You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : noon

Frugal Friday at Sabor Latino: excellent food and a warm welcome for under $5

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu, Contributor

My BFF, Wendy, and I went out to dinner on a cold, dreary, rainy evening recently. We had planned to perform Tashlich ([tahsh-LEEK]: a symbolic casting off of sins represented by tossing bread crumbs into a river at the Jewish new year), but it was postponed because of the muddy conditions near the Huron River.

Have no fear — we went to the Detroit River a few days later to cleanse our souls and affirm efforts to strive for "the highest light" (as the Indigo Girls sing in "Galileo").

But since our spiritual plans had been thwarted, we took care of nourishing our bodies instead. We headed to Sabor Latino, today's Frugal Floozie Friday feature that offers excellent Latin American food.

Wendy ordered the Empanadas Argentinas (pictured above): "Two Argentine style turnovers stuffed with ground beef, raisins, green olives, peppers and onions." These were served with a vibrantly-colored and flavored chimichurri sauce on the side, which was so good it would have been ideal served with almost anything! The empanadas cost a mere $4.25 — well within our mandatory Frugal Floozie Friday budget of $5 per person.

I chose a tostada topped with chorizo, which cost only $4.55. The fried tortilla was crisp, and loaded with all the fresh and delicious goodies one would expect: lettuce, onions, beans, tomato, cheese, avocado and sour cream. It was very good, and our waitress told us that it's one of her favorite menu items; she was sufficiently tempted by my order to even consider eating one during her break that evening.

In addition to the items we chose, Wendy and I also shared a basket of excellent chips and fresh salsa to round out our meal. And despite lingering as we chatted about life and love and loss, we were warmly welcomed to stay as long as we wanted to.

Sabor Latino offered us excellent food and a haven from the dreary weather, and I recommend it as a great Frugal Floozie Friday option!

Sabor Latino
211 N. Main St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

View Larger Map

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Bilyeu

Mary Bilyeu has won or placed in more than 60 cooking contests and writes about her adventures in the kitchen. She was thrilled to have her post about Scottish Oatmeal Shortbread named as one of the daily "Best of the Blogs" by the prestigious Food News Journal.

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related. Her newest feature is Frugal Floozie Friday, seeking fun and food for $5 or less ... really! Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers as they cook along with her ... may you always be happy here.



Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 11:30 p.m.

Mary, I too like the cuisine at Sabor Latino, especially the fish tacos, but I did not think the prices were that great.

Jelani Dante Brinson

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

I gotta say, prices have gone up a dollar or two, but beats anything else on Main Street! especially when you compare proportions


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 11:02 a.m.

Oddly enough DBH I was driving by Pacific Beach yesterday and they had 2 large trucks packing up tables add chairs hauling them away.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

Interesting, Eighty Seven, thanks for the information. I am sad when a business fails, as it takes courage to start one or to take one over. However, a business deserves to fail if the interests of their patrons are not their #1 priority. I would appreciate someone at investigating why PBB closed but that information likely will not be forthcoming.

Some Guy in A2

Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

I have enjoyed sabor latino for some time in the past, but I am greatly disappointed that their coupons, that they elected to have included in the "Get Downtown" bike month awards earlier this year, are no longer honored. It seems like very poor form to do this.

Mary Bilyeu

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

Thank you so much, Jack, for clarifying that on behalf of the restaurant!

Jack Samano

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 6:28 p.m.

I am a regular at Sabor Latino; I have spoken with the manager about the coupons included in the "Get Downtown" bike month awards. It was a mistake made by the organization. Sabor Latino offered twenty coupons to be used for lunch and several gift cards to be given away at the event. The organization distributed 700 coupons instead of the twenty that were offered and did not specify lunch.

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

I'm sorry to read that ....


Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 12:27 p.m.

I wish your (and others) reviews would routinely include a comment about the restaurant's Health Inspections. I know where to find the information but I suspect many readers do not. Such information certainly is relevant, important and of interest to many. By the way, there had been a question about the compliance of Pacific Beach Burritos with Health Department regulations after the new chef took charge in April. A Health Inspection report from 8/30/11 is now available. I posted a comment about the most recent report in your story on from 7/22/11 if you might be interested ( <a href=""></a> ).


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

Thanks for your reply, Mary. Continued good luck and the best of health to you.

Mary Bilyeu

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

Good Morning on this beautiful sunny day! First of all, no need to be so formal - please call me Mary ... :) I'm pretty tough for a skinny chick who lives a stressful life - my immune system should be far more susceptible to illnesses than it actually is. I had bronchitis in January. I have some issues with allergies/sinuses, and this past May I was diagnosed with life-threateningly high blood pressure which is now under control. I don't get flu shots, and I haven't had the flu since my senior year in high school (30 years ago) when an epidemic shut the school for a few days. I simply just don't get sick - I pride myself on my good health and resilience. So I may have been exposed to some food-borne illness - in fact, I'll readily admit the chances are probably good that I have been! - but I never noticed it. I should probably pay more attention to the inspections, but then I wouldn't have as much fun! I'm conscientious about not eating food that's been sitting out for too long; and I wash my hands all the time (not to the point of an OCD, but often). If I knew everything that was going on in commercial kitchens, I would probably never eat out again ... and I don't want that to happen.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

OK, Ms. Bilyeu, I stand corrected. I can see that your postings are sharing experiences with food and not actual reviews. While access to Health Department Inspection reports is available to all, not everyone knows how to access them. I am unclear how you know you have never been sickened as the result of having eaten at a restaurant. Unless you have never been ill, food-borne illness can take hours, days, weeks or even months to develop after the infection. In the recent case of listeria infections, for example, the CDC was warning the public that symptoms might not appear for up to 2 months after having ingested infected cantaloupe. I certainly hope you never experience a food-borne illness but to ignore the risks inherent in eating at an establishment with multiple critical violations seems imprudent to me.

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

Good morning! I don't include information about health inspections for two reasons: 1) As you say, it's available elsewhere so people who are interested can look it up. And 2) I'm an enthusiast who simply wants to eat and have fun - I never look at inspections myself, and I don't consider them in my choices. (I also have never gotten sick after eating at a restaurant.) As always, I'm just here for the food! I'm not an official critic, as some presume that I am; so I don't factor in accessibility, inspections, vegetarian options, or anything else that would come with an actual review. I merely tell where I've eaten and how much I've enjoyed what I've eaten. But you are always welcome to add comments, and contribute to keeping people informed ... it's as though you're part of the team!