Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar

Review: Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar on Harmony of the Seas

In:
18Jul2017

I believe it was the great American thinker, Cher, who postulated, "do you believe in life after love" and I had to consider the same conundrum when it came to trying Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar on Harmony of the Seas following a recent menu change.

Ever since the Sabor specialty restaurant debuted on Navigator of the Seas in 2014, I fell in love with the whole menu, but the tuna crudo tacos held a special place in my heart.  They were as flavorful, and my go-to order each and every time I dined at Sabor.  

However, with the recent menu change the tuna tacos were removed and I began to wonder if the food at Sabor would be able to stack up with my previous experiences.  On our recent Harmony of the Seas sailing, I had to investigate the new menu change and determine if anything could fill the void in my heart that the tuna tacos once occupied.

Atmosphere

While the Sabor menu and pricing has changed, the look of Sabor remains intact.  Sabor is located in the Boardwalk neighborhood and encompasses a large area, with ample indoor and outdoor seating.  The restaurant is open air, although there is some air conditioning blowing on guests inside, there are no walls to contain it.  The restaurant is safe from rain (unless it is really blowing in sideways), but the temperature and wind can still be felt.

Sabor is imbued with bright colors, primarily blue, magenta and yellow.  Sabor has that feel of a Mexican restaurant, but without the over the top common motifs. After all, Sabor is meant to be more a more modern take on Mexican cuisine.

Much of the seating in Sabor is at standard tables of varying sizes, but there are booths along the back wall as well.

Unlike Oasis of the Seas or Allure of the Seas, the Sabor bar is attached to the main restaurant, and offers additional seating on the left side of the restaurant.  

Most guests opt to grab a beer or cocktail from the bar, but you can also order off the menu.

Eats

As I mentioned, Sabor changed from an a la carte menu to a cover charge menu earlier this year on Oasis class ships, which mirror the pricing found on Voyager and Freedom class ships.  With the pricing change came a new menu, with some items removed from the old menu, others added and most of the menu remaining the same. I would estimate half the menu contains the same items as before, but the other half has seen items swapped it out in some manner.

Many Sabor fans relished the margarita menu for the creative and extremely tasty beverages offered.  I am pleased to report the margarita menu has not changed at all, and guests can continue to order their favorites. The avocado and Sabor Grand margaritas are my wife's and my favorite drinks, but I encourage you to try them all, especially if you have the deluxe beverage package that includes them.

The new Sabor menu on Harmony of the Seas has a lot to offer, and with your cover charge, you are at liberty to order as much as you like.  We have met no resistance in ordering multiple entrees, appetizers or anything else on the menu.  With larger groups (more than 4 people), your best bet is to order a lot and share.  Much of the menu comes in a very shareable manner.

No meal at Sabor is complete without a bowl of handmade guacamole.  Sabor's reputation has been built on its guacamole, and while the guacamole is no longer crafted at your table (health regulations emerged last year that curbed that practice), your server will still ask you how you like it and prepare it in the kitchen.  Our favorite is medium spice, extra lime juice.

Suffice to say, the guacamole is still exceptional and the pico de gallo salsa is especially good.  The only downside is all too often I fill up on this stuff before my food arrives.

Moving onto the appetizers, you will find some good starters offered.  The menu refers to them as "small plates" and it is appropriately named, as these are great for sharing and wont fill anyone up on their own.

The red snapper ceviche is a light starter that goes great with the chips they serve at your table, or just enjoy on your fork.  

The spicy beef empanadas are terrific.  The flaky crust they are baked in is lovely, and it has just the right amount of "kick" to set the tone for the meal.  

Many of our readers swear by the chicken-stuffed jalapeños wrapped in bacon, and while we did not order them, we would be remiss if we did not mention them as something to try if you are a bacon lover.

Moving onto the tacos, it was time to find a new love.  The tuna tacos are no longer available on the Sabor menu on Harmony of the Seas, but there is still a fish taco option in the grilled cobia.  Over the course of my cruise, I decided to employ the Love Connection methodology and try out three different tacos: the shredded beef short rib tacos, the spicy chicken tacos and the grilled cobia tacos.

