I was traveling for work last week and found myself in Florida in February – there are worse places to go at that time of year! My colleagues and I were staying at The Grande Vista Marriott, the world’s largest Marriott property. At least that’s what the bell man told me as he drove me from the lobby to my hotel room!
After our fist full day at the ICE Convention in the Orange County Convention Center, nine of us went for a late dinner at Cafe Tu Tu Tango. One of my colleagues, Lianne, had been there before and really enjoyed the tapas menu, the energetic vibe, and the local artistry on display in the cafe.
The wall behind our table…Campbell’s soup artwork.
Even the the silverware was a little work of art…
Now, the reason for the name of this post is that my mom thought I said we went to a topless place for dinner when I told her it was tapas. Ahhh, Pamcakes…
Back to the evening… In addition to a bevy of cocktail, beer and wine options, we enjoyed a slew of small plates. Each of us ordered a couple of plates to share with the table. Here’s the list of delicious orders…
Guacamame (Edamame, chickpeas, avocado, salsa roja, chips) and Tuna Sashimi (Yuzu vinaigrette, cucumber salad, avocado, sesame seeds, jalapeño, micro cilantro):
Guacamame and Sashimi Tuna
Spiced Alligator Bites (Local florida wild gator, key lime mustard):
Goat Cheese Timbale (Whipped goat cheese, arugula, nuts, parmesan baguettes, balsamic glaze):
Dynamite Shrimp (Crispy shrimp, sweet chili aioli):
Hazelnut Lemongrass Mahi Mahi: (I failed to take a photo of this beautifully plated dish!)
Blackened Fish Tacos (Citrus and cilantro marinated white fish, avocado coleslaw, fresno peppers, microgreens)
Picadillo Empanadas (Chipotle spiced ground beef, manchego, cilantro sour cream):
Southwest Chicken Flatbread (Chipotle spiced ground beef, manchego, cilantro sour cream):
Cajun Chicken Egg Rolls (Blackened chicken, roasted corn, red onions, cheddar, goat cheese, creole mustard sauce):
Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza (Ricotta, eggplant, tomatoes and basil):
Pork Belly Reuben (Roasted pork belly, house-made sauerkraut, thousand island, pretzel bun ):
Argentinian Chimichurri Steak (Tostones, marinated steak, garlic mojo):
Jalapeno Mac & Cheese (Oven-charred tomatoes, crispy pancetta, caramelized onions, jalapeño-horseradish mornay sauce):
And…saving my favorite for last… the Short Rib Wraps (Kimchi, scallions, cilantro, bibb lettuce wrap):
Such a light dish, but rich with flavor. Tender meat, the right amount of heat (I’ve loved Kimchi since I dated man of Korean descent in high school), and perfect flavors surrounding the dish.
While I enjoyed most of the dishes, my three favorite would be: 1) the short rib wraps, 2) goat cheese timbale (I’m a cheese fanatic, so please take that into account), and 3) the Cajun chicken egg rolls.
I was not a huge fan of the pork belly reuben, and I found the spiced alligator bites to be a bit lackluster. The other dishes were great, IMO. I loved the guacamame as an appetizer, and the dynamite shrimp was another worthy plate!
Have you been to Cafe Tu Tu Tango? Do you have a favorite dish? Have you ever purchased artwork there (I had my eye on a Michael Jackson, circa “Beat it” days painting)?
In general, do you have a favorite tapas plate?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments.