Saoco is located in a small strip mall just outside of New Haven at 453 Forrest Road in West Haven. They serve up authentic Colombian food that is prepared from scratch - no jarred salsas or frozen empanadas here.
With vibrant colors and Columbian flare, the decor is inline with the casual Latin American theme. And for a winter day, the restaurant was warm and cozy.
This was not my first trip to Saoco and my favorite items on the menu are the Empanadas and the Carne Asada a la Parrilla. They also have a decent selection of bottled beers including a Colombian beer, but I like to go with a Negra Modelo.
Empanadas: These guys go for $1.25 a piece are are good sized. They are stuffed with a savory potato and meat mixture and come piping hot and crispy. They would be awesome alone but they come with a tangy salsa that's got a more vinegary pepper flavor. With some of the salsa over these, the flavor combination is banging. These are something you have to try even if you just stop in for a cold beer and a plate of these awesomely tasty treats. 9.5
Carne Asada a la Parrilla: For $13.95 this steak comes with the obligatory plate of rice and beans, a side salad, fresh salsa and a sweet plantain. The salad is served with their unique raspberry dressing which is excellent. The grilled steak is a very thin cut and only comes done one way - medium well which is fine by me. It is tender and since it's a thin cut, it packs a lot of that grilled flavor. Combined with some fresh salsa it is out of this world. The plantain is sweet and perfectly cooked so it's just caramelized on the outside. Everything about this dish is awesome and the flavor really takes you somewhere else. 10
The food is here not only excellent but also fun, the place is clean, service is fast, friendly and attentive, and prices are very good. Saoco is one of those hidden gems where for a couple of bucks you can have food that's more than just a meal but an experience.
Overall Experience: 9