Shredded beef tacos

Spicy chicken tacos

Grtilled cobia  tacos

Another change to the tacos from the old menu is the tacos are now build your own.  This means you are served the protein of your taco in a bowl that you can fill your soft tortillas with, along with an assortment of toppings, such as lettuce, salsa and sauces.  Be sure to save some guacamole for this part of the meal to use that too (or just ask your server for some more if you lack the ability to not eat every last ounce of guac in your bowl).

I was not too sure about the build your own tacos, but I ended up really enjoying the idea.  I am the kind of person that goes into "mad scientist" mode when it comes to crafting my own food, and I loved lopping on as much as I can into my tacos before eating them.  Granted, my tacos probably ended up looking more like burritos, but making them was half the fun.

The grilled cobia tacos ended up being my favorite of the three I tried, and I suppose it shows I am truly a fish taco lover at heart.  The spicy chicken was also quite good, and a close second. 

In addition to tacos, there are a few quesadillas to try.

My advice is take the quesadillas and top them off with guacamole, salsa and anything else on your table to essentially make them into Mexican pizzas.  Regardless of how you eat them, they are really good and flowing with melted cheese.  

If there is one area of the Sabor menu I never bother with anymore, it is the sides.  I have never found them particularly compelling, but perhaps you will find them to be different.  The new menu features a grilled corn on the cob option, so if you have tried that, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

By far the most under appreciated aspect of Sabor's menu are the desserts.  No meal is complete without a few, and you should save room for them, even if that means turning down another serving of guacamole.

If you are new to Sabor, order them all and sample them.  

Our favorites are the banana and chocolate chimichanga and café con leche.  

Overall

Looking at the new Sabor menu and pricing, I really enjoyed the new offering.  As a repeat cruiser, getting some new choices on the menu is a welcome change and I found the menu to remain true to what made Sabor so wonderful all these years.

It seems the biggest issue some folks have with the new menu is not the food, but the pricing.  There are a number of vocal guests that enjoyed Sabor, but preferred the a la carte pricing structure so that they could drop in for quick bites to eat at a cheaper price than the all-inclusive model.  I cannot deny the virtue of that concept.  Frankly, I do not mind the cover charge pricing, perhaps because I first tried Sabor on Royal Caribbean ships that had a cover charge so I was indoctrinated into that concept early on. For those that refuse to pay a cover charge, you can still grab some guacamole and chips during happy hour.

For the cost, I feel guests can get a lot of value out of the meal.  Sabor is still among the least expensive specialty restaurants on Harmony of the Seas, and I cannot complain I have ever left Sabor hungry.  Moreover, the strength of the appetizers and guacamole make for a compelling dining experience.  

Cost: The price for Sabor on Harmony of the Seas is $19 per guest for lunch and dinner.

Spotted: Happy Hour specials at Sabor on Oasis of the Seas

In:
23May2017

Starting today, Oasis of the Seas is rolling out a new offer for guests to enjoy a featured margarita and an appetizer for one low price.

Royal Caribbean Blog blogger, Michael Poole spotted this new offer that is beginning today on Oasis of the Seas.  Every day, from 3pm - 6pm, guests can get one Bar Bite and one Featured Margarita for $12.

Bar Bites

  • Guacamole

  • Chicken-Stuffed Jalapenos Wrapped in Bacon

  • Shredded Beef Short Rib Taco

Featured Margaritas

  • Sweet & Spicy

  • Avocado

  • Jalapeno-Cucumber

The staff at Sabor say this new deal begins today, and will be available until further notice every day.

In addition, Sabor is also offering a la carte priced guacamole for $7 if purchased from the Sabor bar.

Sabor recently changed to a cover charge cost recently, where guests must pay $19 to enjoy all the food on the menu.

Spotted: Sabor on Harmony of the Seas changes to all-inclusive pricing

In:
13May2017

Guests aboard this week's Harmony of the Seas sailing may notice a new pricing structure at Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Todd Fagan shared photos of the new menu at Sabor on Harmony of the Seas, in which there is no longer a la carte pricing. Instead, the menu resembles that of Sabor Modern Mexican, found on Freedom and Voyager Class Royal Caribbean ships, where a cover charge includes all the food on the menu.  

