June 1, 2018Read More
You have seen the name Carne Asada bounced around on different menus from Latin American or Mexican restaurants. Many enjoy but don‚Äôt know the origin of this great dish or what it is composed of. Simply put, it is grilled meat imparted with smoke flavor and added seasonings. Generally combining beef and smoke is a recipe for something that is scrumptious.
Most get the carne part. Carne is Spanish for beef. Carne Asada is a sliced meat. In many cases it is sirloin steak that has been cut into slices. Slices are great over using a whole piece of uncut steak because the seasonings and flavorings can get onto more of the meat surface.
Asada means grilled meat in Spanish, referring to the method of how this meat is prepared. While Carne Asada it is not barbecued in the traditional way American barbecue is cooked, it does fit the motif. The key to it is to sear and lightly burn it or char it. This gives a rich smoky grill taste that complements the seasonings and spices added to Carne Asada.
I have enjoyed this dish seasoned with salt, lemon, lime, garlic, and more. The combination of traditional Latin American seasonings with the smoky charred flavor fuses into something that has a rich beefy taste and an aroma that is out of this world.
This dish hails from Latin America.
September 1, 2017Read More
September 16th is Mexican Independence Day. Often mistaken for Cinco De Mayo, it marks the anniversary of the beginning of s revolution to free Mexico from the clutches of Spain.
This theme was very common as Spain had most of the Latin American world under it’s captivity. The 18th and 19th centuries are marked with the struggle of now independent Latin republics to free themselves from the oppression of their Spanish conquerers.
So in a way the battle for independence from Spain is a pretty universal struggle in the Latino world.
Mistaken for Cinco De Mayo
While a lot of fun, Cinco De Mayo has no connection or bearing on¬†Mexican Independence Day, which was fought against the French. It is still a triumph of the Mexican people but has its own holiday. In fact, here is a quick list of facts to help clarify some of the key points of Mexican Independence Day.
Quick Facts About Mexican Independence Day
Since we mentioned Cinco De Mayo let us add some facts and dispel some myths about this famed holiday
- It is not¬†Cinco De Mayo or even part of the same conflict
- It marked the beginning of the war not the end
- The war¬†lasted 11 years after it started
- A priest,not a soilder, started the revolt
- The symbolic founder of the revolution, priest Hidalgo is captured and killed by the Spanish before the end of the war.
- The war starts with a bell ringing which is reenacted every year
But make no mistake..it is about freedom and the Mexicans,like so many other Latino countries will tell you, freedom isn’t free.
Now the fun part..Let’s celebrate
Enough of this political stuff, how about the fun. I know of no Latin festivals or commemorative occasions that are not marked by festivals and great food…
Declare your own independence from boring food
Come enjoy your own Independence Day celebration at El Sabroson. Multiple flavors and seasonings await you with our authentic Latin restaurant menu, including fresh Mexican food.
July 25, 2017Read More
Latin Food Is NOT Mexican Food
One of the biggest misconceptions people have about a Latino Restaurant is that the food is going to be Mexican food. This is a huge misconception. Mexican food is it‚Äôs own style of cuisine. Yes, there may be Latin American influences but it is NOT the sole style of Latin American cooking. This is a big myth, but not the only myth permeating Latin American dishes.
In fact widen your gaze. Latin food incorporates everything from:
- Costa Rica
- Puerto Rico
- El Salvador
Yes, Mexico is on that list..but it is not the sole contributor to Latino food
The point I am making here is Mexican food is a very narrow view of all the flavors, tastes, culture, and history surrounding the rest of South America, Central America and The Caribbean. So the key is to pull out what Mexican creations are stereotypes, hybrids etc.
And while we explore stereotypes..what you think is Mexican, isn’t really Mexican?
Most of the Mexican food in America isn’t Mexican at all. It is a mixture of Mexican and American called Tex-Mex. Many people think this is Latin food but it is more of a caricature of Mexican food than Latin food.
Latin Cooking is Not a¬†Mexican Food Stereotype
Mexican food, which is really Tex Mex, contributes heavily to the stereotype that Latin food is just like Mexican food. This is again not true and some of the myths that go along with this thinking are:
- All Latin Food Is Fried
- Every meal has tortillas
- Every meal has beans and rice
Again this is a stereotype. There are many Latino dishes that do not¬†have any of this. Open a Latino cookbook and you will see dishes that have no resemblance at all to this caricature of Mexican, or Tex-Mex which involves frying some form of tortilla and then serving it with rice and beans.
