El Sabor

Almost every week I meet up with my best friends for dinner and drinks and recently I’ve been trying to find new places to go to prevent us ending up at the same places every week.  This time I took a look at 5pm.co.uk which is a good website for booking meals with restaurants offering special deals. 5pm have a little symbol that restaurants can choose to show they have gluten free options so this can be quite helpful for Coeliacs trying to find suitable places to eat.

Last week we decided to try El Sabor, a tapas restaurant situated in Merchant Square, a lovely little area full of restaurants and bars. The deal was 3 Tapas and a 125ml glass of wine for £9.95. Firstly I emailed the restaurant to ask about their gluten free options. This is the response I received:

‘Thanks for your enquiry.  We have plenty of gluten free options, infact probably around two thirds of our menu would still be available to you.  When you come please tell one of the staff on arrival of your diet and someone will guide you throught he menu telling you all your options.’

OK, but I would rather have more detailed information before choosing to eat somewhere so I thought I’d call them directly to speak to someone. The woman was very helpful and went through the whole 5pm menu (which is decent but fairly limited in comparison to their normal menu) telling me which things were gluten free and which weren’t. Out of the menu’s 17 options, I was told 15 of them were gluten free.

On arriving at the resturant I thought I’d recheck with our waiter that what I’d been told on the phone was correct. I wasn’t filled with the most confidence however, when he starting going through the menu, telling me different things than the woman on the phone. I expressed my concerns to him and he went to double check his information with the chef. When he returned I was told that he was mistaken on a couple of things and started going through the menu again. I was told at this point that 13 of the 17 menu options were gluten free. Slightly worrying, I thought, but I decided to stay and order….

I chose the marinated anchovies with potato salad, beef strips in cracked pepper sauce and salmon fillet cooked in white wine, cream and chives topped with baby prawns.

I didn’t have any glutenation problems so it seems the waiter was correct. My three choices were pretty tasty and with a glass of wine for £9.95 who could complain. I do however think that I probably chose the best the menu had to offer as a couple of things my friends’ had didn’t look like much. I wasn’t hugely impressed with El Sabor as a whole but my 3 choices were good. I don’t think I’ll be hurrying back here as I’ve had far better tapas in other Glasgow restaurants and even more importantly, resturants that clearly mark on their menu which of their options are gluten free to avoid any confusion.


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