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8B - The Michigan Daily- WeekeidMagazine - Thursday, March 11, 2004
Sabor Latino shocks taste buds
with homey traditional fare
The Michigan Daily -WeekedMa
TWO GUYS AND A BURRITO PLACE
By Sravya Chirumamilla
Daily Weekend Editor
By Emily Liu
Daily Arts Writer
Sabor Latino, located on Main
Street right next to the Heidelberg, is
often overlooked by students, who
frequent the South University
Avenue and State Street areas
instead. There is actually a second
location on campus, hidden on State
Street amid the construction near
Washington Street, but with a less
extensive menu. Both locations are
small, homey eateries reminiscent of
family restaurants, with flags of
Latin American countries on the
walls and brightly-colored paper
placemats on the tables.
Upon being seated at the Main
Street location, we were given a bas-
ket of tortilla chips and an assort-
ment of condiments that included a
tasty, medium-spicy salsa, jalapeno
peppers, fresh limes and pico de
gallo. The pico de gallo contained a
pleasant mix of chopped tomatoes,
onions and cilantro, but was mild and
would have tasted better with a bit of
jalapeno. The homemade tortilla
chips were a little too dense for my
taste, crunchy but not crispy enough.
The server explained the menu
items thoroughly and also mentioned
the daily specials, which, on this day,
were a soup consisting of pork and
hominy, and beef in red sauce. Not
only are there many basic Mexican
foods on the menu, such as tacos, bur-
ritos and enchiladas, but also Puerto
Rican and Cuban dishes, which are
offered on the weekends. Various meat
fillings are available, such as beef
steak, marinated pork, fried pork,
chicken and chorizo, as well as vege-
tarian options. Menu items are avail-
able as entrees or a la carte.
Our food arrived at the table
quickly. The fajitas were still sizzling
in an iron platter and came with both
corn and flour tortillas (or one or the
other upon request). The flour tor-
tillas were more enjoyable because of
their softness; the corn tortillas, in
See SABOR LATINO, Page 9B
While Sabor's service seems impressive, its food sometimes elicits mixed reviews.
Ever fallen asleep during the fourth screening of
"Battleship Potemkin" and dreamt of burritos? Film
and Video and English student Adam Lowenstein
couldn't help but let his mind wander from the daily
grind of junior year.
Returning home to California, Lowenstein met up
with boarding school friend Justin Herrick. The two
decided that Ann Arbor was in desperate need of a
burrito place and the concept of Big Ten Burritos
was born. "Ann Arbor has such a drought of
Mexican food," explains Lowenstein. They headed
back to the Midwest in June, aiming to open a
restaurant before the fall football tailgates.
The two management novices had no previous
business experience but were ready to face the chal-
lenges of the competitive restaurant industry.
Lowenstein remarks, "My majors had nothing to do
with business. After so much time spent studying
theory, watching movies and reading literature, I was
ready to try something more practical."
Herrick has been interested in the business for
some time now but has had a difficult time deciding
on the location for the venture. An Amherst College
graduate, Herrick was a biology major about to enter
medical school. While he was working at a hospital,
another friend from the high school days at Midland
School in Santa Barbara County, invited Herrick to
open a burrito place.
While the initial plans involved opening a restau-
rant in the Midwest, Herrick later found partners for
an endeavor in Australia. When that fell through, the
two friends decided on Ann Arbor, from which they
hope to expand to other Big Ten schools.
Opening this business has been nothing short of a
rollercoaster ride: while at the bank writing a check
for one venue, a local restaurant owner convinced
them that the landlords were involved in shady busi-
ness practices. Walking home disheartened, they saw
the sign outside Mr. Spots, announcing its move
three feet north on South State Street. A quick phone
call later, they began negotiating to lease 810 S.
State Street. Within an hour and a half, the two part-
ners completely changed the location, store size and
landlord of their business.
Their luck continued when they walked into the
Adam Lowenstein and Justin Herrick unveil a sign designed by a friend with the Big Ten Burrito logo that they
hope to place above their doorway once they receive a permit from the city.
office of Ply Architecture. Two Architecture profes-
sors, Craig Borum and Karl Daubmann, head this
company, which redesigned the restaurant. Inside,
patrons can find a decoration scheme complete with
art deco hanging lights, mod chairs and a long,
wooden table. "There is only one table for family
style seating," Lowenstein explains.
The limited seating will encourage carryout, but
Herrick explains the main purpose of the seating is
to accommodate a large crowd. "Everyone eating
here should be packed in," Herrick describes, noting
the ample standing space along the counter.
The art deco provides an uptown atmosphere usu-
ally not associated with burrito places. Lowenstein
hopes to change perceptions about burrito restau-
rants. "This environment adds to the healthy, good
and clean - a meal that's respectable."
The 4 a.m. closing time and on-the-dollar, tax-
included pricing should greatly aid post-party, ine-
briated patrons. With food prices that peak at
Lowenstein and Herrick hope to draw in many
dents. "Being so shortly removed from students,
way we can relate is different from, say, Jin
John's. We know not to charge an exorbitant pric
The three pizza parlors and four sandwich sh
around the block offer little diversity in the f
selection. Big Ten hopes to provide a healt
option, though the owners remark that they are n
competitor. "We want to add something to the bl
without competing," Herrick is quick to note.
The owners also comment on the friendly nei
bors and their excitement whenever passers-by r
their sign. "1 think there is a lot of comrad
around here," Adam comments.
Their preparations should pay off when they o
this weekend and Ann Arbor can experience w
these entrepreneurs are marketing as "The Grea
Burrito of All Time."
The University of Michigan College of
Science, and the Arts presents aI
lecture and reception
The Centered Self
3 Cities in 4 Days?
This ain't uour parents' travel aaencu... it's uour;
J. David Velleman
G.E.M. Anscombe Collegiate
Professor of Philosophy March 11, 2004
for more information call 734/998-6251
528 South State St.
1218 South University Ave.
OnlnE >> On THE PHOnE >> On CmPU/ >> On THE fTREET