The new price for lunch or dinner at Sabor is $19 per guest. Todd noted the staff incidcated the price is the same all day, regardless of when you go, and supposedly will be like that for the foreseeable future. They no longer have an a la carte option.

Until now, Sabor on Oasis Class ships have always been priced on an a la carte basis. 

Checking Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner, we can see the $19 price listed for an upcoming Harmony of the Seas sailing in July.

Top 5 favorites at Sabor Modern Mexican

In:
05May2017

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, we decided to countdown our favorites at Royal Caribbean's Sabor restaurant. Whether you prefer Sabor Modern Mexican or Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar, either choice is the perfect way to celebrate.

1. Chicken-Stuffed Jalapeños

Appetizers are the first part of any meal, and the Chicken-Stuffed Jalapeños are a crowd-pleasing favorite at Sabor.

If you are looking for something with plenty of flavor and a good kick, then the Chicken-Stuffed Jalapeños are the perfect choice. Chicken, wrapped in bacon, glazed with a sweet chiptle tomatillo salsa makes for one amazing appertizer. Plus, they are great for sharing.

2. Tacos

When you think of Mexican food, inevitably tacos come to mind.  Sabor's tacos are more than what you might find at a typical fast-food chain that incorporates a large carillon in its logo.

The tacos at Sabor come in a variety of options: barbacoa, pollo, pork and tuna.  Personally, I cannot get enough of the tuna tacos, but whichever variety you choose, Sabor's tacos blend fresh ingredients in a crispy tortilla shell.

3. Banana and Chocolate Chimichanga

The desserts at Sabor tend to be underrated in terms of what most guests talk about, but the dessert tray is something you not to be missed.

Specifically, the Banana and Chocolate Chimichanga is, well, incredible.  Melted chocolate with warm bananas, fried makes for one tasty dessert. It is the kind of dessert you eat a few of, right after declaring there is no possible way that you can eat anymore.

4. Avocado margarita

The hand-crafted margaritas at Sabor are a staple of any meal.  In fact, some guests go just for the margaritas.  Of all the choices, we pick the avocado margarita as our favorite.

What makes the avocado margarita so good? It is a smooth and tarty blend that is as refreshing as it is flavorful. The avocado margarita is the perfect accompaniment to anything on the Sabor menu.

5. Guacamole

When considering the full scope of the Sabor menu, it is hard to overlook the highlight of the entire meal and one dish nearly everyone cannot get enough of: the guacamole.

The handmade guacamole put Sabor on the map when the first Sabor restaurant debuted on Navigator of the Seas in 2014. Since then, legions of Sabor fans have made reservations at Sabor specifically to enjoy this heavenly dish.

What is your top five favorites at Sabor? Share your countdown in the comments below!

Sabor menu on Oasis of the Seas

Last updated on April 28, 2017.

Menus provided by RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com are unofficial and subject to change.

Small Plates $5

Sopa de Tortilla

Chicken, crispy flour tortilla, black beans, tomatoes

Gazpacho Mexicano

Chilled gazpacho, red onion, jalapeño, avocados, tomatoes

Oaxacan Ceviche of Red Snapper

Red snapper, spicy citrus marinade, mango, chiles

Chili Calamari

Fried calamari, jalapeño mayo, sweet tomatillo salsa

Fri, 04/28/2017 (All day)

Video: Royal Caribbean Serves Up Mexican Favorites at Sabor on Harmony of the Seas

In:
30Aug2016

Sabor's classic Mexican dishes are crafted with modern twists onboard Harmony of the Seas. The taqueria and tequila bar offers guests the vibrant flavors of Mexico, including tasty guacamole freshly made tableside, signature margaritas and other traditional cuisine in a festive atmosphere.

Sabor menu on Harmony of the Seas

Last updated on July 1, 2017.

Menus provided by RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com are unofficial and subject to change.

Featured Margaritas

Sweet and Spicy $13

Don Julio Reposado tequila, juices from fresh pineapple, carrot, lime and red chili pepper garnished with chile-cinnamon salt.