An even bigger misnomer is that Latin food follows a few rigid culinary customs. But even in many of the Latin countries food will change by region, adding considerable variation to the taste. So many dishes that are actual authentic Latin dishes will have different variations.
No Country is a Vacuum
Another misnomer is that all Latin food is indigenous to South America or the Caribbean. Just like in United States, waves of immigrants have come to South America and have added new flavors into the food. Centuries before the settlement of North America by Europeons,¬† much of the South American food made its way into Europe which had a huge impact on Europeon food.
Even inside a country, there are regional tastes..
Taste the variety¬†for yourself at our Latin Lunch Buffet
But the proof is in the pudding. Check out our delicious and versatile Latin buffet in Williamsburg at El Sabroson. Yes you may find the occasional Mexican specialty on both our menu and our lunch buffet but it is one of many cultures contributing to the dishes that we offer.
Link To Our Latin Lunch Buffet in Williamsburg
10 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT LATIN FOOD
¬†Your Bibliography:¬†Cosmopolitan. (2017).¬†10 Common Misconceptions About Latin Food. [online] Available at: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/food-cocktails/news/a33062/10-misconceptions-about-latin-food-everyone-has/ [Accessed 25 Jul. 2017].
June 20, 2017Read More
As I have mentioned before, Latin American cooking, in many ways,¬† is the fusion of other cultures all across the world. On top of traditional Spanish European influences early on with native populations, Latin food has additions from places you may not have realized. One of those is from Asia. In Peru, it is so ingrained it even has a name..Chifa
Chifa: Peruvian Chinese
Chifa is the imprint of the Cantonese people and is an integral part of this country’s spin on Latin cuisine. In fact that is a little bit of an understatement. Looking through different recipes, the mark of Chifa, or Latin Chinese, seems to have found its way into Peruvian dishes through things like:
- Soy sauce
- Ginger root
- Oyster Sauce
- Fried Rice
There are other seasonings,starches, and meats as well but these to me seem to have strong appeal when combined with Peruvian food and the signature Aji pepper. In fact the fried rice, has become a sensation in the Latin American palette of the Peruvian diner.
Chifa‚Äôs, or little chinese restaurants serving the fried rice, are very prevalent in many cities. By design substituting the Aji peppers for Chinese peppers takes a dish with a lot of flavor and Peruvanizes it (I think I made the term Peruvanize up, but just go with it). In fact fried rice, called Arroz Chaufa in Spanish, has so many attributes that have allowed it to proliferate.
You can mix any meat or vegetable..
Shrimp,fish, onions, carrots, pork, beef, and chicken, are just of the few things you can add to it. So whatever you serve, you can give it the unique signature of whatever you have.
You can season it scores of different ways
Latin fried rice can be infused with traditional Asian seasonings like soy sauce or ginger root. Or you can Peruvanize the flavor with an Aji Lima pepper to fire up the heat. You can really add in other seasoning elements as well to put a spin on this Cantonese favorite.
Leftovers no more
You can also just stir up a dish of Arroz Chaufa with leftover rice. Then add new or leftover elements and create a delicious dish. You can of course add the rice to any other dish, whether it gets rolled into a shell, or as a garnish for another main course.
And it is part of the local diet
And you will see it at many non Chifa restaurants. It is a popular dish as part of the regular diet. It also seems to have unlimited potential.
Latin Cooking in Williamsburg
At El Sabroson, we offer authentic Latin American cooking including some Peruvian Chifa dishes like Lomo Saltado. Come immerse yourself in the many Latin culinary subcultures at our lunch buffet
See you there
May 4, 2017Read More
Williamsburg Virginia Significance¬†
Very few people see Cinco de Mayo in a Williamsburg Mexican restaurant as having a significant relationship with Williamsburg Virginia’s colonial history. While you enjoy one of our ice cold margaritas at El Sabroson restaurant or some of our delicious Mexican dishes to celebrate Cinco de Mayo it might surprise you to know there is a deep meaning behind Cinco De Mayo.
Cinco De Mayo:¬† More Familiar than you think
Tell me if this does not sound familiar. Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the trial of a young developing nation against a Tyrannical European power that was invading them. For Cinco De Mayo, the big European power was France and the developing nation in North America was Mexico. But you could just as easily replace these two countries with the British invading the American colonies and see the same pattern.
The War Origin of Cinco De Mayo
So Cinco De Mayo is really the study of freedom against oppression and tyrants, a burgeoning theme in Colonial Williamsburg. The Mexicans defeated a larger French army at El Pubela on May 5th 1862, which was a huge victory for the young nation.
