Many of you who know me personally know that I am very much into authenticity in my food. I’m not offended by a lack of authenticity, but I do like to focus on the right way to make things as often times there are reasons. Those reasons are sometimes traditional, often sacred, sometimes it is offensive to the culture of origin to not make something correctly, sometimes superstitious, but sometimes results in the most delicious food.
When it comes to Italian food I’m often stumped. People come to me with great food they think is Italian, but it so rarely is. It’s fun for me to go to Tango’s (701 N Orchard St, Boise, ID, (208)322-3090) and eat the food cooked and designed by the Italian & Argentine owners and think, “Ahh, now that’s Italian!”
When Tango’s first opened they had several Italian empanadas, and mostly traditional Argentine empanadas, but now they also serve subs. Not only are they making their own homemade authentic Argentinian sausages, but they are also making home made, and well made, Italian sausages. These sausages come on the sub sandwich and have fennel in them and just the right combination of spices.
On Fridays you can order their special – which is only served on Fridays. When they make the fresh sausage they reserve the sauce and juices for a dip to go with the sub.
The Maradona sub (above) comes with this Italian sausage, but also this incredible homemade chimichurri sauce.
The Samba sub is a variation that is Cuban including pineapple and ham. The homemade salsa that goes with this has a taste much like a tomatilla salsa, but has specks of a hot red pepper.
All of the empanadas are great with various stuffings, including the salami ones. The dessert empanadas are also incredible, though not authentic to Argentina. If you ask you’ll know that other Latin American countries make dessert empanadas, though. Ask for a sample of their homemade dulce de leche, a creamier version of our American caramel, to get the taste. It’s a deep, rich flavor with a smooth texture that’s guaranteed to please.
Not only do they serve homemade, iced, sweetened mate, but they also sell the traditional gourds and bombillas (the straw), as well as various types of mate (including the orange flavored mate). In Buenos Aires there is much style associated with your mate gourd (my good friend in Buenos Aires sports a hot pink one).
You may be wondering, if you go there, what the deal is with the truck parked next to their store. Well, the answer is a really good one. Tango’s is opening a food cart that will serve Boise State at lunch time (walk up to the residential neighborhoods, Louis says), and the downtown area at night.
Finally, a food cart that will really serve my needs.