9929 109 St NW, Edmonton
Last week me and Jamie decided to go to Pampa during lunch for Downtown Dining Week. It’s 15$ compared to the regular 25$ for lunch. Pampa is located right on 109th street right off Jasper. There is some meter parking in front (but be wary of tow-away times), and around the perimeter. I live really close, so I just walked that day. They are on open table, and I highly suggest making reservations because they can get really full during peak hours.
EDIT: I also went again the following week for their 2nd annual bacon feast! It’s only happening for the month of April so there’s still a few weeks to try it. They have 2 additional meats: the bacon-wrapped boneless veal leg, and the marinated crispy pork belly. They also have a chocolate cake that is filled with bacon-infused caramel sauce. Delicious! Another cool thing is that they also offer a cooking class! You can learn trade secrets on how to prepare and grill Brazilian-style BBQ, make meat-stuffed bread, and tropical guava cheesecake for dessert! It definitely sounds like it’d be a cool and fun experience!
They have a relatively extensive drink menu, where they make unique cocktails. Most of the cocktails are at least 2oz and around ~10$ for the most part, so per oz it’s pretty average. This can quickly escape you though, because a few drinks in and you’d be 30$ down the drain! Alternatively, they also have water, however they have the Q water filtration system and charge 2$ for unlimited water.
The interior is nicely decorated, with some large tables and smaller tables. There is a large salad bar area, where they offer 50+ fresh and house-made salad bar items, featuring different kinds of salads, vegetables, Brazilian back bean stew, white rice, and artisan breads. The first time I came here, I did peak around and try a bit of all the different kinds of salads, but honestly, I just get a few greens to make my plate look nice, get a bit of rice and then wait for the meat to circle around.
For Downtown Dining week, there were three charcoal-grilled meats, which included the parmesan-crusted pork loin, the citrus-marinated chicken drumsticks, and coarse sea salt seasoned signature beef rumpsteak. For those of you who have never been here, you’re given a little paper chip that is red or green on either side. If you want meat, then you flip it on the green side, and if you have enough on your plate, you flip it to the red side. The servers come by and see your chip and serve you the various kinds of meat should you request it.
As you can see from my plate, I went pretty light on the salad bar… having actually gotten no salad. I did get some bean salad and a bit of pasta salad, which were both pretty good. Mainly, I just wanted some sort of carb to eat with the meat! So I went with a piece of artisan bread and some white rice.
My favourite for that day would have to be the Chicken drumsticks. These had a nice skin on them and were very tender on the inside. Definitely a great piece of meat, and went great with rice and salad. Probably had at least 8 of these.
My second favourite would have to be the parmesan-crusted porkloin. Depending on what part of the skewer you get, it could get a little bit tough and chewy. The first time I was here, I found everything to be quite salty, but for this time around, I just ate my food with some rice and it made it all the better. This can somewhat be bad in the sense that you’re filling up on carbs and less on the protein.
Lastly was their signature beef rumpsteak. Probably my least favourite meat. I had it again the following week and managed to get a photo but it’s a bit blurry because it was so dark. I found that depending on the piece that you get, it could be really dry. I found that throughout my meal, I would strategically flip my chip when I could see a good piece of meat coming my way. This worked relatively well, but it requires you to pay attention to the servers walking around.
Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Pampa, mainly because it was Downtown Dining Week. For dinner, you get 10 options of meat, which, in addition to the five that I’ve mentioned, is the bottom sirloin, garlic rump steak, strip loin, bacon-wrapped chicken thighs, and marinated leg of lamb. If you’ve never been to Pampa before, I highly suggest that you go for lunch first before trying dinner. You’re not missing out on that much, and you will be able to get a feel as to whether or not this restaurant for you. If you’re able to, I’d highly recommend going during lunch for Downtown Dining week. For 15 dollars, you get the experience of Pampa for a very reasonable price. And if you can eat a lot, it’s definitely worth it!
Edit: When I was back the following week for dinner, I would have to say the bacon-wrapped chicken thighs were amazing! Hands down my favourite thing of the night. The crispy pork belly was also very very good. The night was very well topped off with the chocolate cake, which was also very good. Definitely would not be a cheap night but it’d definitely be a good one!
I really liked the gluten-free cheese buns that Pampa has! They are delicious and really light. Definitely great on their own and to snack on throughout the meal! The danger here is that you don’t want to fill up on these before the meats come around!
As I said earlier, the bacon-wrapped chicken thighs are my absolute favourite. Boneless, easy to eat, and delicious. These are amazing and I could literally eat at least ten of these!
The Pampa Pork sausage was not my favourite. It was pretty tasty, but I found it to be a bit on the dry side. The great thing with Pampa is that you can try a bit of everything and if you don’t like it, it’s still okay because you can get other things!
Marinated Crispy Pork Belly was also on top of my list. It is currently only offered during their April Bacon Feast so you still have a weeks to try it! It’s really nice and crispy, and incredibly rich. You can’t do too many of these, but still very good.
This was definitely a really good way to end the night! Really decadent and delicious, and I actually really enjoyed the bits of bacon throughout. Even though I was super full, I still polished this thing off!
Quality of food: 3.85/5
Value: 3.2/5 (During Downtown dining week, I’d give it a 4/5)