Café Sabor offers unique Latino menu
December 24, 2007
Café Sabor, a new Latino-style restaurant that recently opened in Park City, was started by a Utah State University (USU) student, Justin Hamilton, and his friends, in Logan. It offers a unique Latino menu at an affordable price.
Hamilton started Café Sabor to add to Logan’s college atmosphere and as an alternative place for local students to relax and eat great food.
"We like to be the locals’ place," Hamilton said. "We want people to say this is their restaurant."
In October, Hamilton and his friend, Mike Wagner, opened a new Café Sabor at Quarry Village in Park City. Already, it has been drawing a number of local customers and visitors to its doors for lunch and dinner every day.
Wagner is the manager of the new Café Sabor at the Jeremy Ranch exit off I-80, and said he has enjoyed watching the restaurant grow.
"We have steady customers," he said. "But there are still plenty of people that don’t know about us."
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Wagner studied political science at USU until he graduated in 2003, but became interested in business when he assisted Hamilton, one of his fraternity brothers, at his restaurant in Logan.
Many of Hamilton’s friends, fraternity brothers and acquaintances in the Logan area assisted in the construction of his business.
The restaurant in Park City features unique décor, including walls covered by the roof of an old barn Hamilton’s family owned in Idaho.
The two-story restaurant has a Latino flare, with Mexican statues in the lobby and tiled floors with acid stainings of Mexican designs that one of Hamilton’s friends created.
The restaurant also has front and back deck patios for outdoor dining during the warmer months, including a gas grill on the back patio for grilling food fresh, right in front of the customers.
Wagner said he and his friends made special trips to Mexico to create a traditional menu and to pick Mexican influences for the restaurant.
"We made a point not to go to the big touristy spots," Wagner said. "We went to traditional places [in Mexico]."
Wagner said the unique aspect of the Café Sabor menu is it contains traditional Mexican and Latino plates, including quesadillas, burritos and fajitas, but also other dishes influenced by other cultures, including Chinese and Italian.
The Chino Latino Eggrolls on the menu are "an Asian favorite with a Latin twist," the menu reads. The eggrolls are made in a traditional eggroll with Latino ingredients inside, including chicken, black beans, and creamy spinach sauce with avocado cream dipping sauce.
Wagner said another unique aspect of the Latino menu is the Latino pastas.
"The pastas are incredible," he said.
One pasta, the Shrimp Pesto Pasta, substitutes the traditional Italian pesto sauce made of basil, oil and garlic, with cilantro. Another pasta dish, called the Tequila Lime Pasta, has lime and other citrus flavors with a hint of tequila in it, Wagner said.
Another house favorite, Wagner said, is the Pollo Durango, with seared chicken breast, simmered in tomatillo sauce and a sour cream sauce, served with fresh, homemade tortillas.
Café Sabor also has a full bar, with a wine list and a variety of drinks, including a house favorite, the signature margaritas.
Wagner said Café Sabor fills up with diners nightly, and, he added, the reason the restaurant is already successful is because of its focus on customer service and its commitment to the community. The manager of the restaurant said he does his best to personally visit every table each night.
"We have great customer service," Wagner said. "We’re community oriented Big chains do great things for the community, but they’re not community oriented."
Hamilton says that is one of the most important aspects of his business.
"We try to know our customer base," Hamilton says. "We’re independently owned and Park City has that small-town feel, and that appeals to us."
Wagner also said many people rave about the quality of food at affordable prices.
"Many people have told me we should raise the prices," Wagner said.
Café Sabor is located at 3126 Quarry Road near the Jeremy Ranch exit off I-80. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 649-7281 or visit http://www.cafesabor.com . The restaurant also offers take-out.