Real deal Paella.
“The paella is one of my favorite dishes.”
Steak Frites topped with fresh chimichurri.
“Kind of brings you back to something you’d find in Argentina or Chile or Peru.”
“We’ve actually had people from Argentina come in here and tell us that they’re just like home.”
Put away your passport, and take out a fork, because your palate is about to go global at Drifter’s Tale.
Located in Inman Square, Cambridge, Drifter’s Tale is a cool new spot from globetrotting owner Jairo Dominguez, who brought us favorites like Publico, Bar Mercato and Casa Cana. In this new venture, he has created a food-focused gastropub influenced by his travels whenever he would ‘drift’ around the world.
“We wanted to do a little bit more global, so South American and European; wherever we would drift to and to us, the one that encompasses the most is Anthony Bourdain. Through him, you got to explore and get a feel for you know, different cultures and food. The thing with here was to have people come here and try and get out and hopefully we achieve the same feeling that you were there in that country or at least through through the flavors.”
To execute it all, he enlisted Executive Chef Scott McCarthy, a man who prides himself on doing from scratch, by hand, from rolling out empanadas, to making his own sausage in house.
“We actually come in here every day and put in the effort to make things to our standard that’s special. A lot of people take pride in what they do, and we just want to be a part of that.
It’s all done in an open kitchen- something Chef wouldn’t trade for the world.
“To see people actually enjoying what you’re doing the hard work you put in every day and actually see the smiles on their faces that makes it all worthwhile and that’s why we come here and work every day.”
The entire menu at Drifter’s Tale is a tasty tour of the world, with the first stop being in Argentina for those addictive empanadas.
“We start from scratch dough, roll it out, cut little circles. Once that’s done, just like mom would do back home she’d scoop it in the middle, fold them over and we go old school, we take a fork and actually press it down. And after that it gets baked egg washed, and it’s ready to eat.”
From there, you can swing over to Asia for these delicate Veggie Potstickers served with a Szechuan ginger soy sauce, to Italy for beautiful flatbreads topped with farm fresh vegetables, and then over to Mexico for some amped up Nachos.
“It’s hot cheese on top of, you know, fresh lettuce pico de Gallo Oh. And then of course, the al pastor pork. It’s kind of like everything you’d want on a nacho you know, on bite.”
Stateside, you’ll find great chicken wings, seasoned with spices found right next door at Christina’s Spice and Specialty Foods.
“If I ever need something, I can go right next door, and one of the rubs we get for the wings is actually his his blend. It’s a sweet Chipotle BBQ rub. You get the sweet from the brown sugar that’s in the mix the Chipotle. It’s really good.”
There’s a beautiful burger topped with brie and truffle aioli all on a brioche bun. And a Windy City Specialty- the Chicago style hot Dog.
“It goes all over the place. You have the sport peppers, the onion, classic yellow mustard and a little bit of sprinkle of celery salt, which kind of just rounds it out. It’s very unique experience for hot dog.”
Entrees at Drifter’s Tale offer a little something for everyone. But nothing is more impressive than the Seafood Paella for two.
“Our paella for two starts with Spanish chorizo, shallots, garlic short grain arborio rice. And then we have our housemade bouillabaisse. It’s served with scallops, mussels, shrimp, saffron,peas, fresh parsley when it gets brought to the table. People have that look on their face like, oh, yeah, you know, we made the right decision.”
For a different take on your typical chicken dish, there’s the spiced rubbed so called “dirty bird”.
Steak frites topped with fresh chimichurri and housemade sausage so good, it only made sense to call it…….
“It’s my sausage is better than yours. Jairo brought that up to me that he wanted to call the sausage that. I was a little taken back, but I said, hey, we’ll roll with it. We do a bratwurst and the other sausage we make is my play on an Italian sausage. It’s good served with house pickles, bread and butter pickles, red pickled onions. We make a house sauerkraut and a beer mustard. It comes out and it’s kind of like spectacular. People take a lot of pictures of it. “
And at dessert, you can opt for hot and crunchy churros served with chocolate for dipping.
Or the light and lovely creme brulee, torched to perfection so it cracks perfectly every time.
“You have to have the brulee on the top with the sugar properly. It gives you that perfect, like, back of the spoon crack and you know, you got a good creme brûlée.”
And from empanadas to potstickers, flatbreads to brat, if you want a taste of the globe, you’ll have no reservations coming to Drifter’s Tale.
“I think they’re gonna get something that you can find in the city or international trip but we’re trying to bring all those different things together in one place you can come in.. and have a good experience. Laugh with friends have a good beer.”