The Battle of El Puebla
A little more background about what is going on that occurred on Cinco De Mayo. The French had invaded Mexico in the 1860s and were squaring off against a smaller weaker Mexican army at the battle of Puebla. The Mexicans overcame the French and defeated them. The defeat occurred on May 5th, 1862.
Many mistake Cinco de Mayo as Mexican Independence Day which is not true. Mexican Independence Day is September 16 but that doesn’t sound as good as Cinco de Mayo. I mean Septiember de diez y seis is a lot to get out in one breath. Just kidding.
Celebrate Cinco De Mayo With Us
Come visit our restaurant to celebrate Sinco Cinco De Mayo in Williamsburg Virginia and enjoy fantastic Latin American food, and incredible drinks. Also try our margaritas and celebrate in style.
See you there
April 12, 2017Read More
If you have ever been to a Mexican restaurant you have either heard of or tried the chimichanga. The chimichanga or chimi as I affectionately call it, is one of the most iconic Mexican dishes in the American palette.
The chimichanga is somewhat like an empanada or burrito, but fried to golden perfection. Filled with meat, cheese and beans it is a flavorful favorite for many a Mexican dining experience.
The chimichanga like so many dishes at a Mexican American restaurant are really Americanized versions of Mexican food also referred to as Tex Mex. ¬†Burritos, Tacos, enchiladas and more all have been texcised (similar to Americanized but with Texas flair).
Origin of this Mexican dish
Like many dishes and Mexican food or beverage creations, many claim to be the originator. Unfortunately it is hard to narrow down the Mexican inspired Chimichanga to one specific origin point, very much like the margarita. But there are some great claims.
Somewhere in Arizona
I saw one persistent claim on Wikipedia about a Tucson restaurant in the 1920s where the cook drops a burrito into the fryer. At first she wants to say a curse word beginning with Chi but changes it to chimichanga meaning an unclassified dish. But the story didn’t go into the best part, leaving¬†me to use my imagination for that….
The first bite of the Chimichanga
I am guessing the chef retrieved the now fried burrito out of the oil. Waiting a few moments¬†she let the oil drain and the burrito got cool enough to eat. Then that first bite. That moment of culinary greatness when you know you have something good and you can remember how you did it.
I too have experienced the first bite syndrome when I enjoy Mexican. That time from the moment the server brings the piping hot food to the time I get to taste it seems like an eternity. With a chimichanga, more so.
Having had a few chimichangas myself I have learned a few things
-They are good served piping hot
-They are always good
-The first few bites are magic
-I would bet this originator had that same feeling.
More Origins of the Chimi
This is not the only origin story. I had heard they were invented in Texas but many of the accounts point to Arizona. Even with this variance in accounts there are a few things I feel pretty confident about when pinpointing the Chimi’s origin.
-It originated or was officially named in the American Southwest
-It is a Mexican fusion dish
-It gained notoriety in the 20th century
Getting a great Chimichanga nearby
Now, you probably are thinking about Chimichanga‚Äôs. Come enjoy El Sabroson‚Äôs Chimichanga as well as one of our many authentic Mexican food favorites.
Mexican favorites at our¬†buffet
You can also enjoy many of our Mexican and Latin favorites at our daily lunch buffet. Bring your appetite, you are going to need it.
Getting Great Mexican food
El Sabroson offers Mexican food and other Latin food favorites. Most Mexican dishes you get in America are really Tex Mex. They still pull seasonings and methods from their authentic Mexican recipe cousins but are Americanized for the meat intensive flavor blasted mega sized American appetite.
Here is our location in Williamsburg, Virginia!
We are near everything like Busch Gardens, William and Mary, and Colonial Williamsburg
More Mexican Food Origin Articles
January 24, 2017Read More
El Sabroson Mexican and Latin Restaurant in Williamsburg is packed full of dishes from Mexico¬†and Latin America. Naturally they are authentic in the sense that they are prepared like they are in the home country. Many dishes, Latin or otherwise, come to the United States and get Americanized. Just look at Tex-Mex. It is kind of Mexican. It is kind of Texan. But it is all American and available everywhere in the form of fajitas and cafe style burrito bars.
Latin American And Mexican Restaurants Melting Pots On More Melting Pots
Most of our foods, like are culture, are mixtures of Americanized dishes with the foods of other countries. Usually because of immigration. This is one of the reasons we are a melting pot. But there was always an assumption made. The assumption is the United States is the only melting pot. But that is not true. Many countries, including Latin countries, are melting pots.
