Restaurant of the Week: Tango Baires

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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.

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  • Ted

    What are those drinks, club soda? In the morning 10:00 a.m. thats too early j/k reminded me of the Ontario Cafe. Peace and Love

  • Dee

    Thanks for the info, Dave. My father was from Buenos Aires. He used to spend hours preparing dishes that no one else had ever heard of. Matambre was his specialty, but he also made the tomato salad and the antipasti salad with his own homemade mayonnaise. They were works of art. The one thing I would never go near were the blood sausages. Thanks for the memories, I’ll have to try it when I’m in the area.

    [You're welcome, Dee. -- DA]

  • Doug Evans

    FTR: That’s Inca Kola being served for lunch. And, man, that’s a good-looking sandwich in that photo above. Viva Tango Baires Cafe! Thanks, David!