Ooh! Ooh! Empanadas! 

We at BW keep the Hot Dish column around for a simple reason: To keep our famished readership abreast of all the new and diverse ways to chew through their meal budget in this rapidly expanding market. But truth be told, we rarely get surprised by what we're reporting. From a new finey-diney fusion-confusion joint, to a newer coffee shop for shoveling liquid coal into the engine of the proletariat, to the newest sushi bar with the ca-raziest-looking plates in town ... well, let's just say they're all not as novel as they may seem at first.

That's all the more reason to hem and haw when a guest shows up from way off the radar--and especially when they're as cheap as sin and offer takeout. Tango's Subs and Empanadas, an inexpensive and casual Argentinian restaurant, has opened in the old doughnut shop on Orchard Street just south of Emerald--i.e., across the street from where, uh, the Red Eye Hut used to be. If that latter establishment were still open, its customers would surely be wandering into traffic to get a closer look at Tango's 16 different styles of savory and sweet empanadas, priced at $2 each. The Fugazza empanada, packed with onions, olive oil and mozzarella cheese, was the biggest hit around the BW office, but the Del Mar (tuna, tomatoes, bell peppers and onion) and the Beef Gaucho (ground beef, eggs, olives, onions, peppers and spices) were right behind it in the savory category. For dessert, Tango's offers a sacred trinity: dulce de leche, coconut dulce de leche and chocolate dulce de leche.

The owner likens the subs, which start at $4.25, to the style of the torta sandwich sold on the street in Cuba. Even if you, like us, don't know quite what that means, the price is certainly right for learning, as are flavors like pork and pineapple sandwiches and Argentinian-style breaded beef sandwiches. :

701 N. Orchard St., Boise, 322-3090.

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