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Restaurant Review: Pampa

Location: 521 10 AVE SW Calgary
Website: http://pampasteakhouse.com/calgary/

This was my first time going to a Brazilian Steakhouse, and I have to say, I will definitely be coming around more often.  While it is amazing it is also very pricy, so I’m really glad that one of our cousins, Tanna, had the sense to purchase a groupon for the event.  While this place does have a salad bar (for all the sides you might want to go with your meat), Tanna has the right idea grabbing just the cheese bread (pão de queijo) and a smallish bowl of soup.  Since it was Sandra, Cynthia, Val, and my first time here, we got a little more from the salad bar than was probably recommended which we would all regret later.

For those who haven’t been to a Brazilian Steakhouse, it’s essentially servers walking around with giant skewers of meat to which you can have as much as you want.  They will stop once they see you flip your card from green (yes, please) to red (no, thank you).

We started off with drinks.  Sandra, Cynthia, and Tanna didn’t order any drinks, Val had the Brazilian Lemonade and I had the Brazilian Shirley Temple.  The Lemonade consisted of lime juice blended with condensed milk, topped with ice and the Shirley Temple used guaraná, (an Amazonian berry) orange juice, and grenadine.

On this evening they had their usual ten meat skewers:

Beef Top Sirloin
Beef Rumpsteak
Beef Garlic Steak
Chimichurri-Basted Beef Tri-Tip
Pampa Pork Sausage
Parmesan Pork Loin
Rosemary-marinated Pork Shoulder
Bacon-wrapped Chicken Thighs
Marinated Chicken Drumsticks
New Zealand Leg of Lamb

As well as four seasonal ones:

Coconut-Lime Shrimp
Slow-roasted Beef Ribs
Caramelized BBQ Pineapple
Marinated Chicken Hearts

I didn’t try the marinated chicken hearts because I’m not usually one for offals and I did try a little bit of the leg of lamb.  The gamey taste of the lamb was very mild, but it still wasn’t really for me.  Of the ones I did try, the bacon-wrapped chicken thighs, parmesan pork loin, Pampa pork sausage and chimichurri-based beef tri-tip were my least favourite.  The bacon was soggy and limp, the pork loin was dry, the sausage was nothing special and the chimichurri, which amazingly tender, was way over salted and the texture was more like a stewed beef (which is nice, but also not my favourite preparation of beef).

Some of the other beef dishes were also quite salty, but I had expected as much.  The deliciousness of the cut made up for the over salting.

I will say, that this place is not for the faint of heart.  There is a lot of food and it’s very easy to overeat and go into a food coma.  Especially since the groupon comes with dessert.  For dessert we got a passionfruit mousse, a chocolate mousse, a coconut flan, and a orange roulade.  The mousses were served on top of a pao-de-lo cake/sponge, which absorbed the compotes and made them soggy.  I felt as though there was a little too much liquid on the plate from the compotes and that the mousses themselves were amazing and would have been even more amazing if the sponge had not been drenched with sauce.  The coconut flan was the most ordinary dessert we had.  It’s flavour was very light and delicate, making it very easily overpowered by the tastes of the other, more decadent desserts.  The orange roulade was my least favourite.  I had expected an appetizing orange flavour that would aid in the digestion of my dinner (as Chinese often have orange peel in their desserts as a digestive), but that was not the case.  It was fairly dense and sweet and after one bite I essentially gave up on eating it.

As I said, I would definitely return here without question, but not alone and not without a groupon. I would rate this place 4.5/5.

pampa 5

PAMPA!

pampa4

Interior View 1

pampa 3

Interior View 2

pampa 2

Yes, please!

Brazilian Shirley Temple

Brazilian Shirley Temple

Brazilian Lemonade

Brazilian Lemonade

Meat 2

My plate with way too much food (and a piece of Chimichurri-Basted Beef Tri-Tip in the corner

chicken

Chicken Drumstick

Pampa 1

Beef Top Sirloin and Garlic Beef

pineapple

Pineapple and Sandra

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