February 1, 2018Read More
The United States is not the only country that has a Valentine‚Äôs Day holiday. While the United States version is heavily commercial, we are not exclusive in celebrating this holiday devoted to love. Latin American‚Äôs have Valentine‚Äôs 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
Valentine‚Äôs 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 Valentine‚Äôs Day in Latin America. The cold weather restrictions of a cold North American winter are now lifted. This really opens up the possibilities. Valentine‚Äôs 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 Valentine‚Äôs 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 Valentine‚Äôs 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 Valentines‚Äô 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 speculation‚Ä¶.
Williamsburg Virginia Valentine‚Äôs Day‚Ä¶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.
VALENTINE‚ÄôS DAY TRADITIONS IN PERU
Your Bibliography:¬†Lacostanerarestaurant.com. (2018).¬†Valentine‚Äôs Day Traditions in Peru. [online] Available at: http://lacostanerarestaurant.com/blog/valentines-day-traditions-peru/ [Accessed 30 Jan. 2018].
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
March 9, 2017Read More
Springtime means warm weather and in Mexico it means it is time for the Mexican Food and Wine Festival in late April. The festival features gourmet Mexican food with top regional wines.
One thing that caught my eye was the fact that in the midst of this Springtime festival of fine wine and regional favorites, there is going to be a gourmet taco competition. I do not use the term gourmet lightly. The competition:
- Features a dozen gourmet Mexican chefs
- Costs a $100 to enter
- Will have a vote at the end
I put a clip on this article of the festival that shows the different events of the festival including a past taco competition. It looked incredible.¬† I would say it is a very serious competition for an authentic dish.
I am guessing there will be some wide variations due to the creative flair of the chefs and the variety of taco toppings. This could also be attributed as authenticity. While the taco started in one region of Mexico, it quickly found it‚Äôs way into the different regions of Mexico. Each region put there own spin on this iconic dish.
Another spin on this dish is it will served with gourmet wines. This idea intrigues me. I have never had to pair wine with tacos. I would imagine it would be a lot of fun to ‚Äúfigure‚ÄĚ out what works. I will go out on limb and guess richer meat like steak or beef would tend to go with light or dark reds. A chicken or fish taco might lean toward the white wine family. Personally I think the taco goes with anything. It is like what vanilla is to ice cream, mix it, merge and it always works.
In a way the taco was made to be adapted. The simple idea of the tortilla with meat and toppings could be adopted to just about anything…and has. In America we have everything from Tex-Mex to fast food tacos which are more of a caricature of Tex-Mex food than the real deal.
Come Enjoy Tacos At Our Mexican Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia
If you cannot make it to Mexico which I would imagine many of us will not be leaving The Burg to be at this Festival at the end of April, we offer authentic Mexican and Latin Food at El Sabroson Restaurant on Waller Mill Road. You can get tacos made with:
- Charcoal Chicken
- Pulled Pork
- Pork and Pineapple
- Chorizo(sausage) and Chicken
Take It A Step Further: Mix Other Latin Foods With Mexican
You can also take it a step further and take your own gourmet taco journey at our buffet. Paired with many Mexican food favorites you see in our restaurant, you also have dishes of other Latin American cultures, giving you the ability to customize your own unique taco creations with dishes you will not get anywhere else.
See you at El Sabroson
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:
October 12, 2016Read More
For some getting good Pollo A Brasa in Newport News, Hampton or Williamsburg might be difficult to do. That is unless you go to Latin Food Gourmet El Sabroson Restaurant in Williamsburg. Peruvian Chicken, which is very similar to American Rotisserie Chicken, is available in authentic style at this Latino eatery.
The Daily Press And Pollo A Brasa
The Daily Press reviewed this Peruvian pollo specialty and seemed very pleased describing it as:
Juicy and the spices on it added a good, savory flavor. A green sauce with hints of cilantro and a little bit of kick complemented the chicken well(Castillo and Press, 2016).
Naturally many are curious as to the origin of the dish and you are in for a pleasant surprise. It is an authentic staple of the Peruvian diet. Unlike many dishes from other countries, it is very close, if not exact in continental preparation as it would be in Lima or other parts of South America.
What is Pollo A Brasa
If you are not familiar with Latin or Peruvian Cooking the closest thing to it would be the American Rotisserie chicken. The Peruvian chicken, Pollo A Brasa, is a blackened version of this. It also traditionally is lightly salted and “is almost always served with creamy (mayonnaise-based) sauces, especially spicy chili cream sauce called aji(Pollo a la Brasa, 2016).‚ÄĚ As always the flavor is seasoned more to the Latin American palette compared to its North American Rotisserie cousin.
