Sabor Cubano

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2028 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix
602-841-2822

This tidy, unpretentious little restaurant, whose configuration suggests a former Pizza Hut, specializes in sabor Cubano -- Cuban flavor -- at a reasonable price. A two-sided buffet in the middle of the room offers a frequently changing selection of Cuban specialties such as yuca, moros, congris, empanadas, ropa vieja, chilindron (beef with roasted peppers), arroz con pollo, picadillo, roasted pork and aporreado de pescado (shredded fish), all prepared with a simple, homey touch. A menu posted above the counter also features crisp, starchy tostones, sweet platanos maduros, tamales and Cuban sandwiches. But owners Nancy and Eduardo Carralero say customers may also order anything featured on the buffet as a single menu item. Check out the fruit/salad bar on one side of the buffet, and the dessert bar on the other. And by all means, save room for caramel-drenched flan, impossibly creamy thanks to evaporated and condensed milk. Sabor Cubano isn't remotely sexy. It's more like comfort food, Cuban-style, which is good enough for me.