Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pampas--Palo Alto, CA

With my wife knowing I love meat and buffets, she picked the perfect spot to celebrate Father's Day. I celebrated my 40th birthday at Pampas and it was also one of the first five restaurants I ever reviewed. Yet, it had been nearly six years since I’d eaten there.

Pampas did not disappoint! This restaurant features Brazilian barbecue (except at certain times, such as lunch on weekdays), where you place a button green side facing upwards to indicate you want skewers of meat delivered to your table. Finally, there will come a point where you just can’t take any more, so you flip the button to the red, which means you’re crying “Uncle!” and the bill will arrive at your table. 

Though the skewered meats are what set this restaurant apart from other, their salad bar is almost as important. The vegetables, so delicious, crisp and fresh are beautifully displayed. The granola, slightly sweet, is made in-house. What really grabbed me, though, was the coconut couscous, which served cold with raisins, was almost like a dessert pudding. In fact, I made it my dessert along with the yogurt and berries, which were constantly refreshed.

The list of meats can be seen in the menu below, but what stood out was the filet mignon and the tenderloin. The pork and the chicken were tender, but the beef—so juicy and flavorful—was irresistible. Making a great steak taste even better was the sauce delivered to the table featuring Tamron and chipotle. Sure, it was a little spicy, but it made a terrific combination with the beef and lamb.

The service was exceptional. Virtually everyone stopping by our table, the waiter included, wore a smile and was patient with the kids. 

529 Alma St.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 327-1323