A more common modern variation of this Peru export is one where the ‚Äúchicken’s skin is seared and salty like a bacon-wrapped hot dog and the tender meat is juicy, reminiscent of fried chicken, but flavored with salty soy sauce, fresh cilantro, savory oregano, peppery ginger, and sweet, buttery roasted garlic flavors.‚ÄĚ As far as texture, this combination also can be described as creating an almost caramelized texture (Pollo a la Brasa: Why you should give a cluck, 2012).‚ÄĚ
A Staple Of The Peruvian Diet
According to an article I read the Pollo A Brasa Chicken dish is THE favorite food in Peru. It has it‚Äôs own special holiday and is a measure of buying power (like the Big Mac Index). With those credentials you can see why it is invading the hearts and stomachs of food aficionados in North America, Latino or not.
How To Get The Best Authentic Pollo A Brasa in Williamsburg Virginia
Back to that Daily Press article. Now you can see how popular the dish is.
Now where can you get it?
Here are a couple of ways you can enjoy this dish in all its glory.
- Go to Peru
- Go to El Sabroson Restaurant in Williamsburg
Let us look at those options more carefully
Option 1: Holiday to Peru In South America
An all out 16 day blowout trip to Peru including junkets in places like Cusco, Lima, Machu Picchu, Titicaca, and more will run you a little over a cool $3000. Not to mention you need a passport and money for incidentals. And then of course you have to find a Pollo A Braso place in Lima. This would be easy to find in the United States but how well do you really know the City of Lima and how good is your Spanish?
Option 2: Visit To El Sabroson Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia
Definitely a lot cheaper. You still get the great Peruvian Rotisserie. You don‚Äôt need to catch a plane, get a passport, fight through customs, search maps in a language and city you do not know well, or stuff giant stereotypical souvenirs into your suitcase.
To read the original write up by the Daily Press click here
Also check out more information on more Peruvian dishes like Huancaina Sauce
Check out our menu
See you at El Sabroson!
Citations, Quotes & Annotations
https://www. peruforless. com/packages/lima-nazca-arequipa-machu-picchu-puno-amazon-16-day-tour/ (no date) Available at: https://www.peruforless.com/packages/lima-nazca-arequipa-machu-picchu-puno-amazon-16-day-tour/ (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
Castillo, A. and Press, D. (2016) El Sabroson serves up tasty Latin American fare | food find. Available at: http://www.dailypress.com/entertainment/food/dp-fea-food-find-0330-20160329-story.html (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
(Castillo and Press, 2016)
“Juicy and the spices on it added a good, savory flavor. A green sauce with hints of cilantro and a little bit of kick complemented the chicken well.” (Castillo and Press, 2016)
Pollo a la Brasa (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollo_a_la_Brasa (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
(Pollo a la Brasa, 2016)
“is almost always served with creamy (mayonnaise-based) sauces, especially spicy chili cream sauce called aj√≠” (Pollo a la Brasa, 2016)
Pollo a la Brasa: Why you should give a cluck (2012) Available at: http://www.foodbeast.com/news/pollo-a-la-brasa-why-you-should-give-a-cluck/ (Accessed: 12 October 2016).
(Pollo a la Brasa: Why you should give a cluck, 2012)
“The chicken’s skin is seared and salty like a bacon-wrapped hot dog and the tender meat is juicy, reminiscent of fried chicken, but flavored with salty soy sauce, fresh cilantro, savory oregano, peppery ginger, and sweet, buttery roasted garlic flavors.” (Pollo a la Brasa: Why you should give a cluck, 2012)
August 22, 2016Read More
It has been a long day of shopping, sightseeing, or just screaming your head off at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg and you realize you need a margarita. When someone thinks of margarita, they usually imagine a giant flower shaped glass opening up to a foggy mixture of tequila, triple sec, and lime. To crown it, a ring of salt sits on the outer edge of the glass. The bigger the glass the better. This is at least, what I think of.
A Great Williamsburg Margarita
There are no bad margaritas. They are kind of like pizza. When they are bad they are good. But when they are good THEY ARE GREAT. But I am interested in the most authentic knock your socks off margarita when I am in Williamsburg, tourist, local, or otherwise. Before we talk about where to get this great Mexican concoction here is a little background
The Proud Beginning(s) Of The Margarita
Like all great inventions this one is contested. I pulled the multiple rundown of cocktail creation theories from Wikipedia. Here is a small taste of some of the origin stories
- 1938 Carlos Herrera creates a drink at this restaurant for a dancer who was allergic to many types of alcohol but not tequila.
- 1941 Don Carlos Orozco offers an experimental drink to the daughter of the German Ambassador. Her name was Margarita Henkel. The drink was named for her.
