In typical fashion, last night found us without a plan but hungry, picky, and restless after 8pm. Rejecting the usual suspects here in Cambridge, we drove out west on Mass Ave either shooting down options as "too formal," " too familiar," or "too fast"- as in: we shot by too fast in dah cah to consider them seriously.
Maybe like Goldilocks, we had to keep searching to find the porridge that was just right. I'm glad we did.
My beloved was interested in Za, but we didn't see parking. I was worried that soon we would be seeing signs for California, or Ohio at least, but then we spotted Tango. Easy parking across the street (and around the corner) lead us to the door. At 8:30 on Saturday night, it looked like every table was full; there were people waiting on the benches outside. Instead of a wait, though, we were offered the sole table right by the door, a highchair brought for tucking into one corner, and a plate of mashed squash and sweet potatoes whisked out for the chow puppette, who was already an hour past her bedtime.
Okay, so she didn't groove on the orange mash, but one of our party ate it all up-stopping just short of licking the plate.
We ordered an appetizer of grilled provolone to share (c. $8), and two empanadas (ground chicken and ham and cheese. c. 2 for $5) for the puppette. Plain but crusty rolls were brought, cheese glooped, Toddler declared her bite "Peeekza!" and commandeered the Provoleta a la Parilla. Mommy ate an empanada. The jamon y queso was okay: good crust, but an oilier taste than I would have prefered. I am unaccustomed to fried foods, though, and might be oversensitive.
For entrees, we had the filet with Roquefort ($25) and the sirloin steak ($19). Both were served medium rare, as ordered, and were very well seasoned. Sides repeated the mashed blend for someone who shall remain nameless, as well as mixed vegetables (cauliflower, green beans, and I couldn't get a good look), seasoned rice with peas, and fried potato slices. Puppette cracked into her chicken empanada, which we tasted in the name of quality assurance and found to be much more to our taste than its sibling. No oily taste, moist filling, nice balance of seasoning. My husband said though that he prefers to eat that kind of meat cold. Weirdo.
Our last foray at this price point (and the same amount of preplanning) took us to Full Moon. One piece of our conversation there I remember; it had to do with "exactly how bad would food actually have to be for us to be unhappy..." We were content that night with choices which mirrored pretty well our choices at Tango, the difference is that there was no talk last night of "bad" food. We had a great evening because they made us feel welcome with our toddler without crayons and toys (not that we are anti-crayon), but with a respect for her real needs, great food and terrific service.