Pampas - meat, meat and more meat!
My other half and i joined a group of friends for a birthday celebration at Pampas in Palo Alto this weekend and had a very odd meal. The birthday boy had requested a meat-centric restaurant and boy did he get one! This Brazilian churrasco was a big hit with him and other 20 something guys at the table. for those of us over 40, it was a bit too much of a good thing. The concept is quite interactive and not one for relaxed dining. For $44 one gets a Salad bar and the Rodizio, which is the never-ending meat parade. There is a hockey puck on the table, green on one side and red on the other. as long as the green side is up the meat keeps coming. High marks for the beef. The top sirloin, sirloin filets, tritip were all well prepared and tasty, the lamb was good but I never order lamb out since it is so easy to do at home. This didn't change my mind. The chicken and pork was too salty and overcooked. My problems were two. First, the constant parade of servers with skewers, knives, offering the next choice made for a stressful meal. Just when you've started an anecdote with the person next to you, two sharp pokers and sharp implements are thrust in between and the moment is lost. Second is the fact that we don't eat this much meat anymore. Even tho I prepared by fasting most the day, I still felt unpleasantly full and ate nothing but fruits and salad for the next two days. Also the drink menu needs some work.
If you like a carnivores delight, by all means give it a try, just don't let the grilled pineapple go by, it really helps the digestion.
I posted about my dinner there a year ago, and I'll summarize by saying that my friend liked the Rodizio service a lot and I thought the halibut entree ($28) that I ordered was possibly the best fish I've had in a restaurant - cooked through and still very tender and juicy, with a very flavorful thin sauce. We both loved the place, atmosphere, and service. The Rodizio service lends itself to a festive, not quiet/intimate, occasion.