Thursday, July 19, 2012


2811 NE Glisan Avenue
Happy Hour: weekdays 2 - 6 PM and 10 - midnight on Friday & Saturday

It's been just over three years since the last time any of us reviewed Pambiche. Almost three years exactly...I checked. And--in my opinion--that's long enough to say it's okay to go back and do a re-review.

My sister and I were out running errands yesterday (including the final wedding gown fitting!) and we knew, for sure, that we needed to stop and eat something before moving onto our final destination. You see, we were headed to our grandmother's house. You never know how long the visit will be. It was just barely two in the afternoon and I wasn't about to make a suggestion without first doing a little happy hour research. (I wouldn't want to miss an opportunity.) Cellphone applications have made finding happy hour on the go SO much easier. It's reason enough to have a smartphone and a data plan. Within minutes (my phone's smart...but a little slow), I knew exactly where we were going.

The sidewalk seating at Pambiche is usually pretty crowded and often requires a short wait. Today, however, it was both early enough in the afternoon and a bit overcast, so there was no wait at all.

Service was pretty fantastic (and I don't think that's just because they weren't as crowded as usual) but our server might have been TOO good. You see, she was quick to observe and noticed that both of us were ordering vegetarian options. And then she gave us the bad news. (Sigh...) They've changed the way they prepare their empanadas. They are now made with LARD. I'm glad she told us, but I'm going to miss those delightful little treats. Hopefully they change back to the old recipe soon and make them vegetarian-friendly once again.

Knowing that the empanadas were no longer an option, my sister and I were forced to branch out a bit. (Which was a very good thing since both of us tend to order the same things again and again.) The only thing that wasn't new to us was the Insalada Carebina. It's one of my very favorite salads at Pambiche (although I love the avocado salad, too) and it's made of shredded cabbage and carrots. It's uber-healthy and has the most amazing flavor.

We also ordered two plates of frituras, one corn and one yam. The yam fritters were like teeny potato pancakes...but ten times better. There was a mix of onion with the shredded yam and the four fritters were perfectly golden and had just the right crispiness.

The corn fritters were a bit on the sweet side and could have easily been listed on the dessert menu. They were HOT but very, very tasty. I tried them with the banana sauce provided on the table but decided, in the end, that they were better off on their own.

We also had a small order of black beans and rice. (They offer brown rice now, too...which is new since the last time we reviewed.) I wish I could make my black beans taste as good as theirs. I suppose I have to do more than just open the can to make that happen. Someday.

Both of us were adventurous with our beverage selections, too. I think I've only ordered the one thing every time I've been here. (Well, that and the fancy Cuban Coffee I've ordered to go with the fantastically yummy desserts that always tempt me from the case when dining inside.) I ordered the Canchanchara and my sister ordered a Cubanito.

The Canchanchara was a perfect choice for me. It was sweet (served with the sugar cane, even) and full of limes. I absolutely LOVE that combination. I'm not sure if I've ever had a sugarcane brandy before...but I'd have it again.

The Cubanito was similar to a Bloody Mary but with more sweetness to it. I liked it and am likely to order it myself next time (especially if we return for breakfast).

I love Pambiche. I think that's okay to say now. It's most definitely in my top five. And it's been in my top five for more than three years.

Food: Exceeds
Drinks: Exceeds
Ambiance: Exceeds
Service: Exceeds
Value: Exceeds




  1. I need to go back. I haven't been in a few years and what I remember most was how bland the flavor was. Maybe they changed chefs...

    1. I really love the Plato Cubano--I get it almost every time I go.