Portland: Pambiche

by gigi on May 26, 2010

The last time Jenkins and I went to Portland, Lucy recommended that we check out Pambiche for some delicious Cuban food. It was the first time we’d ever had Cuban food and our visit to Pambiche was definitely the food highlight of our last trip. Not that I needed any urging to go back, but Jenkins said we definitely had to go back for a return visit this time around. Even though we arrived pretty early in the evening at about 6PM on a Friday, there was already a wait outside. Jenkins and I had had a long day of shopping so we were quite hungry already. We decided that rather than wait inside for a table, we grabbed one of the outside tables which were available.

Pambiche

Despite it being spring, we found that it was quite cold outside so we kept our jackets on during the entire meal. To warm myself up, I also ordered some mint tea.

Pambiche - Mint Tea

I decided to order the Ropa Vieja, which was slowly stewed beef with onions and green peppers. It had a nice combination of spices that I couldn’t quite identify and it went really well with the rice that came with it. I also liked how the beef was very tender but was not very fatty. The small baguette toasts that accompanied this dish were a bit soggy from the sauce in the beef but still provided a nice crunch. As with many dishes at Pambiche, it came with a choice of black or red beans. I asked our server which was better and he recommended that I have the red beans. I don’t have any point of comparison but I’m not usually a stewed bean person but I finished most of my bowl. :)

Pambiche -

Jenkins decided to order the same thing he had the last time he was here, which was the Plato Cubano. The tender pork in this dish was tender and went very well with the slightly cream sauce. I had to admit that Jenkins definitely ordered the better dish this time around and tried to sneak as much of his dish onto my plate as possible. :) It also came with a side of cassava fries which were a bit soggy towards the end but were originally very crispy and had a nice, mealy taste that complemented the pork.

Pambiche - Cuban Plate

The serving portions at Pambiche are quite large and even though we were already full, Jenkins and I managed to cram in dessert. Our server recommended that we try the daily cheesecake, which was a guava cheesecake. You could really taste the guava flavour in this and it had a wonderfully creamy texture which made me want to keep on eating. The top of the cheesecake had a sweet jam on top that I also really enjoyed.

Pambiche - Guava Cheesecake

Yet another delicious meal at Pambiche. It would be really nice if there was a similar place here in Vancouver! Although busy, service is pretty prompt and there is a bit of a wait for your meal to come. However, it is offset by the friendly atmosphere and the people watching you can do as people come and go from the restaurant. The next time we’re in town again, I’ll definitely be swinging by Pambiche.

Details:
2811 NE Glisan, Portland, Oregon
Tel: 503-233-0511 Ext 3

Summary:
Food: ★★★★½
Service: ★★★☆☆
Price: $$

Pambiche on Urbanspoon

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

KimHo May 27, 2010 at 5:21 am

Actually, in Jenkins’ plate, that’s not plantain, that’s yuca, aka, cassava. While I am sure Latin food is quite good in the US, specially considering the Latin population, at least we have some restaurants here in Vancouver in the case we (or at least I) need a fix. Don’t have inmediate plans to go to Portland but, given your and Sherman thoughts, I guess I will have to make sure to have this place in the list! ;)

gigi May 27, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Kim – thanks for the correction, I’ve updated the post :) You definitely need to give this place a try!

Sherman May 28, 2010 at 10:42 am

I concur with Gigi, Pambiche is something Vancouver does not have. Havana strives to be like it; but doesn’t come close. However, Kim will still hate it… He hates everything… LOL…

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