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Sabor Latino, Backlick Plaza in North Springfield - Closed


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Stopped by this place for a quick lunch today. Normally I give a place a few visits before posting, but I couldn't resist. It's in the Backlick Plaza where Gamasot is located, and there are quite a few other places that worthy of checking out here as well.

Sabor Latino is on the end of the plaza right off Backlick. It is a diner kind of place, with all 25 or so menu options pictured on the front wall and numbered. The Salvadorean and Guatemalan relics on the wall, the Central American rap music on the TV and the soccer shorts on most of the patrons indicated it was pretty genuine.

I ordered #21, the tacos carne, which come 3 for $6.99. But here's what amazed me. As I peered back into the kitchen to watch some of the preparation, I saw the beef coming from a larger marinated cut, and cubed up fresh and cooked fresh for my order. I saw the salsa fresco topping being made from scratch, with chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro and jalapenos all being cut and mixed as I watched. What came out of the kitchen for $6.99 were three serious soft tacos, fresh flavors, juicy and flavorful meat, accompanied by a spicy salsa verde that added just the right punch, along with a spritz of fresh lime. I can't remember the last time I had a taco lunch this satisfying.

This plaza gives me the same dilemma that Brookfield Plaza, about 3 miles south, also presents. You could eat at four or five different places with equally satisfying results, but while you're eating in one you're wondering what's on the specials list at another.

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Sadly, this place appears to be closed. The sign has been removed from the strip mall front, and the place was closed and dark both yesterday and today. There are still tables and chairs on the inside, but no signs of life.

Right next door is a new Vietnamese place called Pho Quan Ha (or something like that) and will be visited on a subsequent trip....

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