Avocado  $13

Patron Silver tequila, orange liqueur, avocado and lime juice rimmed with Aleppo pepper and lime salt.

Jalapeño-Cucumber $13

Don Julio Plata tequila, Cointreau liqueur, cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice

Sat, 07/01/2017 (All day)

Sabor on Royal Caribbean cruise ships

In:
02Jun2016

One of Royal Caribbean's newest and most popular specialty restaurants is Sabor, which serves up a modern take on what Mexican cuisine can be.

While you will find favorites like tacos, quesadillas and margaritas there, Royal Caribbean also offers contemporary dishes, including ceviche, flautas, seafood and more.

There are two kinds of Sabor experiences on Royal Caribbean ships.

Sabor Modern Mexican was the original implementation, and is found on select Voyager- and Freedom-class cruise ships on Deck 4, near the Schooner Bar.

Guests dining at Sabor Modern Mexican will pay a cover charge and have access to all the food on the menu (drinks are excluded).

In addition, there are hand-crafted margaritas at Sabor Modern Mexican.

Sabor Tacqueria & Tequila Bar is a newer form of Sabor, that is found on Oasis-class cruise ships and located in the Boardwalk neighborhood.

At Sabor Tacqueria & Tequila Bar, there is a cover charge just like at the other ships.  A meal at Sabor will cost $19 per person and that includes all the food on the menu (excluding drinks).

Sabor for lunch

Sabor is open for both lunch and dinner on most days.

Sabor will be open for dinner on all evenings, and is usually open for lunch on sea days.

Additionally, Sabor is sometimes open for lunch on embarkation day.  It will depend on the ship and sailing, but usually the Oasis-class ships that have Sabor are open for lunch on embarkation day.

Reservations are not necessary for lunch.

Sabor tips

  • The freshly made guacamole is arguably the best thing on the menu. Do not miss out on having it made for you.
  • Chips and salsa are complimentary at all Sabor locations.
  • On Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, there is a bar outside Sabor, where you can order drinks and some food without going formally into the restaurant.
  • Do not miss out on the dessert tray.  The banana chocolate empanadas especially are divine.

Review: Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar on Allure of the Seas

In:
17Mar2016

One of my favorite Royal Caribbean specialty restaurants has been Sabor Modern Mexican, which is available on Navigator of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas.  So when I cruised on Allure of the Seas, this was my opportunity to see this slight variation on the original Sabor concept with Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar.

Unlike the original Sabor restaurants, Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar is an a la carte experience, where you pay for only what you order.  In addition, there are some menu variations compared to the original.

Being a fan of Sabor on other ships, it was not much of a stretch for me to visit Sabor on Allure of the Seas and see if this variation is as good as I remember on other ships.

Atmosphere

Sabor is located in the Boardwalk neighborhood, having replaced Rita's Cantina in a recent refurbishment.  It is across the Boardwalk from Johnny Rockets.

Sabor is an open air restaurant, with covered and uncovered dining areas and there is plenty of space too.  For a specialty restaurant, Sabor offers a lot of dining capacity.

Sabor is also one of the more colorful restaurants, with a color motif that differs greatly from Sabor Modern Mexican.  On Allure of the Seas, there is lots of light blues, pinks and some oranges.  Sabor Taqueria feels more like the kind of restaurant you would find near a beach than Sabor Modern Mexican.

Guests can sit at the bar, tables or booths.  We visited Sabor about 4 times throughout our cruise (for "research" purposes), and finding an available table was never a problem.

The colors of Sabor are quite striking and it is a rather eye pleasing restaurant to eat at.  

Eats

What has historically attracted me to Sabor on any Royal Caribbean ships has been the really tasty food, so I had high expectations for what is served up here.

The Sabor Taqueria menu is similar to Sabor Modern Mexican's menu, but not identical.  If you have dined at Sabor Modern Mexican, you will find some favorites, but it is not exactly the same.

All Sabor menus incorporate traditional Mexican dishes along with more contemporary options.  Sabor's food is less about Tex-Mex, and more about serving up authentic Mexican dishes.

