Blink or drive quickly and you’re liable to miss El Sabor Latino.
Heck, I’ve done so countless times, until last week.
Look for the Hoffman Law Firm on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston, and then look for the white, two-story building two doors down. The restaurant is housed on the bottom floor.
There’s no major signage, only the El Sabor Latino name printed in red cursive type on the front window.
Inside, the restaurant pays homage to its Colombian pedigree in two small dining rooms.
Just remember, the term “sabor” means flavor or taste in Spanish, making for easy translation.
A chalkboard behind the counter shows a few of the more popular items, including empanadas and arepas, which are delicious corn griddle cakes.
The printed menu reveals much more.
Take on the Bandeja Paisa ($10.75) if you choose. We’re talking a major meal here: black bean soup, rice and fried eggs, grilled steak, plantains, sausage, pork skins and arepas.
Not sure if it’s traditional, but arepas taste even better when kicked up with a spoonful of the tableside salsa, or when dunked into the black bean soup.
The grilled steak is flavored similarly to the Guatemalan style preferred by the folks over at El Chapin Centro Americano Restaurant on Remount Road, just not as piquant.
The pork skins, or chicharones, are salty, if not particularly crisp, while the Colombian chorizo emerges dense and mild.
Overall, it’s an impressive meal, particularly if you can finish it all.
Also for consideration: the salchipapas ($4.50), a fast-food snack consisting of thinly sliced hot dogs, fries and sauce, and the fried plantains, served with fillings like chicken, steak or sausage ($3.75).
Most of the dishes amount to rich Colombian comfort foods, and El Sabor Latino proves a skillful host.