordered the Papa Rellena Con Pollo as an appetizer, a combination of chicken stewed with tomatoes, onions and peppers stuffed into a lump of mashed potatoes which is then battered and deep fried. It was served alongside thinly-sliced red onions and cilantro. It turned out to be delicious. This dish was solid, it tasted like chicken and potatoes, not tons of unnecessary flavors and spices.
Next we tried the Papa a la Huancaina, which turned out to be several thickly sliced potatoes covered with a yellow, semi-cheesy sauce and topped with boiled eggs. This dish was interesting, but definitely not a favorite part of our meal. The cheesy sauce was mildly reminiscent of ballpark-style nacho cheese.
Next we sampled the Peruvian tamale, which was basically a regular tamale, but it also included whole pitted olives inside and was wrapped in banana leaves. It was certainly tasty.
On to the entrees! We had the Pollo con championes, a grilled chicken breast topped with a cheesy mushroom sauce, served alongside white rice and grilled vegetables.
We also tried the Arroz con Marisco, the restaurant’s most highly reviewed dish. A generous portion of flavorful rice was topped with an array of seafood. This dish was quite delicious, although heavy on the rice.
Finally, we had the Bistec Ranchero, the only dish we tried from the Mexican menu. The menu describes the dish as “a very tender steak with tomatillo sauce, served with rice, beans and flour tortillas”. The tomatillo sauce was absolutely delicious; great cilantro-lime flavor and filled with tomatoes and onions. The steak was extremely tough, although still tasty.
Overall, we will definitely try again. The portion sizes were quite large, so we left with plenty of leftovers.