Tango Baires Cafe, 870 E. Foothill (at Campus), Upland
The only full-service Argentinian restaurant in the Inland Valley (a takeout place, Empanadas to Go, is in Chino), Tango Baires has been in business since about 2000 in a small shopping center on Foothill Boulevard in Upland. It’s next door to a Baskin Robbins and a couple of doors from Brandon’s.
I ate there once or twice not long after it opened and had vaguely desired to return. A chance came recently with two friends, one a first-timer and the other a frequent customer who discovered the place last year.
Tango Baires is small, with only a half-dozen small tables, but is colorfully decorated and cozy. Although it’s a cafe, they take your order at your table. Our server was relaxed and cheerful.
The menu has salads, hot and cold sandwiches, barbecue, steaks, pastas, pizzas and desserts. Argentina has a large Italian population and the country has put its own spin on traditional Italian dishes. The menu is online with helpful descriptions.
The restaurant is also open for breakfast, with a few items, but they don’t open until 10 a.m. on weekends and 10:30 on weekdays, so the cafe may be on a different schedule than you.
I had the milanesa cordobesa sandwich ($8), a breaded steak with ham and a fried egg on top, and lightly toasted. Tasty, and also enormous; half would have been a decent meal.
The first-timer got the pesto Tango Baires pasta ($11.90) with chicken ($2.50) and liked it, although he preferred the bit of the sandwich I shared. “I’d come back,” he said.
The regular, who is vegetarian, got the fugazzetta pizza ($7 for a half), which is mozzarella, black olives, onions and oregano on an airy, pastry-like crust. The half was five slices.
“This tastes just like the food I had in Buenos Aires,” she said with a contented sigh about her recent vacation. I wouldn’t know. For me, it was just a pleasant meal in Upland.