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Cheap Eats: Sabores Chilenos

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Where: Sabores Chilenos, 10760 W Flagler St Suite 305, Sweetwater, (305) 554-4484

What $15 Gets You: Churrasco al Plato, Inka Cola, and a pastry or dessert

When someone mentions Latin food in Miami, Cuban is the first word that comes to mind. In areas like Sweetwater and Hialeah, there are Cuban restaurants with only mere blocks separating them – sometimes they are separated by a thin wall. But Cuban food isn’t the only Hispanic food available.

Sabores Chilenos, as the name implies, specializes in Chilean cuisine. If you’ve never tried Chilean food, it isn’t anything out of the ordinary. The menu consisted of steak (a lot of steak), fish, and soups. So if you have a hankering for chicken then I suggest you find another place to whet your appetite.

I ordered Churrasco al Plato, which is essentially a thin piece of steak with lots of vegetables. The size of the steak disappointed me. The description on the menu said “thin” but I expected a steak of greater width. The steak was juicy, and firm. Honestly, it was delicious, but I had more avocado and tomato than steak. If I had wanted a salad, I would’ve ordered a salad.

The avocado was nicely peeled, almost as if the skin was steamed off, and the tomatoes were a bit soggy but passable. Here’s a tip: if the spices in a restaurant are served on a completely different plate than the main course, as it’s done in Sabores Chilenos, don’t assume it’s a topping you can apply liberally (unless, of course, you don’t want to taste anything but fire for a couple of minutes).

On a side note, the restaurant is hidden within the shopping plaza on West Flagler Street and 107th Avenue. I had to circle the place twice before I noticed the opaque neon sign tucked away in a little corner that faces a side street. My advice is to take a map when you go.

The atmosphere, like many of these small restaurants, is that of an establishment putting on the façade of a fancier place. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s nice to be able to eat a meal in peace without patrons whose voice decibel levels match that of a roaring jet.

Final Verdict: If only the portions weren’t so small I’d heartily recommend this place. The food is different, but not too wild for those who just want something other than a pan con bistec. And if you love veggies then I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this place. But if you’re looking to get full to the point of drowsiness then this may not be your first choice. -- Elvis Ramirez

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