Why a sandwich for lunch when you could have a dinner-size portion of home-cooked food with a Spanish accent to hold you for the day?
You can at Sabores Café in Doral. There’s a takeout window to grab coffee and a covered patio. Inside, past the cozy booths, there’s an elegant dinning room good for entertaining a client or celebrating a happy occasion.
Daisy and Jose “Pepe” Diaz run the charming place. She is of Greek and Italian descent, born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where her father was chief of the port. His ancestors were from Sweden and Galicia, Spain, born in Camaguey, Cuba. (One was a Swedish sailor who was shipwrecked on the island and decided to stay.) Both came to Miami as children.
They started the café when Pepe retired three years ago as vice president of Sedano’s Pharmacy, where they met 35 years ago. Daisy, the chef, learned to cook from her mother and fed hundreds in the Miami soup kitchen of the Missionaries of Charity.
“Sabor” means flavorful in Spanish, and there is lots to savor here including daily specials. Start with tuna tartare piled between fried wontons or ceviche made with shrimp or corvina in citrus juices with red onions and cilantro topped with toasted corn served with crisp sweet potato fries. Or get mushroom ceviche in a halved avocado.
Regulars know Wednesday brings creamy carrot and sweet potato soup with nutmeg. Mains include lobster ravioli topped in red pepper and brandy sauce, wild salmon with apricot demi-glace and couscous, vaca frita with shredded chicken or beef and churrasco with chimichurri and tostones. Have tiramisu steeped in Bustelo coffee for a made-in-Miami ending.
Linda Bladholm is a Miami writer and personal chef. Contact her at email@example.com.