Grilled Portobello Mushroom “Burger”

Grilled Portobello
Mushroom “Burger”

Tango Contemporary Cafe

It is a rare occasion for any of the Metro staff to take a real lunch break, let alone together. Usually, we’re either out on an assignment or in the office filing stories. Lunch for us typically consists of eating at our desks at odd hours while catching up on emails and animal videos.

But the great thing about writing Gastronome is that it sometimes gives us a reason to convene — especially when I am in need of a column because, procrastination.

So last week, social media manager Nicole Kato, staff writer Paige Takeya and I ventured to Tango Contemporary Café. It’s a place I had been to on several occasions, usually for breakfast and a couple of times for dinner. The food always has been good, but not memorable. Really, what I have enjoyed about Tango has more to do with its cozy ambiance.

Traditional Club Sandwich

Traditional Club

After this last visit, my opinion has not changed.

The Grilled Portobello Mushroom “Burger” I ordered, for instance, was nothing particularly special. The inclusion of lettuce, one tomato and sprouts, and grilled onions that I requested, kept it from being completely boring. And yet, if I somehow found myself there again for lunch, I still might consider ordering it again (though there were a few other items that caught my eye, like the Open-Faced Grilled Marinated Vegetable Sandwich).

Paige ordered the Tradition al Club Sandwich and says it tasted like any other club sandwich. Though, that might be because, in my experience at least, a club sandwich does taste the same or similar regardless of where you are.

Which brings me to Nicole. When her food arrived, one of the first things she said was, “I think I’m missing a piece of my sandwich.” Nicole had accidentally ordered an Open-Faced Shrimp Salad Sandwich and was wondering where the other piece of bread was.

Open-Faced Shrimp Salad Sandwich

Shrimp Salad Sandwich

Despite the mishap, she says it was OK. I took a bite of some of the shrimp myself and personally found its slightly mushy texture to be unsettling, though the flavor was bright and clean.

It was a meal that overall had me on the fence. And then, after asking for separate checks and paying for everything, we were informed that the restaurant normally only splits a maximum of two bills. (So why not tell us when we first asked?)

There is one thing I am certain about: Tango’s house-made ketchup almost is enough to make me return just for that. It isn’t just some Heinz replica. This one is darker, almost brownish in color, with hints of smoky paprika or some other such spice.

Or maybe I will attempt to replicate it at home. Stay tuned.