Dominican home cooking at Sabores

Sabores is a new restaurant located at 5765 South Lakeshore Drive 3325 Industrial Drive in Bossier City. Billing itself as “traditional Dominican food” didn’t really help me understand the cuisine, which is very similar to Caribbean food (plantains, peas and rice, and okra are abundant) but also features some staples of Puerto Rican and Cuban cooking. The family-run restaurant, like so many elements of Shreveport-Bossier’s rapidly-diversifying food scene, comes to our community courtesy of Barksdale Air Force Base. The manager, Luis Ramirez, is a former New York City resident whose wife is stationed at Barksdale. I asked Luis how Shreveport-Bossier stacks up to NYC, and he enthusiastically responded: “It’s affordable. I like it. I don’t wanna leave.”

For lunch, I had a delicious chicken-and-rice dish called Pollo Guisado ($9.25), slow-cooked chicken served over rice and Pigeon peas. I also suffer from a crippling addiction to fried plantains ($3.00), so my stomach compelled me to order a side of these sweet, golden-fried treats that make Caribbean one of my absolute favorite cuisines. I was surprised when Luis asked if I wanted sweet yellow plantains or mashed green plantains, but opted to play it safe with the yellow variety. I was also treated to a sample of Oxtail, the restaurant’s top-selling item, especially among Cuban and Puerto Rican customers. Honestly, the oxtail tasted like my grandmother’s pot roast. Which, if you don’t know Barnie Mae Smith, is intended as a compliment.

The restaurant is very new, and they’re still developing a welcoming atmosphere. But the fact of the matter is, the food is incredible and there’s nothing like it in Shreveport-Bossier. Just look at these daily lunch specials:

Sunday – Sancocho (Traditional Dominican stew)
Monday – Pata de Vaca (cow feet)
Tuesday – Bacalao (cod fish) and Rabo (Oxtail stew)
Wednesday – Chivo (goat)
Thursday – Mondongo (Menudo)
Friday – Bistec en Salsa (Beef steak stew)
Saturday – Mondongo and Chivo

Not everything on the menu is as geared toward adventurous foodies as “cow feet,” there are burgers and quesadillas for those seeking a less-intimidating option. One word of advice: this isn’t Mexican food. No chips and salsa, no tacos. Bring a few open-minded friends, start a conversation with Luis, and let yourself be surprised by this place, as I was.

Sabores Dominican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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