Some things are so good you have to share them.
Thursday night was a night of things to! The Shootist played at the Plaza Film Festival. Great John Wayne movie! It ended about 9:00 and we set out to find a bite to eat. For some time, I’ve been driving down Mesa and seeing the sign for Sabertooh Food Co. a new restaurant in what was a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream store when I was a teenager. I’d been curious about it and it was open. We went in and were WOWED!!!
It is a tiny place. Just 24 seats. Its patrons staff are on the young side. They are casually dressed and boast an assortment of hair styles, more than a few tattoos and the occasional piercing. Fortunately, they welcomed a couple of senior citizens. The didn’t card us or throw us out for being too old!
The kitchen is open and you can enjoy watching the chef and crew prepare your meal. I love open kitchens in restaurants and always manage to pick up a few new cooking tips and ideas when I get close to working professionals. The night crew allowed me to take their pictures.
I have to confess, I was so intrigued by the atmosphere and the kitchen and the menu as a whole that I didn’t take food pictures Thursday night. I remedied that the next day.
The menu is eclectic and enticing. Thursday night I ordered a “Border Treats” appetizer. It was spears of jicama and cucumber served in a tumbler with a chile-lime sauce. Just the right combination of heat and acid to make the jicama and cucumber a great refresher and good way to get the palate ready for main event.
I enjoyed a falafel sandwich on pita bread. The generously portioned sandwich included hummus, tzatziki, cabbage and arugula. The vegetables were crisp. The falafel was fried when I ordered. The hummus made we want to order it as an appetizer on another visit. There was a little bite to the tzatziki that was a pleasant surprise.
My friend, Jack, had the jalapeño bacon burger. It comes with a side of fresh cut fries that are crisp on the outside, tender on the inside and and lightly seasoned with a house blend of spices. Once you try them, you’ll never order fast food chain fries again! The burger patty was thick and cooked to medium rare perfection. Topped with greens, tomato, sliced avocado and a cilantro lime aioli and served on a toasted buttered bun, it was hamburger bliss. Jack later complained that he ate too much for the hour. I reminded him that no one forced him to eat half the appetizer and everything on his platter except the one fry I was allowed to taste!
Sabertooth’s motto is “Feed Your Savage Hunger.”
The diverse menu offers something for savage omnivores like me and items for my savage vegetarian and vegan friends. Please note that I’ve had vegetarian meals both times I’ ve been there just because they sounded so good on the menu!
The menu includes a marinated portobello sandwich topped with herbed feta and greens;and a vegan quinoa lettuce wrap of crunchy veggies with a spicy peanut soy dressing appeal the Meatless Monday side. A pulled pork torta with avocado sauce and a mango salsa is on my must try list. I watched one of the line cooks work on marinating skirt steak for the fajita stake sandwich which put that on my list, too.
The desert menu includes, but is not limited to, the Sabertooth Elvis – a sandwich of peanut butter, homemade jam and banana dipped in tempura batter and fried. If you want to live dangerously, you can add bacon to the sandwich. And, no, I I have not had the Elvis, yet.
I am the Gringo Gourmet with a penchant for all things nopales (prickly pear cactus)… I went back for lunch on Friday just to try the chiles rellenos stuffed with finely diced nopales, and roasted corn in a wonderful cilantro cream sauce. The rellenos were egg battered, deep fried and topped with cotija chese and an avocado drizzle. They are served with a mound of azafron tinted rice. My mouth waters at the memory.
Chiles Rellenos from Sabettooth. I will try to replicate them or at least approximate them. They are good enough to make your eyes roll back in your head!
Just had to include a closeup of the relleno filling of nopales and corn in cilantro cream. The relleno is topped with crumbled cotija cheese and diced tomato.
Pulled pork tacos with crisp red cabbage, cilantro and avocado sauce.
Jack came along and had the pulled pork tacos. He raved about them with every bite.
he restaurant is next door to the Hope and Anchor Bar. That building housed a nursery and flowershop 50 years ago when I was enjoyed the ice cream shop next door. Right now, if you want a drink, you may purchase it at the bar and bring it into the restaurant. The restaurant staff will serve your meal in the bar. Convenient either way.
I am enchanted with Sabertooth. Its atmosphere is friendly and fresh compared to many tiny restaurants. The menu is varied and original. It shows that the owner and chef have worked in some of the better restaurants in town and learned many things that helped them to create a great dining experience. They have taken the time to train their cooks well and have taught the waitstaff how to provide efficient, attentive, but not intrusive service. The overall experience would work as well in a softly lighted white tablecloth setting. It is more exciting the way they have chosen to make it colorful and lively as well as delicious.
Sabertooth Food Co. is at 4012 N. Mesa, Ste. B. They open at 11:30 a.m. and stay open late – very late on Friday and Saturday. They are closed on Sunday.
I hope you’ll give them a try and satisfy your savage hunger as well as I did mine!