As you area seated, guests are served complimentary chips and salsa.  The salsa is freshly made (nothing out of a jar) and served with tortilla chips that also do not taste like they came out of a bag.  The fact this traditional Mexican starting dish tastes fresh is always a good sign.

Sabor has built its reputation on its tableside guacamole, which I always order and recommend.

After ordering the guacamole, your waiter will return with a cart filled with guacamole ingredients and will create this delicious dish in front of you and to your specifications (spicy or not spicy, extra lime, etc).

My personal recommendation is to ask for extra lime.  

Sabor also serves up a menu of featured margaritas.  Unlike the margaritas at Sabor Modern Mexican, these are not created tableside.  

While I miss the show aspect of having the drinks made in front of me, nonetheless, they tasted really good and I would definitely rate the avocado and jalapeño-cucumber margaritas as great choices.

Speaking of drinks, if you enjoy a good tequila, be sure to consider the tequila flights offered.  

The horizontal tequila flight is always pleasing and I can tell you from experience that it certainly satisfies.

In terms of the appetizers and entrees on the menu, there is a lot to choose from.

The Oaxacan ceviche of red snapper was pretty good and the tortilla soup was also quite good.

If you like gazpacho (cold tomato soup), Sabor's gazpacho is also quite good.

For entrees, you will choose between tacos, quesadillas and the main courses.

The tacos and quesadillas are easily shareable and priced quite reasonably ($5 for a plate).  

My absolute favorite dish at Sabor is the Tuna Crudo tacos.  It is some of the tastiest ahi tacos you will ever eat.

For picky eaters or those that enjoy a good "safe food", you cannot go wrong with the tres quesos quesadilla. It always hits the spot.

For the main dishes, we tried the mole short rib and pan-seared red snapper.

The short rib was something new that I wanted to try and it was a very tender cut of beef in a mole sauce.  For beef lovers, this is your dish.

The red snapper was also great as a main course and I enjoyed this more than the red snapper ceviche appetizer.  I especially like the mango-papaya salsa it is served with, as it really adds to the dish's flavor.

Without a doubt, the overlooked options on Sabor's menu are the sides and desserts.  

It may be difficult to leave room for them, but they are really quite good choices.  

The yucca fries and banana and chocolate chimichanga are the standouts.

Overall

Sabor Taqueria lived up to my expectations from dining at Sabor Modern Mexican, but there were a few subtle differences between the two that I picked up on that I think leaves me preferring Sabor Modern Mexican just a bit.

The best thing about Sabor Taqueria is the fact it is priced a la carte, which means it is much easier to stop in for guacamole, a margarita and maybe an entree without committing to the full cover charge price found at Sabor Modern Mexican.

I mentioned earlier that I ate at Sabor on four separate occasions while on Allure of the Seas and I can guarantee you that would not have been the case if it had a cover charge.  Being able to drop in and have a drink with chips or just order tacos is a terrific perk.

The reason I give the edge to Sabor Modern Mexican are some of the minor differences between the two experiences.  I like having the tableside margarita option and the food menu at Sabor Modern Mexican is larger. Plus, I think I like the atmosphere of the enclosed restaurant a bit more than the open air option.

Nonetheless, anyone going on Allure of the Seas should strongly consider Sabor Taqueria because it is priced reasonably and if all you do is order the guacamole, a few drinks and tacos, you would still be quite happy with the experience.

For anyone with an unlimited alcohol package, Sabor is a great choice because of how many drink options there are and many are covered by the drink packages.  You can really get value from your drink package by using it at Sabor.

The bottom line is dine at Sabor Taqueria for great tasting Mexican food and drinks, especially if you are looking for somewhere quick and easy to get in and out.

Sabor menu on Allure of the Seas

Last updated on February 21, 2016

Menus provided by RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com are unofficial and subject to change.

Featured Margaritas

Sweet and Spice Margarita $13

Don Julio Reposado tequila, juices from fresh pineapple, carrot, lime and red chili pepper garnished with chile-cinnamon salt.

Avocado Margarita $13

Patron Silver tequila, orange liqueur, avocado and lime juice rimmed with Aleppo pepper and lime salt.

Sun, 02/21/2016 (All day)

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