10220 103 St. NW, Edmonton – Website
Date of Visit: July 11, 2015
Sabor is right around the corner from the hotel I was staying at in downtown Edmonton but it initially escaped my notice as most of my explorations thus far had been in the other direction. I passed it on my way back from lunch one afternoon and, after I saw that it has a Tapas menu, I switched my original supper plans and came here instead…
Ambience and Service
The interior of Sabor is very open, airy and cool as it has very high ceilings with slow tropical fans. The decor has something of a Mediterranean flavor with bare brick, light wood beams and attractive tile. They also have a nice little patio area but when I sat out there a breeze carried away my tapas menu, so I moved to a table that was just inside the patio doors and got the best of both worlds.
I arrived just as the supper crowd was starting to arrive and was greeted immediately. My server was polite and efficient but, as I have complained in many reviews, did not seem to understand, as I clearly stated, that wanted to linger over my first drink before ordering. I had barely taken a sip before she was back asking if I ‘wanted a few more minutes’. Beyond that annoyance, though, everything else was pleasant and smooth sailing. My only other complaint, if it can be called that, is that the music was all lively Latin stuff, which I really hate.
What I hadn’t realized at first is that the Tapa bar is part if the main establishment but has the separate name of ‘Bodega’ and occupies the front part of the restaurant. My server brought me the main dinner menu to look at and a lot of it is the basic tapas menu with some selections expanded and a few more substantial mains. Of note, though, is one very interesting item called ‘Three Boars’ which includes a preparation from the belly, one from the back ribs, and a pulled Boar Risotto. My server described it and apparently it is a huge, huge platter affair. I was tempted but, probably wisely, chose to stick to Tapas…
Pata Negra (Jamon Iberico) – This charcuterie selection is cured pork from the famous Black Iberian Pigs and is supposed, by many, to be far superior even to Prosciutto. I have read about it many times but was never able to try it until now. My first impression was that looked, and tasted, exactly like Prosciutto but after the first bite or so I was able to detect a wonderful sweet quality and a definite nutty taste (Filberts came to mind). I still won’t venture an opinion over the supposed superiority of the Spanish product as most of my experience with Prosciutto has been with the cheaper, super market varieties. This, however, was really special and rates a 5 out of 5.
Grilled Octopus – This was served with a black olive vinaigrette. The octopus was nicely tender, but still with a good bite, but it was not quite as flavorful as other octopus I have had. The exception to this was the parts where the flesh was caramelized by the grill as this was really delicious. I liked the vinaigrette – it went well with bread – but I was not sold on it as a good match with octopus. I still enjoyed the dish very much and gave it a 4 out of 5.
Costillas Asadas – These wild boar ribs were marinated before being grilled. I am not sure of the marinade but I fancy it featured red wine. The result, whatever the case, was very nice and the meat was very flavorful and still moist. I thought the color was a little unpleasantly gray in places (aside from the blackness of the char) and this may have been an artifact of the marinade if it was, indeed, red wine. The meat was also cooked to the point it fell from the bone, which is more than I like. Still, this is preferred by many people and I can’t be critical over a matter of individual taste. I rated this tapas at a 3 out of 5.
I really wanted to try a couple of other selections here but I was afraid I was a bit too full to really do them proper justice so I vowed to try and return before leaving Edmonton. I really had a lovely meal at this delightful place and give it an unstinting 4 out of 5.