Edmonton has an abundance of steakhouses, so in order to make a statement you have to stand out. This mindset served as the inspiration for Pampa, a brazillian steakhouse that specializes in constant table service by a team of staff armed with meat skewers and big knives. The experience is engaging and entertaining as there is almost always a server nearby to slice off another cut of meat.
Alea and I were in contact with Assistant General Manager Archimedes Cailao, who arranged a tour for us with his Back of House Operations Manager, Nelvin Reyes. Nelvin talked with us about his passion for entertainment and quality food, and walked us through the preparation of several dishes.
Nelvin also introduced us to his experienced and friendly staff, who were happy to answer our questions and pose for photos. You can tell that Pampa’s staff really enjoy not only providing excellent food and service, but also entertaining their guests.
Pampa has established a well deserved reputation as one of the best steak restaurants in the city, with numerous nominations and awards in that department. The selling feature of Pampa is the table service by the staff, which also has the bonus of ensuring that the guest is always satisfied with their meal as there is usually someone present. Although it is not a traditional steakhouse, Pampa is able to demonstrate that their table service is not a gimmick but instead acts as an efficient way to provide fresh, high quality food along with top tier service.
Pampa’s signature cocktails and cooking techniques provide an ethnic flair to Edmonton’s steak scene. These steakhouses traditionally are located in a dark lit, quiet restaurant where the staff only come by when your drink is empty. Instead of conforming to the stereotypical steakhouse atmosphere, the servers at Pampa create a unique dining experience defined by engagement with the staff and the preparation of the food.
The cocktails that Pampa specializes in are known as caiprinhas which are Brazil’s national cocktail. They are crafted with Brazilian rum and a selection of fresh fruit resulting in a unique and refreshing flavour to compliment the traditional Brazilian style cooking. Pampa has an open rotisserie being constantly tended by staff and the restaurant has a bustling feel as the servers navigate expertly between the tables. This creates an atmosphere that is noisy yet not unpleasantly so. The servers are always happy to chat and provide more flair to the experience.
Pampa has enjoyed its well deserved reputation in Edmonton as one of the top steak restaurants, and is expanding to include another location on the south side. With their combination of top quality meats and a unique service experience, Pampa stands out in Edmonton’s blossoming steak scene.
Thomas and Alea