Tuesday, 8 April 2014

All you can eat meat at Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse

With friends visiting from Calgary, we decided to head to Pampa to finally try the "Rodizio" dining experience. It's hard to believe that we haven't actually tried this place before, it is literally the boyfriend's perfect meal: unlimited grilled meat brought to your table on swords and sliced off with machetes. What could be better? 

Unfortunately, we were all extremely disappointed with our meals, given the cost. For a significantly reduced price point we would have a lot less to complain about. But at $50 per person plus drinks, dessert, tax, and tip, this was a huge let down. Of course, I can never eat my money's worth at these places anyway. But the boyfriend usually makes up for that in eating both his and my money's worth. 

That was simply not the case here. Sure, there were redeeming parts about our meal. The restaurant's interior is beautiful, the wine display is very impressive, our server was attentive. And it's certainly a unique dining experience, if you're willing to shell out the ridiculously high cost. 

The salad bar (fortunately, included in the $50 price tag) is excellent. For me, this was the highlight of the meal. There were so many options to supplement all the meat, including a giant wheel of grand padano. Yum! The ceviche was so refreshing and balanced and I loved the variety of cheeses and fresh veggies. 

Once you're ready for the meat, flip your little disc from red to green. Once you give the green light, the waiters will literally swarm your table with meat sword after meat sword. This is definitely the coolest part of the meal. However, it would be nice if they were a little bit better at pacing - it was very overwhelming.

We were told there were 10 different meat options that evening: chicken drumstick, chicken thigh wrapped in bacon, pork sausage, pork loin with parmesan cheese, leg of lam, beef rumpsteak, garlic beef rumpsteak, top sirloin, bottom sirloin, and rib eye. We found that the meats were really hit and miss. Some were absolutely delicious; I could not get enough of the top sirloin! Unfortunately, that particular waiter was also very difficult to track down and rarely came to our table, unlike the pork sausage or beef rumpsteak waiters. The chicken drumstick was also excellent, as was the parmesan pork. The bacon wrapped chicken thigh, on the other hand, was not appetizing. The restaurant does not provide steak knives to diners, presumably because the meat is supposed to be tender enough on its own. There were a few cuts that were a bit too fatty and tough to cut without a steak knife. 

If you can believe it, after all that meat, we decided to order desserts. The desserts are not included in the price of the meal and, unfortunately, were extremely disappointed. I was persuaded to try a coconut pudding with stewed mangos, which I was told was like a light, tropical creme brulee. I am not one to send food back, but I sent this dessert back. The pudding tasted like something that would be served in a hospital and, worse yet, the mangos on top were crunchy chunks and definitely not fresh mangos. My friend had the chocolate angel food cake which she said was fine, but really not worth the $12 price tag.

All things considered, we had an enjoyable meal and it was neat to experience something new and interactive. We were all provided $20 vouchers, to be used on a monday-wednesday for dinner, with our bill at the end of the meal. Given the high prices and inconsistency, I don't think it is likely that we will return here, even with the $20 off. 


Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse

9929 - 109 St. N.W.
Edmonton, AB   T5K 1H6
(p) 780-756-7030
(f)  780-756-7033
(e)  info@pampasteakhouse.com 

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse on Urbanspoon