Hartwellians have enjoyed the coming of several new restaurants over the past few years. The newest, Latin Flavors Steakhouse, stands apart, offering fine dining with distinctive Latin flavors.
Latin Flavors Steakhouse came to be out of a unique set of circumstances surrounding the total restoration of an historic bank building in downtown Winder. Construction company owner and entrepreneur Daniel Diaz, a native of Panama living in town, was asked by the city to totally restore the old Maddox Building, built in 1902 and home of Peoples Bank, and turn it into a multi-use commercial building.
It was out of that enterprise that Latin Flavors Steakhouse was born in Winder, utilizing the expertise of Chef Daniel Barrios, a Mexican chef with 20 years of experience. Today Diaz’ enterprises occupy the complete building with the steakhouse on the main floor, the bar in the basement and offices above.
The Diaz family owns a lake home in Hartwell and decided a “sister” Latin Flavors Steakhouse in their vacation town would be a good idea. Diaz bought Chicago Steakhouse and brought Chef Adelfo Luna from Winder to Hartwell to open the steakhouse with its main dining room and lounge in mid-2022.
Luna grew up on a farm in rural Mexico where he thrived working with cattle and crops. He came to Atlanta in 2002 and got a job working in an Italian restaurant, where the chef saw potential in Adelfo and trained him to become a chef himself. Luna then went to work for Barrios at the original Latin Flavors Steakhouse location to train in Latin cuisine.
When asked what distinguishes the meals in his steakhouse from traditional American steakhouses, Luna said that Latin American herbs and spices give each of his dishes a unique flavor. Classic chimichurri, a spicy and tangy Argentinian sauce, is used for marinating or spreading on the top of meat while it is grilling. Achiote, a paste made with dried Mexican red peppers that are rehydrated while cooking, is used as a marinade, giving fish an earthy, slightly nutty taste. Basic Mexican Sazon seasoning, made with herbs, spices and salt, adds flavor without heat to steaks and fish.
But if you are looking for lighter fare, check out the popular appetizer of a pan-seared crabcake topped with tropical fruit salsa. Chilled jumbo shrimp with a choice of cocktail or remoulade sauce and oysters on the half-shell are also frequently enjoyed by guests. And there is a separate Tapas menu with appetizers, salads and mains for those who want to sample the menu. Check out the summer truffle salad!
For weekend brunch, shrimp and grits, steak and eggs Benedict, French toast and breakfast burritos are tasty choices. Other options include the seafood omelet and the chicken and waffles.
Popular lunch favorites include seafood pasta, a combination of lobster, Alaskan fish and pasta tossed in Alfredo sauce, as well as the chicken sandwich and classic burger. You’ll also find a variety of tasty tacos.
Steaks and chops are the most requested dinner entrees. Only Black Angus US choice steaks are served. The house specialty filet, New York strip and a 24 oz. bone-in ribeye are the most frequently ordered steaks. Additionally, both pork and veal chops along with rock shrimp, pan-seared salmon and sweet soy-glazed chicken breasts are available.
Vegetable sides include fried plantains, asparagus, steamed broccoli, garlic spinach and wild mushrooms. Lobster mac and cheese and seasonal risotto are always guest favorites and of course, you’ll also find American staples like baked potatoes, mashed potatoes and garlic steak fries.
Save room for a sweet treat as there are desserts to die for after a delicious meal. Crème brulée and volcano lava cake is a much-enjoyed choice along with the Latin favorites such as apple empanada and dolce de leche flan are enticing as well.
Some evenings, specialty drinks are highlighted at the fully stocked bar in the lounge. A large selection of wine is also available.
Live entertainment is featured on Friday and Saturday nights several times a month on the stage in the cozy lounge, which is perfect for friends to gather and enjoy an evening out.
Lunch is served Tuesdays through Fridays, brunch on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner Tuesday night through Saturday night. Lunch and brunch are served in the lounge while dinners are served in the beautifully decorated intimate dining room.
Latin Flavors Steakhouse is in an historic building which once housed an umbrella factory on Carolina St. adjacent to Depot Street. Come join the many folks who enjoy dining regularly at Latin Flavors—you won’t be disappointed.