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