A few years ago, during a Made in Utah festival hosted by Utah Stories, I met the three brothers behind a unique culinary concept called Sobe Eats. The brothers are Salvador Soberanis, Fernando Soberanis, and Victor Soberanis – hence “Sobe.” Maybe they thought Soberanis Eats was a little too clunky sounding. The Soberanis’ are all professional chefs who have worked at high profile establishments like The Grand America, the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown, Snowbird Resort, and the Margaritaville Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, to name a few.
Until recently, Sobe Eats was a catering business and a food truck. But now, they also have a brick-and-mortar drive-thru location in Sandy on 9000 South, just east of the interstate. It’s a convenient way – you can even order in advance for pickup – to enjoy the fabulous fare of Sobe Eats in the comfort of your own home or vehicle.
When Sobe Eats first got off the ground, they specialized in making gourmet tostadas, which were originally created to avoid wasting excess tortillas. “That simple idea was our history and our future. We’re adamant in the use of eco-friendly products and the need to avoid being wasteful,” said Sal Soberanis. He added, “We are a sustainable company and 95 percent of our products are sourced locally. We believe in supporting local farms and small businesses.” The Soberanis brothers’ operation is “innovative, environmentally responsible, healthy, unique, and trendy.”
I recently stopped by Sobe Eats in Sandy to pick up dinner to bring home, which included tostadas. In particular, we enjoyed a delicious chicken tinga tostada. Chicken tinga is a Mexican dish made with cooked, shredded chicken braised with chipotle chiles, onions and tomatoes. The Sobe Eats version is nicely spicy and the tostada is layered with refried beans, papas bravas (potato), guacamole, arbol chiles salsa, crema, cotija cheese, cilantro, Gloria sauce, and garnished with thinly sliced radish and black sesame seeds. This is one loaded tostada and also is available with short-rib birria, shrimp, or veg-guac as main topping options.
Part of the appeal of Sobe Eats foods is that they are made from scratch with the highest quality ingredients. For example, the Soberanis’ get their fresh corn tortillas from Rancho Market and their flour tortillas they buy raw from La Flor de Salt Lake and then grill them to order. All of the sauces and such are homemade.
Sobe Eats uses fresh blue corn tortillas for their street-style tacos with a choice of birria, spicy shrimp, veg-guac, or chicken tinga as the main ingredients. We really liked the spicy shrimp tacos with shredded cabbage, crema, pickled red onion, guacamole, fresh cilantro and radish slices. The tacos – like most of the Sobe Eats menu items – come with tortilla chips on the side.
I tend to think of rice bowls in association with Asian cuisines, but Sobe Eats puts a unique Latin spin on their rice bowls. Guests have a choice of birria, chicken tinga, spicy shrimp, veggie, or tuna poke. The tuna poke bowl that we enjoyed immensely was steamed white rice topped with sushi-grade spicy tuna poke and corn slaw, pickled red onion, guacamole, spicy eel sauce, ponzu, watermelon radish and togarashi-tajin. The containers don’t look that large but they are deceptive, a single order of poke was more than enough for my wife and I to share.
My favorite rice bowl, however, was the birria bowl. Although we typically associate birria with goat meat, it can be made from any meat. For the Sobe Eats birria rice bowl they slow-cook beef short ribs for seven hours, until it’s oh so tender and tasty. The delicious shredded boneless short rib comes with cotija, guacamole, heirloom beans, pickled red onion, crema, salsa macha, regular and watermelon radish slices and cilantro.
Along with rice bowls, tacos, tostadas, burritos, street corn and such you should also try one of Sobe Eats’ mocktails – a play on the “dirty drinks” that are so popular here. They are so good! We loved the very realistic tasting, non-alcoholic “mojito” made with Fresca, mint, fresh limes and sugar cane. But even better was the scrumptious “Sangria,” which is Sprite with pomegranate syrup, and fresh fruits like blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, lime, and fresh mint. Sobe Eats also offers artisanal aguas frescas: hibiscus ginger, horchata, and matcha horchata (a horchata infused with matcha tea).
One of the more interesting Sobe Eats menu items is the banh mi torta. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a sandwich that marries the Mexican torta with Vietnamese banh mi. Customers can select the main stuffing, which by now might sound familiar: short rib birria, tinga, shrimp or veg-guac. We tried the birria version, which was outstanding. It’s a soft, airy roll (not as dense as a standard banh mi baguette) with refried beans, cilantro, lemon aioli, crushed tomato salsa, guacamole, pickled onions and radish. Try the Sobe Eats banh mi torta and you might never go back to eating a traditional banh mi sandwich, it’s that good.
Of course, with Mexican-inspired gourmet cuisine like that at Sobe Eats, you’ve gotta have burritos on the menu. The large, overstuffed burritos come with the usual choice of tinga, birria, veg-guac or shrimp as the main stuffing, along with papas bravas, refried heirloom beans, pickled onions, guacamole, radish, Gloria sauce, cilantro and salsa. The fresh, grilled tortilla wrapping really separates this burrito from less worthy challenger wannabes.
Simply put, there is a lot to love about Sobe Eats – it’s a family-owned and operated business producing artisan gourmet versions of everyday Mexican-inspired street food using fresh, local, high quality ingredients. I didn’t see a single can of anything when I peered into the kitchen. It’s delicious, from-scratch fare that you can enjoy without even getting out of the car.
Photos by Ted Scheffler & Courtesy of Sobe Eats
Culinary quote of the week:
“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring the soul to the recipe.” — Thomas Keller
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THIS CONTENT IS FROM UTAH BITES NEWSLETTER.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.