Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tango Sur

This is by far the longest I've ever waited for dinner, save for one famous Thanksgiving when my aunt scorched the bird and we were all left to a makeshift buffet of side dishes. If the pilgrims had been vegetarians, they would've gleamed with pride at our quick-fix spread. But this was not Thanksgiving and I wasn't plopped on aunt Mimi's sofa in front of the game. Instead it was the end of march and I was standing in the cold with a few friends outside of Tango Sur.

When we arrived to the restaurant around 7:30 p.m., the host told us it would be a two hour wait (they don't take reservations). We were already toting around our wine and beer and didn't know of another BYOB in walking distance, so we settled in at Rye Bar down the street and waited. And waited. And. Waited. Finally, some room cleared in Tango Sur's lounge so we cracked open our drinks and started the wait all over again.

Had we known that two hours really meant three (and change) we might have reconsidered. But there's a reason why we weren't the only one's crammed awkwardly into the minuscule waiting room. These people were here because they happened upon something good and they weren't about to let a little thing like time get in the way.

When we were finally seated around 11 p.m. we wasted no time ordering; the waiter arrived and we were ready. Empanadas all around ($1.75 each) to start, and various plates of meat and potatoes for our entrees. The three empanadas (beef, chicken, ham and cheese) were served around a small tin of chimichurri that amped up the already flavorful pastries. These palm-sized treats were surprisingly filling, probably because they're stuffed to the very folds with nothing but meat.

As the waiter placed our entrees on the table, my first thought was, holy shit-- who's going to eat all that? Fortunately I was in the company of those who thrive on leftovers, so the heaping portions posed no direct threat. Nonetheless, I was surprised to see that the "ideal for two" Vacio plate ($35) could've actually fed the entire room of people still waiting for tables.

Tango Sur
3763 N. Southport Ave.
(773) 477-5466

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