Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tried and True and a Few Surprises—Sanborn's

Sanborn's Logo

Sra. Cuevas and I wanted an easy and unchallenging lunch out in Morelia last a couple of weeks ago. We chose Sanborn's at Plaza Las Americas.
Sanborn's does "unchallenging" very well.

The buffet was very tempting at $145 pesos pp, so we chose that. Ordering a la carte cost more in the aggregate, except for small items.

The quality of the food is very uneven, but nevertheless, we found some appealing and satisfactory items.

The steamed vegetables were perfectly cooked and delicious, al natural. The salad bar selection was very limited, but what there was was fresh and good.

There was steamed, more or less plain white rice and Arroz a la Mexicana. We didn't try either.

A Crema de Verduras soup was mellow, buttery and Mommy-to-the-max comfort food. Delicious, and a winner.

Crema de Verduras
Tempura-like battered fish fillets were dry but not bad tasting. Nevertheless, skippable.

The tacos dorados de pollo were dry, hard and almost tasteless. Pass them over. A true dud.

Coliflor enrebozado, very dull despite the attractive chile molido sprinkled on top.

A sleeper item were the potato chunks with crumbled chorizo, delicious, and even better, served HOT. (Unlike some of the other dishes, notably the tacos dorados and the tempura fish, which were tepid.)

The Paella del Mar; the rice was savory and moist but the seafood overcooked,, as one might expect. The chorizos o.k. and the salchichas skippable.

Then, amazingly, there was Lengua Al Chipotle con Tomatillos. (Do you read me, Steve Cotton?) If you like tongue, this is the dish to have. I had one fork tender slice, with lots of the wonderful sauce, over otherwise "MEH!" mashed potatoes (evidently reconstituted instant), and wished I had skipped the earlier dud dishes. One could choose rice as a base instead of the pah-pahs.

Lengua a la izquierda, braised beef a la derecha

A sort of braised beef or stew was so-so but came nowhere close in savory appeal as the lengua.

There was a choice of agua de horchata or a fruit blend to drink, both good. A small dessert is included in the buffet price, which we skipped.  A sliver of cake, arroz con leche, gelatina, one remaining choc mousse that looked tired and was starting to film over. You might want to hold out for a gelato. See below.

The winning dishes were the steamed vegs, the crema de verduras, the papas con chorizo and the lengua. The Lengua takes the Grand Prize.

Believe it or not, we didn't try everything. Just a sampling, and in small quantity.

The Gioiello Gelato stand down the way toward Sears lower level was very appealing for its presentation and visuals of its cute, hot pants, red  capped and uniformed, all girl sales staff. But I hadn't room for a gelato, no matter how appealing the scene. (Though I had a camera, I didn't think it appropriate to take pictures inside the mall.) I settled for a café cortado at a Café Europa stand.

Sanborn's Saturday Buffet,  Ground Floor, Plaza Las Américas, Morelia


Food: ***

Service: ****

Price: $145 peso per person

Ambience: Staid, bourgeois, traditional.

Rest rooms: clean and attended.

Special Note: One can still buy cigars and other tobacco products and accessories in the Sanborn's tabaquería, although the boxes are decorated with dreadful tobacco origin diseases and sick-making illustrations.

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Tancho said...

Thanks for reminding me of the reason we quit going to Sanborns. Kinda pricy for the ho-hum food, if you want buffet, Lupitas up the street I think is better and more authentic. Before, when it was the only place at the plaza was one thing, but now there are at least a few more places more interesting then the pedestrian fare at Sanborns. We tried the cafe at Liverpool, it was about the same uninspriring fare, that was right after it opened. One of these days we will try the new places that just opened up on the 2nd floor above McDonalds.....

DonCuevas said...

Thanks, Tancho, for reminding ME of how people's tastes are different. We went to that Lupita's once, back in 2004, and we felt that it was definitely lesser quality than the older, smaller, Cenaduria Lupita (non buffet) on Sanchez y Tagle close to Avenida Lazaro Cardenas.

In fact, during our recent stay in Morelia, I got takeout to take back to our hotel nearby, from the older Lupita's, pozole in fact, and it hit the spot.

Sanborn's is, as I noted, not a gastronomic mecca, but some of the buffet items were satisfactory, or better.

(Thanks for the espresso.)


Don Cuevas

Nora said...

Hola Don! Visitando tu cocina. De Sanborns, solo me gusta el ambiente, el café, una rebanada de pastel triple chocolate y la tienda. Saludos!

John Calypso said...

Of course we are not in your area - but will be one day soon. As Tancho suggests - it is kind of spendy for we por folk. ;-0

DonCuevas said...

Siempre me gusto los "Huevos Sanborn's", son dos huevos pocheados in salsa de jitomate con chile Poblano, gratinado con queso y cream. No wonder I am gordo.


Don Cuevas

DonCuevas said...

It all depends what one's perceived "wants" vs "needs" are. We live quite economically here, and we have what we need and much of what we want.


Don Cuevas