Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tu Tu Tango

Cafe Tu Tu Tango (8625 International Dr, Orlando, FL) is designed to feel like a Spanish artist's loft, it evokes a time when artists found inspiration and community in sharing food, drink and philosophy with one another. The bohemian lifestyle fashioned life as a grand celebration, a feast of the senses to be shared and treasured. Together, artists found kinship over meals shared on appetizer-sized plates, over drink, music, and conversation.

One of the things that truly makes Cafe Tu Tu Tango unique is the menu. Not only do they serve up creative fare that captures exotic flavors from around the world, but they do so in small, appetizer-sized portions that were meant to be shared. Choose an array of dishes for your table, and let the party enjoy them communally. Experience a spectrum of the world's most tantalizing tastes together. Savor both the food and the company. This is what life is all about.

I went to the Cafe because Ashlie Lawson, the director of marketing for Loft 55 Gallery and Boutique pointed out that Samuel Rivera, the Gallery owner, arranged for artists to work at the cafe. I had eaten at Tu Tu more than ten years ago and now I was curious. I sat at a table that had a view of an artists work area. About three artists work live as guests eat and chat. Local artist Julio Sanchez Julsan began organizing his paintings in his work space.  I have seen Julio's work before at FAVO. It is bright and colorful folk art with a modern edge. My goal of course was to catch Julio as he painted. I grew impatient as he made phone calls and surfed the web. I finally drew him as he was staring at his cell phone screen. After probably an hour and a half he finally did put a brush stroke to canvas. I erased the cell phone and put a brush in his hand.

On the table a Windsor Newton jar held all the utensils. Paintings were hung everywhere but most were truly awful. An odd green elephant stood next to a primitive butterfly. A ghastly painting of a clown face brought me back to my childhood in which my parents had two paint by number clown faces hanging in the basement. I suppose one of my older brothers or sisters must have filled in the numbers. But they were a classic example of middle class bad taste. The food however, came out almost immediately and everything was delicious. A belly dancer worked her moves several times that night but my center of interest was Julio so I never caught her. As a local, I lost sight of this place but it is a great place to hang out with friends. Mark Your Calendar! Every Friday Tu Tu Tango has a "appy hour", that is appy as in appetizers, with two for one drinks and $3 appetizers!

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

No comments: