August 27, 2018Read More
Not every dish onÂ a menu may jump out at you as something familiar. That does not mean it is not worth it to try something new. If you missedÂ the dish I would like to call your attention too our menu item known asÂ Bistec a lo Pobre.
Bistec a lo Pobre translates directly to the phrase;
Steak of the poor
There are a number of unconfirmed urban legends surrounding this dish. Many of these urban legends reference that the dish was a food of working class or poor people in Peru. This may or may not be true, but after seeing what the dish is, …who cares.
Steak And Eggsâ€¦With A Latin Twist
The dish consists of steak, rice, French fries, egg, and fried plantains. It sounds more like steak and eggs on steroids. It is a complete meal straddling the bounds of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In South America it is primarily a dish that is served at lunch. I think this dish can be served anytime. In fact the name really does not do it justice. Thus I have come up with some names whichÂ could potentiallyÂ better represent this feast.
Here are some possible names…
Bistec Desayuno Tardio
Bistec Desayuno Tardio translates into steak brunch. This combination meal of steak, fries, rice, and eggs is brunchworthy. In fact, you do not have to miss out on breakfast or lunch when you order this.
I do not think it is fair that is has poor (pobre) in the name. This dish is calorie rich and the term Bistec Gordo translates to fat steak.
Bistec y Juevos
Bistec y Juevos just means steak and eggs in Spanish. This one is simple and to the point.
But the name is not going to change..
No the name of this dish is not changing. Not here or in Peru. But, the descriptions in the names are accurate. It is an all encompassing steak, fry, rice, breakfast feast.
Now the next step is try it
Come to El Sabroson in Williamsburg and enjoy this decadent dish anytime as well as some of our other unique Latin specialties.
Check out our menu
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 donâ€™t 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.
February 1, 2018Read More
The United States is not the only country that has a Valentineâ€™s Day holiday. While the United States version is heavily commercial, we are not exclusive in celebrating this holiday devoted to love. Latin Americanâ€™s have Valentineâ€™s traditions as well..albeit different. In fact I started reading about what it is like in Peru.
Valentines Day in Peru, Latin America, and Beyond
Valentineâ€™s Day in Peru is a festive holiday. Keep in mind though, this is South America and the weather is completely opposite of North America. Thus February is like our July, adding heat to this romantic holiday. Another difference is the orchid replaces the rose as the flower of choice.
This got me to thinking about celebrating Valentineâ€™s Day in Latin America. The cold weather restrictions of a cold North American winter are now lifted. This really opens up the possibilities. Valentineâ€™s Day in American usually means eating at a restaurant, going dancing, watching a movie, or just enjoying the comforts of home. But doing things outside is somewhat sparse. Yes, there is ice skating, but this may not spell romance or love for many people.
If you go to Latin America or South America for Valentineâ€™s Day you can turn it into a vacation…
Warm Weather Valentines Day Vacation
You can literally have the ultimate romantic holiday at the beach, by the pool, eating outdoors in short sleeves, or walking in the park. In fact, if Valentineâ€™s Day were a warm weather holiday in America, it would probably inspire outdoor festivals, vacation packages, and more.
And We Would Go Overboard
Summertime is wild enough in America. You would probably see fifty bazillion ads for Valentinesâ€™ swimwear. On top of that there would be endless commercial tie ins. Anything with summer, sun for fun would have a big red heart added to it.
But this is only hopeful speculationâ€¦.
Williamsburg Virginia Valentineâ€™s Dayâ€¦Latin American Style
But For Now, In Williamsburg Virginia, we offer Latin American food that will warm your heart and palette, but the weather outside is still cold and unforgiving. So enjoy our Latin lunch buffet and Latin American specialty dishes for Valentines Day, or just when you want a warm experience and great food.
VALENTINEâ€™S DAY TRADITIONS IN PERU
Â In-text:Â (Lacostanerarestaurant.com, 2018)
Your Bibliography:Â Lacostanerarestaurant.com. (2018).Â Valentineâ€™s Day Traditions in Peru. [online] Available at: http://lacostanerarestaurant.com/blog/valentines-day-traditions-peru/ [Accessed 30 Jan. 2018].
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 onÂ 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 notÂ Cinco De Mayo or even part of the same conflict
- It marked the beginning of the war not the end
- The warÂ 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 itâ€™s 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 aÂ 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 notÂ 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,Â 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 varietyÂ 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
Â Your Bibliography:Â Cosmopolitan. (2017).Â 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,Â 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.
Chifaâ€™s, 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 SignificanceÂ
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:Â 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. Â 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, leavingÂ 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 momentsÂ 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 Chimichangaâ€™s. Come enjoy El Sabrosonâ€™s Chimichanga as well as one of our many authentic Mexican food favorites.
Mexican favorites at ourÂ 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 MexicoÂ 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 influencedâ€¦.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 canâ€™t 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 McDonaldâ€™s, 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 chicharrĂłn: Stuffed with cooked seasoned pork paste
- Pupusa Revuelta: Stuffed with cheese, refried beans and pork paste (chicharrĂłn)
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