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Sabores De Mi Tierra

Over the years, there have been a couple of solid attempts to get a Colombian-style food enterprise off the ground in Buffalo. That basically meant that there were restaurants that served a bunch of American food, but also featured a signature Cubano, and maybe an arepa or frijoles. While it was nice seeing these attempts to bring some Latin American and South American dishes to Buffalo, I don’t recall any restaurant hitting a Colombian cuisine home run until now.

Last week, on a humid rainy day, my wife and I ventured into Sabores De Mi Tierra – a still relatively new yet well seasoned – and very authentic, Colombian restaurant at 247 Niagara Street (lower Niagara, towards downtown). Upon entering, we immediately noticed a few things. First off, the place was abuzz with activity, and there was only one table in front that was empty. So we took it. The music, with Spanish and European influences – took our minds off the weather, and we were immediately transported to the islands. A fútbol match was playing on the flatscreen, although no one was paying attention to it because most tables had their hands full with very well mannered kids. Between the families, the colorful and whimsical Caribbean decor, the cozy space, the lively music, and the family-run operation, we immediately felt right at home.

Sometimes you are able to walk into a restaurant and know that the experience is going to be almost flawless. And that’s exactly what happened at Sabores De Mi Tierra. Our server was fast and efficient, even though we could tell that she was juggling multiple tables. The open kitchen was sizzling with flat-top cooking, which was being expertly mastered by William Murcia, who owns the restaurant along with his wife, Adriana Botina.

As we scoured the voluminous menu, I spied a chilled blackberry and milk drink (known as a cholado, or raspao), which is akin to a smoothie. Not only was it beautiful, served in a specialty cocktail glass, it also matched my shirt to a tee. Aside from the appealing color (to me), and its refreshing nature, it was perfectly concocted – super tasty, without being cloyingly sweet. Even my wife liked it, and she thinks that anything of this frozen drink nature is “too sweet.” It was also expertly chilled, without being too icy, chunky, or gloopy… it was very smooth and easy to drink.

Per the food, after going back and forth with so many tempting options, we finally made up our minds. I ordered the chicken and steak combo arepa rellena (corn cake stuffed with egg, rice, been, avocado, plantains, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and drizzled with a Colombian green sauce (most likely made with cilantro, mayo, green onion, lime juice, and garlic). Honestly, this was once of the most flavorful and best composed dishes that I have had in a long time. The only thing that could have been better was an over easy egg, as mine was overhard, which was unfortunate.

My wife ordered the vegetarian arepa rellena, as she wanted me to be the guinea pig with the meat, which is why I ordered both beef and chicken. Next time I will only order the chicken, as I rarely eat red meat. But she felt that the steak was the real winner of the proteins (so flavorful and expertly marinated), and that’s why she’s going to get the ‘turf’ combo next time. She also ordered a side of the beans, which she ended up mixing into her dish. I must also state that neither one of us eat pork, which is heavily profiled on the menu.

Some takeaways from our dining experience? The plates of food are large, and fairly cheap. My dual protein arepa rellena was $14 – one of the best deals in Buffalo. They don’t have any hot sauce on the table. Thankfully we brought our own – El Yucateco, which is a ubiquitous green Mexican hot sauce. It perfectly suited both of our dishes. This was merely a preference of ours. To be fair, our dishes were perfectly seasoned.

Sabores De Mi Tierra translates to “flavors of my land,” which is exactly what we got at the restaurant. Not only were we the only English speaking people at the time of our visit, we were also treated to such authentic food that we felt as if we had been transported directly to the Republic of Colombia in South America. By the end of the meal, as throngs of people came and went, and the phone continued to ring off the hook, we were both so pleased with everything that we just kind of lingered for a spell, which is unusual for us.

Sabores De Mi Tierra is the exact type of restaurant that I feel happy to support. At one point, William Murcia left his station at the flat top grill and walked over to ask how we were enjoying our food. We both looked up from our dishes, grinned, and told him that it was honestly one of the best restaurant experiences that we had ever had in Buffalo, and that we couldn’t wait to come back. And that’s the honest to goodness truth.

Sabores De Mi Tierra | 247 Niagara St, Buffalo, NY 14201 | (716) 551-6116 | Facebook | Instagram

Hours

Friday11 AM–8 PMSaturday11 AM–8 PMSundayClosedMondayClosedTuesday11 AM–7 PMWednesday11 AM–7 PMThursday11 AM–7 PM

The restaurant might not look very intriguing from the outside, but don’t let that fool you.

The post Sabores De Mi Tierra appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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