Signature Dish: Sabor de Cuba wants guests to feel at home

Nov. 23—For more than a decade, Sabor de Cuba has occupied prime real estate in downtown Frederick. But general manager Sergio Fenton said the Cuban restaurant's longevity isn't just due to its location along East Patrick Street. Instead, he said, it's a result of the flavorful menu and quality service. The family-owned restaurant serves Cuban classics like vaca frita (seared and shredded flank steak), ropa vieja (pulled beef cooked in a tomato sauce with olives and capers), and pernil (a citrus-marinated pork shank commonly shared around Christmastime), as well as a variety of soup, salad, sandwich and dessert options. Entrees are usually accompanied by rice, beans and plantains, and most begin with sofrito, a medley of minced bell peppers, onions and cilantro that creates a rich "base flavor" for any dish, Fenton said. Fenton, one of the first people hired when Sabor de Cuba opened back in 2012, has taken multiple trips to South Florida over the years to study its abundant Cuban cuisine. Big families or friend groups frequently meet to celebrate special occasions at Sabor de Cuba, Fenton said, and the restaurant strives for its atmosphere to resemble that of a family home. Customers can place catering orders to feed a crowd, too, which Fenton said is an especially popular choice around the holidays.

Sabor de Cuba

9 E. Patrick St., Frederick


Instagram: @sabordecuba

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday

Price: Entrées range from $17 to $45

General manager Sergio Fenton recommends: Pernil, a pork shank that sits in a citrus marinade for at least two days before being slow-roasted, thinly sliced, seared and garnished with caramelized onions. Served alongside white rice, traditionally prepared black beans and flash-fried sweet plantains. The dish is one of the restaurant's most popular, Fenton said — and orders always spike as the holiday season rolls around.

— Jillian Atelsek

Follow Jillian Atelsek on Twitter: @jillian_atelsek