Today we had a very good tapas lunch at Santino's. We shared empanadas, antipasto, pork tamale, Russian salad, eggplant mamma mia and bruschetta. The ambiance is casual and fun, and the prices are very low.
Things to order: the bruschetta, made with tangy, juicy tomatoes and accented with a perfect amount of garlic and basil (assuming you REALLY like garlic); the eggplant mama mia, which looks (like a lot of eggplant dishes) fairly unappealing, but which is very tasty -- a pickling type sauce with a good spicy bite to it, over what look like sliced chinese eggplants.
Things to consider ordering: The empanadas -- they were decent, although clearly not made to order. The crust also is more in the style of a stromboli than the more flaky crusts that some restaurants do. On the plus side, they bring you that chopped basil, parsley, garlic, olive oil sauce (the name of which clearly escapes me) to go with them, and that's damn tasty. Also consider the pork tamale -- not the very best, but quite tasty.
Things to avoid: The antipasto - lots of cubed cheeses and meats in an oily red sauce. Some very good cuts of meat; some truely bizare mystery meats. the Russian salad which, sadly, tasted just like my Russian grandmother's potato salad. While an otherwise amazing and admirable woman, she really didn't cook, so I would recommend avoiding this salad.
The Sangria also was good (an odd slightly bitter taste to it -- but appealing) and the service (order up front and it's brought to your table) was friendly. We would go again and branch out to try other items on the tapas and panini menu.
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