Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sabore - A Local Review

In an effort to get in a little better shape and help out the old ticker, over the last several months I've slowly taken up running. After a few admonishments from my wife for not having proper running shoes, we decided to take the short ride up to Gainesville, which is home to the nearest track shop. I consulted a friend and fellow foodie that lives in Gainesville as to where we should have dinner, and he suggested we simply walk next door to the track shop and try Sabore.
Sabore Gainesville Sabore is located on the west side of Gainesville in the Tioga Town Center. My first impression when we arrived was that I'd spend a lot of time in Tioga if I lived in the area, because it would be hard to resist the TCBY yogurt and Flour Pot Bakery. We arrived at Sabore just after their open at 5pm, so I wasn't surprised to find an empty restaurant. The hostess sat us in a nice banquette, but after surveying the surroundings, I actually wished we'd chosen to dine at the awesome L-shaped bar in the corner of the dining room.Sabore GainesvilleThe menu at Sabore is done tapas style, which put them in good favor with me from the start, considering it is my favorite type of dining. As I looked through the diverse menu, I was reminded of a previous tapas dinner in Asheville, because both times I was presented with the same problem...I wanted to try everything. The beauty of tapas, however, is that one doesn't need to feel ashamed for ordering 7 different dishes.Sabore Gainesville For our first round of food, we started with the yucca and beef empanadas. The yucca was paper thin, crispy and sprinkled with mojo seasoning. I don't particularly care for yucca, but prepared this way, I was definitely a big fan. In addition, the empanadas were also a hit, and I particularly enjoyed the spicy aioli they were served atop. Then again, I would eat aioli on pancakes if given the opportunity...Sabore Gainesville Next I moved on to the tuna tartar. If you happen to read along often, you've probably realized this is one of my favorite dishes, because I order it just about every time I find it on a menu. The presentation here was awesome, and while the tuna itself was great, its flavor was lost in the overabundance of chili and avocado. This is just my own taste, so others will likely find it differently, but to me the focus of tuna tartar should be the tuna, not everything else.Sabore Gainesville For round 3, we ordered the crab cakes and shrimp croquettes. The crab cakes were perfectly fried, and served atop the same avocado salad as the tuna tartar. This officially put me in avocado overload, but I enjoyed the cakes nonetheless. I also found the croquettes to be good, somewhat thanks to the spicy aioli, but unless I had read menu, I would never have known there was shrimp in them.Sabore Gainesville For our final round of the evening, we shifted away from seafood, and went with the Cuban pork loin and the papadella short ribs. Having grown up in a family where Cuban pork is a staple, I'm happy to say that this dish was without a doubt the best of the evening. Perfectly cooked, tender, and amazing flavor...there's not much more to ask from Cuban pork. As for the short ribs, I must admit I did not try them, and my reasons were simple really....a) I was full, and b) it looked like beef strogonoff, and Deej doesn't do beef strogonoff. Long story there, but as for the dish, my wife raved about it, and even had some leftover for lunch the next day.
Sadly, we simply had no room for dessert, although that feeling was soon lost when we walked out and saw the TCBY sign.
Overall, we had a great experience at Sabore, and I'm certain we will be back in the future. The service was excellent, and there was a lot of value for the price paid in my opinion. I only wish that we lived just a bit closer to experience it more often.
Oh, and if you think you'll need a midnight snack after dinner, hop over to The Flour Pot Bakery and grab a chocolate chip cookie. You won't be disappointed...

~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~

Deej
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