Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tapas Toss Up

When these taste buds transplanted to Boston 6 months ago two things were apparent:

1. Private parking spaces, though expensive, are worth it.
2. Lots of people in Boston like Tapas.

What was not apparent though was where exactly the best tapas are made, and when sangria and lots of tiny plates of Spanish yummies are involved, this Bostonist feels it's her duty to set the record straight. Here is a side by side comparison of two local tapas restaurants: Tapeo in Boston and Tasca in Brighton.

Right out of the gate let's talk sangria. Hands down the better pitcher comes from Tasca in Brighton. It's cheaper, stronger and easier to drink. A full pitcher will set you back only $18 while at Tapeo you will pay $24 for a weaker (smaller) pitcher.

Tasca features 32 small plates while Tapeo has 38.

Tasca's best dish: Gambas al ajillo-Sizzling shrimp in garlic. A skillet filled to the brim with hot shrimp and slivered roasted garlic. For $6.95 you can easily share this dish but you might not want to.

Tapeo's best dish: Gambas con Gabardina-Saffrom battered shrimp in a spicy green Mojo sauce. The sauce alone is amazing (and is quite tasty with extra bread) but paired with the crispy shrimp this dish was the star of the night. $9.50 will score you 4 shrimp and a happy mouth.

Tasca's Ambiance: It's dark and crowded but comfortable and romantic. The staff is friendly, but did not seem happy to be there. In turn, they didn't seem as willing to give us their suggestions. (Something that is almost needed at a tapas restaurant!)

Tapeo's Ambiance: Located on Newbury Street, the obvious choice for seating is the outdoor patio. But if you are not lucky enough, the inside is spacious and bright decorated with warm colors and tin walls. The staff is energetic and upbeat and VERY willing to share their favorites.

What Tasca could do better: Their timing with their small plates is off. Several dishes arrived right away while others went missing until we asked about them.

What Tapeo could do better: Though the servers are energetic, they seemed to disappear after they dropped off the food. Also, their sangria needs a kick in the pitcher.

So what's the verdict? Who makes the best tapas?

My taste buds are happy to report that Tapeo on Newbury Street is the clear winner. Though they are pricier and their sangria is lacking, they have better service, a greater selection and tastier food. Save Tasca for a first date and go to Tapeo to propose.

2 comments:

Mo said...

That's such a great review!
I want to try both places with you!

The Boston daily newspaper needs to snag you up as a food/restaurant reviewer!

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