Señor Tango

Vieytes 1655 , Barracas, Buenos Aires 1275 , AR • (54-11) 4303-0231 •

While this place is the living definition of a tourist trap, I can’t help but recommend it, solely on the basis that it will likely be one of the most surreal dining experiences of your life.

As you enter, you can’t help but be taken back by the airplane hanger-sized dining room. But what’s more impressive than that is that these walls that stretch to infinity are all coated in framed photographs of Señor Tango himself (yup, he’s a real person) posing with just about every celebrity imaginable. You name ‘em, they’re on there. Stallone, Goldie Hawn, Pacino, President Obama, Bill Gates, Michael Jordan… I could go on and on, just like the wall, but I’ll spare you, because there’s so much more to tell.

So, after your 10-minute walk back to your table, you will find yourself overlooking a rather substantial stage for a restaurant. But, this is more than just a restaurant. This is dinner theater at its finest, and by finest I mean cheesiest.

Now, as I start the four paragraph of this review without so much as a single word about food, I feel compelled to say that it’s just eh. But that’s not why you MUST still go here. That reason is coming in paragraph five.

Some three bites into my Argentine steak a man on a horse comes rushing past me, leaping up onto the stage. In a restaurant! That apparently has no health codes. And not just one horse, but two!!! And that’s not even the weirdest part! On one horse there’s a pilgrim and on the other an American Indian. There is a tense standoff for a minute or two, and then suddenly they break into what can only be described as a “horse tango?”

The Horse Tango is then followed up by an on-foot tango, as dozens of pilgrims and Indians join their respective sides of the scrimmage.

After that, a Gangster Tango wages between a pinstriped Mafioso, complete with Tommy gun and a roaring Twenties flapper.

And then came the piece de resistance, Señor Tango himself and some blond bombshell in a performance that quite literally took the art of tango to new heights. Yes, the stage had one last trick up its sleeve, a cylindrical platform that lifted the two of them high into the air, as they tangoed precariously on the narrow tip of this 15-foot tower.

Following his assertion of tango dominance, Señor Tango doesn’t stop there either. Oh no. He is a man of many talents and he is fully prepared to share ALL of those talents with you. So for his next act, vocals. Yes, Mister Tango will turn to you, the audience, and ask where you are from. Regardless of your answer, he will immediately break into the corresponding tune of that locale, swooning the likes of “New York, New York,” “Chicago,” “I left my heart in San Francisco,” “The last time I saw Paris” and “Back in the USSR”… It doesn’t matter. And you won’t be the only one. This goes on for at least half a dozen people. Fully distracting you from the meal and service, of which I only marginally recall.

I mean this guy is playing chess while you’re busy eating checkers. But please don’t let this discourage you from going, because once you appreciate him for who he really is, the Madonna of restaurateurs, then, and only then, have you TRULY been to Buenos Aires.