You probably guessed where I am going with this. Many Latin countries have dishes that have been influenced‚Ä¶.you guessed it, by other cultures whose people immigrated. This thought was inspired by a Peruvian dish called Lomo Saltado.
Lomo Saltado is Peruvian Beef Dish With A Special Influence
On first glance Lomo Saltado looks like a hearty South American dish. Strips of beef over rice with tomatoes,red onions,parsley,Amarillo chili and of course french fries(you can never really go wrong with those)mixed in. But the dish is so much more. It has soy sauce, a definite Asian staple for flavoring food. It is then stir fried in a large pan. Upon reading how it is made it is not a Peruvian native dish. It is a Chinese dish that has been Peruvanized with beef and seasonings. And french fries, which are a global sensation, are part of that Peruvanization.
Americanized Chinese Food
In North America we have our own Americanized versions of Chinese favorites that only distantly resemble their Sino cousins. But this is a Latin American style Chinese, via Peru. In fact the Chinese influence has had a culinary impact on the Peruvian diet.
Chifa: Peruvian Chinese Food
Chifa or Peruvian Chinese Dishes are the result of immigration from Asia to Peru. Very similar to Chinese immigrants in the United States, the dishes of the old world and the new Latin American world begin to mix. To appeal to the Latin palate some of the dishes have been modified with a Latin influence like chiles and potatoes.
Some of the dishes are very similar to the Americanized Chinese food cousins. The fried rice, called Arroz Chaufa is very similar fried rice you might find in New York City. Wonton soup is another dish where it is very close to American wonton soup (sopa wantan)
A Tasty Twist
But this is where it gets interesting. As the popularity of Latino and Mexican food grows in America, will the Peruvanized Chinese dishes get fused into Americanized Peruvian Chinese Dishes. Think about the possibilities with this list of fictional but potential entrees:
- Lomo Saltado Burritos
- The Saltado dish meets the burrito shell as it is filled with rice, french fries, meat, soy sauce, chiles and more.
- Chilies Papas Fritas Con Queso
- The classic American junk food with a spicy twist as we combine Nacho cheese and chilies, a dusting of onions and parsley over french fries
- Mongolian Saltado
- The Lomo Saltado dish with mongolian sauce adding a tasty twist to the beef
- Pupusas con Arroz Carne
- The Pupusa filled with beef fried rice and then fried
The Sky is the limit..
The future of Latin / Asian fusion is wide open for a host of new dishes never seen before. I can‚Äôt wait to taste them. In the meantime come visit us at El Sabroson for flavorful Latin American and Mexican food favorites.
December 9, 2016Read More
In every culture there seems to be a starch dish that accompanies a lot of the different meals. In America bread is the staple. In Italy you see pasta accompanying the main dish. In Japan a side of rice is even offered at their McDonald‚Äôs, in place of the fries. The Pupusa, of course, is the staple of the Salvadoran diet, being the go to starchy accompaniment to many dishes. Oh, and it is mighty tasty!
What Is A Pupusa?
A pupusa is a thick soft cornmeal tortilla. It is cooked on a griddle. The corn meal used has gone through a process that has made it less grainy and more pliable than a typical corn tortilla you might get from a dish in another Latin country. It is stuffed with a number of fillings before cooking as well. Pupusas come in a number of varieties based upon this filling.
Fillings and Types of the Pupusa
Some of the types of Pupusas, with their corresponding fillings you might see are:
- Pupusa de Queso: stuffed with soft cheese
- Frijoles Refritos: stuffed with refried beans
- Papas y Queso: Potatoes and cheese
- Pollo y Queso: Chicken and cheese
- Ayote con Queso: Zucchini with cheese
- Pupusa de chicharr√≥n: Stuffed with cooked seasoned pork paste
- Pupusa Revuelta: Stuffed with cheese, refried beans and pork paste (chicharr√≥n)
What Might Be Served With Your Pupusa
A Pupusa is often served with a relish that is very similar to sauerkraut. It is called Curtido is made from pickled cabbage.
Relatives Of The Pupusa
The South Americans have a dish called Arepa, which is similar to the Pupusa. Mexicans have a similar dish called the Gordita.
Pupusas in Williamsburg
Where to get great Pupusas in Williamsburg, Virginia
Naturally a place to get authentic Pupusas is at El Sabroson Latin and Mexican Restaurant. We specialize in Latino or Salvadoran dishes your Abuelita (Grandmother) would make if you were enjoying a big family meal in San Salvador.
A Great Latin and Mexican Buffet…that many times has had Pupusas on them.
Our buffet is like a passport to South and Central America, gastronomically speaking. On the buffet there have been many days that the Latino food assortment has included Pupusas. Even when they are not on the buffet, they are part of our regular menu here on Wallers Mill Road.
Try this at home…Maybe?
If you are feeling adventurous, or just want to know more about how Pupusas are made, check out this recipe.
Here is a video clip on how to make this iconic Salvadorian dish
November 17, 2016Read More
You know a tourist town like Williamsburg would not be complete without 1 or 2 great buffets. For visitors or locals, it seems almost essential to make the buffet style food extravaganza part of their meal plan. Whether you are a local or tourist, it is nice to sample a lot of different dishes with unlimited portions. Likewise, if you are looking for a great dinner buffet or lunch buffet in Colonial Williamsburg than I can tell you two you have to try.
If you are seafood person, you would go to the iconic Peninsula ocean food fest called Captain George‚Äôs. It is a mega buffet with seafood prepared about a gazillion ways (not a real number).¬†If you want a Mexican AND great Latin Buffet, the only choice is El Sabroson on Waller Mill Landing Road.
Williamsburg Latin Buffet
The buffet, prepared fresh daily includes authentic Mexican dishes like tortillas, tacos, and burritos that you can make yourself. It also includes authentic Latino favorites that for some are¬†a reminder of a taste of home thousands of miles away in South America.
Colonial Williamsburg Latin Buffet
Most Americans do not know the bounty of incredible delectable dishes offered throughout South and Central America. There are too many cultures in this region to sample every dish. Nevertheless, our buffet includes dishes featuring the recipes of South American And Central American cultures including:
- El Salvador
What makes a great Latin buffet you can enjoy in the ‚Äėthe Burg‚Äô
Two key things make a great Latin buffet you can enjoy in Williamsburg, Virginia. One is authenticity. The dishes cannot be caricatures of Latino cooking, but must be the actual dishes. The other key element for a smorgasbord is a huge variety of South American and Latino cooking from multiple countries. At El Sabroson we strive for both. Here are some of the dishes that allow us to bring true latino cooking North of the ‚Äúborder‚ÄĚ.
Some of the dishes you will find on our buffet are:
- Pollo a Brasa
- Spanish Rice
- Refried Beans
- And lots more
Check out our alacarte menu
More About Mexican and Latino Cooking as well as El Sabroson:
September 22, 2016Read More
Compared to 30 years ago, many Americans, both in Williamsburg and abroad, make Tex-Mex or authentic Mexican food part of their monthly repertoire of meals. Many know of the food favorites. Some even
have sampled drinks like the Margarita. But few, even here in Williamsburg, have really moved beyond to other Latino favorites from South America
Mexican food, served here in El Sabroson as part of a balanced mix of different Latino favorites, is just one type of food in the regions heavily influenced by it‚Äôs Spanish origins. One recipe you must try is a Latin American sauce originating in Peru. This sauce is known as Huanca√≠na Sauce.
No Huanca√≠na is not Mexican Restaurant style nacho sauce..
In fact, Huanca√≠na is much better than that. This sauce is a spicy cheese sauce that is both viscous, yet pours smooth. It‚Äôs most famous pairing is over potatoes, which in the Spanish language are known as pappas. So basically it is potatoes with a creamy cheese sauce. I think once more Americans realize this is what Huanca√≠na is, it will become a staple in the national diet(at least for people who like cheese, but who doesn‚Äôt like cheese?).
Its An El Sabroson Restaurant of Williamsburg, Virginia‚Äôs House Specialty.
The Huanca√≠na sauce is one of the Especials de la Casa (house specialties). You can get it over potatoes. You can also get it over a root call Yucca. Personally I think a lot of people will really want to dump the sauce on tortillas or french fries once they realize how good it is. So what gives this sauce its distinct flavor..
What is in Huanca√≠na sauce?
Originating in Peru, there are two main ingredients that give this sauce its zing. One is the Aji Amarillo chile pepper. This is also known as a yellow pepper and is very spicy. The other main ingredient is a crumbly white cheese known as queso fresco. These are blended with a starchy thickener like a cracker. You now have spicy fresh cheese sauce. This sauce can be dumped over potatoes or used as a dipping sauce. The combination of spices and cheese make it burst with flavor.
Spice warning: if spicy food is not your thing you may want to avoid this sauce as it is very spicy. If you like spices you will be in hog heaven.
For authentic incredible Latino food ranging from Mexican to Argentinian come visit us at El Sabroson restaurant in Williamsburg Virginia.