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Feast: Tango of Arlington

October 15, 2011

Last night I was really looking forward to another dinner at Acitron, but unfortunately so was the rest of Arlington. It seems the going rate for a table is now 45 minutes on a Saturday night, which means you’ll either need a reservation or you’ll give up and venture across the street, to Tango of Arlington.

The crowd at Tango, which specializes in Argentinian food,  is eclectic: kids in high chairs, older married couples, beer buddies ordering massive piles of meat. The staff is helpful and sweet, if a little absent-minded. I was presented with a dinner plate only to have it whisked away with a gentle scolding – “that’s not yours!” And when I declined a second glass of wine, a bottle was quickly brought to the table and I was poured another helping. Not that I’m complaining.

Our waiter started by serving us with a flourish from the flask of flavored oil on the table. “Have you tried this with your bread?” he said, “it’s not spicy at all, it’s delicious, and it’s healthy!” Yes, it was delicious, but if 1/2 cup of oil and a basket of bread is healthy, I want to move to Argentina. I’m not really sure what was in the oil, I just know that after sitting on a warm plate for a few minutes it began to smell a lot like cannabis. So, if the rest of my review is pretty rosy, chalk it up to that.

The rest of the menu was divided into appetizers (heavy on the empanadas- we tried the beef and the chicken, good with great crust), salads (green salad is served with, as stated on the menu, “exquisite” house dressing), and meat. I ordered the deep-fried chicken topped with eggs, which tasted exactly how it sounds – greasy and rich. But the herbed fried potatoes (slices, not sticks) and mashed squash and sweet potato made me feel a little less indulgent. Dave had Tango’s version of steak au poivre, which was also well executed. The sauce wasn’t as rich as other au poivre’s that I’ve had, but it was still flavorful and not over-peppered. Tango definitely knows how to sear a steak – the meat was cooked perfectly.

I can’t say I’m running back for another meal at Tango, but it was a good second choice last night. It seems like it’s the kind of place that would be better with a group, and at least one person who knows how to order Argentinian food. The next time I go, I’ll order a big plate of different meats and wash it down with whatever appetizers look the weirdest. Voila.

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