If you don't leave Pazo a little tipsy, so full you couldn't eat another bite, and smelling of garlic, you aren't doing the tapas thing right. The point is to order everything that sounds good, from veggies and salads to their delish servings of beef and seafood. House-made pasta and perfectly baked artisan breads, cheeses from hard to spreadable, and olives and almonds round out a menu where almost every dish fulfils its promise.
Although the wait for a table can sometimes feel staggering and it is way too easy to run up the tab once the sangria starts flowing and your eyes and nose keep you ordering, two things about this Station North staple consistently please: early spring and late summer dining al fresco is refreshing, and chef Antonio Baines nimble, tasteful menu of big flavors out of disarmingly simple combinations is always a delicious treat.
For better or worse, Tio Pepe has remained unchanged since its opening in 1968. Folks still arrive dressed up, suckling pig and sole with bananas still appear on the menu, and waiters in brightly colored jackets still run the show. Simple is better here, though however you order, a meal is costly. Dusky black bean soup, fish dressed a la meuniere, and classic pine nut roll do not disappoint.