For years, we've enjoyed carry out from El Tango Taqueria, a small Tex-Mex eatery located on Madison Avenue in Lakewood. Over the years, I've heard horror stories about the staff — unreliable, surly, contentious, etc. — but our experiences getting takeout have always been positive. We have to wait a few minutes for our order at times, but it's a small kitchen. Exceptions should be made for small independent eateries — and the food is always worth whatever mild inconvenience we've encountered.
On Monday, we decided to venture out for a bite and settled on El Tango. Their Green Chili stew is unique and quite delicious. We arrived around 6:45 PM. Diners are asked to put their order in at the counter and then sit down in the dining room, and the staff brings out your order when it's ready. However, things were really hopping, so we were told to sit. "It's going to be a few minutes; I'll call you when you can place an order."
We found a table and sat and waited. And waited. With no drinks ... no water ... no idea when we might be able to even place an order, let alone eat.
After more than 20 minutes, we got up, put our coats on and headed for the door. "Aren't you going to order?" asked a couple at the next table, who were enjoying plates of food. "We haven't been able to place an order yet," I replied. "But you have to order at the counter," he said. "No," I said. "They told us they'd let us know when we could order." There were two customers ahead of us.
As we headed for the door, we waved to the chef. "We'll try again when you're not so busy." "Sorry'," replied artist, musician and Chef Antonio Carafelli. Then he added, "people are impatient."
"No," I said. "We're just tired and hungry."
We'll undoubtedly be back for carry-out, in due time.
El Tango is located at 14224 Madison Ave. Lakewood, OH. (216) 226-9999