- 1942 Francisco Morales mixed the miracle drink in Tommy‚Äôs Place Bar.
- 1945 Jose Cuervo claims the drink was invented for showgirl Rita De La Rosa
- 1948 A Dallas woman named Margarita Sames created the drink for her guests in Acapulco
- 1948 Santos Cruz created the margarita for Peggy Margaret Lee. The Spanish version of Margaret is Margarita
And it goes on and on..
So here is what I think. Thank you to all the great margarita experimenters and margarita makers. All of you knew there was a magical connection between Agave Tequila, triple sec, and lime. It played out in many different ways but in the end they are all in the family of margaritas. In fact I think we should honor these cocktail pioneers with a statue, no better yet a memorial bar somewhere between Texas and Mexico. Maybe a border memorial bar. A somber yet fun place where you can pay homage to these early drink inventors.
I am thinking there could be a 300 foot high giant margarita statue next to this bar. The bar should be by the highway so drivers passing by can be reminded of the toil that went in to making this drink…and they may be thirsty and you won‚Äôt miss a 300 foot mega margarita glass.
The Great Williamsburg Margarita Today
Naturally no one has realized the genius of these plans. But you can enjoy an authentic Mexican margarita at El Sabroson Mexican Restaurant in Williamsburg.
See You There
June 29, 2016Read More
Authentic Mexican Food in Williamsburg?
At El Sabroson, Williamsburg’s authentic Mexican and Latin food restaurant, we pride ourselves on authentic dishes. Yes, our customers are not all from Mexico or South America, so we do offer some Americanized dishes. Many of these dishes are called Tex-Mex. Regardless, the flavors of Spanish and Latino dishes can be seen in all types of food, not just that from South of the Texas border.
But What Is Authentic Mexican?
The United States, its culture, and food are all versions of foods from the homelands the population came from. Mexican food is no different. You have dishes that pull elements of native dishes but with a flare that will appeal to other cultures. Both are delicious, but it is always interesting to see the differences of a dish as it migrates across the border.
So what how do you know if it is authentic Mexican?
Glad you asked. To show you some real Mexican dishes, some of which we serve here in our Williamsburg restaurant, I need to show you its Americanized version. Now I am not in any way implying the Americanized versions are not delicious. Nor am I telling you that we don’t serve them here.
All I am doing is showing you the “origin” dish. Think of it as a family tree for Americanized Mexican food.
The Original Mexican Dishes and Their American Counterparts
The Great Williamsburg Taco: American Style
I do not know many people who have lived on Earth who have not heard of or tasted a taco. By Taco I mean the staple you will see at any Williamsburg or Newport News Mexican restaurant. You know, the hard yellow shell with the ground corn pieces showing as black specs in the shell. From there it is loaded with meat, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and seasoning. Usually you have it with ground beef, sometimes shredded chicken.
The Original Mexican version
To enjoy the original Mexican style Taco you need to make some modifications. This includes
‚ÄĘ a heated soft shell
‚ÄĘ beef, chicken, pork or seafood
‚ÄĘ home made salsa
‚ÄĘ lime juice
‚ÄĘ white cheese
What you get is a taco bursting and exploding with flavor. Both versions are good but it is interesting to see how much changed when the taco crossed the border.
The Big Bad Burrito
If you have been to any shopping area or strip mall you have seen them. Giant oversized mega burritos in foil stuffed to capacity with..anything that would fit. Places like Chipotle, Taco Bell and Moe’s offer burritos with a four course meal inside of them. They consist of:
‚ÄĘ beef or chicken
‚ÄĘ black or pinto beans
‚ÄĘ pico de gallo
‚ÄĘ soft flour tortilla
‚ÄĘ sour cream
‚ÄĘ nacho cheese
‚ÄĘ Mexican cheese
To be blunt, these are tasty and you get a little bit of a wrist workout maneuvering that thing from your plate to your mouth. So what about the authentic or origin burrito…
The Traditional Mexican Burrito
This is a bit of a letdown after the description of the super burrito. The Mexican burrito is much smaller with very limited ingredients like
‚ÄĘ wheat flour shells
‚ÄĘ beef or chicken
‚ÄĘ chiles and beans
‚ÄĘ white cheese
This is just the start
I can’t go into every dish that has changed with American culture, but there are a lot of dishes that have been Americanized. There are also a lot more Latin style food dishes than just Mexican.
Taste Authentic Mexican And Authentic Latin Food for yourself
Come visit El Sabroson Mexican Restaurant at our Waller Mill location in Williamsburg. We serve up lots of authentic Latin and Mexican dishes as well as some Tex-Mex varieties. In the meantime check out our menu of great Mexican dishes.
Here is a map to our location
our source article