Latin Flavors in Lionshead: El Sabor offers friendly, energetic service, slope-side
El Sabor’s dining room and deck views of the Gore, Vail Mountain and Gore Creek aren’t the only outstanding thing about this restaurant. Its distinguished Latin American cuisine serves up heritage-inspired dishes from South America, Central America, Mexico and Spain. Located near the skier bridge in Lionshead, El Sabor satisfies hungry skiers and riders with its full-service breakfasts, unforgettable and affordable lunches and amazing dinners.
While a lot of other Mexican restaurants’ food nationwide comes from cans and boxes, El Sabor completely bucks that trend by making all of its items in-house with the freshest ingredients. The creative team cooks beefy burgers to perfection and has a penchant for bold flavors.
The lunch menu revolves around a street-cart fare theme, paying tribute to those memorable bites we’ve all discovered on our travels — or at least vicariously, through television food networks. Choose from grilled mahi mahi, avocado, barbacoa or Sabor tacos (the latter features pickled onion, roja aioli, cilantro, cotija cheese, cabbage, chicken or carnitas) or go vegetarian with tacos made from Impossible Burger.
“Our tacos stand out because everything’s made from scratch,” says manager Mike Dunlap.
While the Nyarit hot chicken sandwich adds a kick with its hot sauce, those looking for a milder experience will find their niche in more classic burgers, piled with all kinds of fixings.
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“Our burgers are a locals’ favorite. They all say we have the best burgers,” he says.
Hearty appetizers remain true to traditional, homemade favorites, with nachos packed with all the classics and delicious camarones del diablo — shrimp spiced with garlic and El Sabor’s house pepper blend.
Crisp garden salads reflect the Latin American flavor profile through the chipotle chicken salad and the Southwest Sabor salad with chicken, steak or shrimp. For a more North American take, order the Sabor Salad, with its crunch of radishes and pumpkin seeds, lightly sweetened with cranberries and cashews.
Dinners are a stand out with traditional Latin American entrees, from chicken enchiladas with asadero cheese, mushroom, onion and chipotle cream sauce to chicken carnitas or barbacoa burritos and enchiladas with roja, verde or mole sauce.
Hand-squeezed limes and agave nectar result in a half-dozen selections of the best margaritas, while hand-crafted cocktails like Tito’s Alpine Mule, Pinche Colada and the Michelada make El Sabor one of the best slope-side places to cap a day on the mountain. Its extensive list of tequilas and other liquors get the party going, while beer selections from Mexico and Central America make El Sabor unique.
“We have some of the best tacos in the valley,” Dunlap says. “And our happy hour is unbeatable, with $3 drafts, two tacos for $7, house margaritas for $6 and $5 shots.”
With its superb views, après scene and all-day range of tasty offerings, El Sabor is a friendly place to gather with friends and family for memorable mountain experiences with a Latin flair.