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Santino's Tapas & Beer

lil mikey | Aug 4, 200502:32 PM

New paint, new lights, same knives. Gone are the deep blue walls to be replaced with subtle brown/yellow/red pastels.

Patagonia Grill is now Santino’s Tapas and Beer.

They had a good many people there for lunch (about 6 tables), and with 5 people working there, the service was…..okay. The waiter didn’t know how to open a bottle of beer. He had to call over another guy to help.

As I was alone, I noticed the lampshades on the wall are in fact dust masks like you get at Home Depot (with the rubber strap for around your head). They are tightly wound around and attached to the light bulbs. A little tacky.

The menu says 60 beers, but there are about 20, and there is no listing. So you kind of take various guesses as to what they might have. Soon, after a few misses, I looked over and spotted the cooler. So I could see what they had and made my choice.

I asked the guy what was good, and he steered me to the assorted combo panini. While I waited, they brought a basket of bread and two sauces, one with oil and herbs, the other a salsa with peppers, tomatoes and onions. Both okay.

The sandwich is grilled, and it was large. I decided to take half home, so I finished the bread basket. The sandwich wasn’t really anything to get excited about. It needed some vinegar dressing or something. It was a little bland.

Dinner is a whole other story. The help is way better, the lights wrapped in dust masks actually look cool when lit-up, and the red light bulbs in the other lights give the place a nice atmosphere.

There weren’t too many people there, though. Maybe it was too early.

Spanish Tortilla – Like a slice of cake. Good potatoes, not too much egg (a real plus in my book), and not heavy like I’ve had in other places.

Baked Empanada – Got the beef at the suggestion of the server. It was similar to the old Patagonia empanada. Ground beef instead of shredded, but seasoned nicely.

Cheese and Olives – Least favorite. It was obviously made a long time earlier, as the coloring of the black olives had seeped under the cheese and discolored it. Not really much going on here.

Antipasto Salad – Pretty good sized salad with lots of large diced ham, turkey, avocado, olives and other stuff. The dressing was tasty, too.

Camarones al Ajillo – Basically shrimp scampi. Large shrimp in a garlic butter sauce. Well prepared, fresh shrimp.

Sangria – Nice and fruity, refreshing.

I’m not sure I would recommend this place for lunch, but for dinner or drinks and other certain occasions, like when you want to sample different beers or have a carafe of sangria, this is a pretty good place.

Santino’s Beer and Tapas
1253 N. Vine Street
(323) 464-8260

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