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Click for Slide Show of Old Restaurant Reviews
Click for Slide Show of Old Restaurant Reviews
Click for Slide Show of Old Restaurant Reviews
Click for Slide Show of Old Restaurant Reviews
Click for Slide Show of Old Restaurant Reviews
Pampas is a Brazilian steak house. Coming from the states, you come into Ensenada proper via Mexico one and you stay along the coast. You pass the very touristy area and continue south along the coastal area. A couple of blocks past the Coronado Hotel on the right side is Pampas. See the picture on the left hand side. If you see the Navy Station on the right you have gone two blocks to far.
If you have ever eaten in a Brazilian steak house before you know the drill. You start with the salad bar. Unlike the average restaurant, but quite popular in Mexican Buffet's, the salad bar is large and varied. From Shrimp dishes to deserts, salads to sauces, you can easily fill up here. They have several vegetable dishes that go with your meal as well. That I think is the idea of the salad bars in Brazilian Steak houses. Pampas even has sushi in the Salad Bar, but our favorite were the fried bananas.

There is a little piece of cardboard the size of a silver dollar with green on one side and red on the other. Each member of your party has one. Obviously the international sign for stop and go. If you have the green side up, the numerous servers will continually come over to your table with different and delectable meats on skewers. They are all over the board from Chicken stuffed with feta and spinach to filet mignon. There is no end to the number of meats and times they will come to your table. While we were there last, we had Sausage (chorizo Spanish and Mexican), Three or four types of chicken, ribs, three or four types of beef including filet, lamb, pork, and bacon wrapped this and bacon wrapped that. So many types of meats you have to come up for air once in a while.

The quality of everything is outstanding. The service is also outstanding. They also have a full bar. They have off street parking with an attendant to watch the cars as well. Another sign of a great restaurant in the Ensenada area. They take credit cards here which is also a sign of a good restaurant. With drinks (a few beers) the four of us was around 1000 pesos with a twenty percent tip. Remember the exchange rate. This used to be around $100.00 American. Lately at around 13 to one that would be around $77.00 American. So while this is high for Ensenada, you would spend a good deal more to eat like this in the states.
They have great food, great atmosphere, great service and I highly recommend Pampas for upscale Ensenada dining.

Remember, always pay in pesos if listed in the menu. The rate has changed so much lately that you never know what exchange rate you will be given for dollars. Better to avoid the concern and maximize your money.

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This section is a work in progress. A tourist city the size of Ensenada has so many restaurants we will never be through with this page. What we would like to do is give you reviews of both the touristy and the locally known restaurants. We will make an effort to switch away from the traditional Mexican Food since it can be found everywhere. Our first review is a good example of this effort.
This restaurant is owned by a chef that is well known in the general area, Mario. He has recently opened a restaurant in Maneadero just south of Ensenada. He had a restaurant in Estero Beach that was very popular with the local Americans. Our neighbors were thrilled when they heard that he was opening something close by. We have heard and read about his gourmet meals and wanted to add a review of his restaurant.

You pass it on your way to the the house. After you pass the supermarket, Calimex, and turn right on the road to La Bufadora, you will see a small group of stores. It is in that shopping center and the signs are very visible. Turn right into the parking lot. If you go from the house, you will have to turn left. It is important to note, this is not a restaurant with a view of the water. This is a restaurant and a review of great food. Think of how hard a restaurant has work to get you to come in without the great views of the Pacific Water view restaurants.

I finally had the opportunity to eat there. The facts are in. Mario takes a simple dish and transforms it into total gourmet. When I was there, many local Americans were there laughing and joking. They told me that they are thrilled to have this restaurant so close by and will be regulars now. The restaurant has a nice menu with American and traditional Mexican dishes and a great kid's menu!

It was comfortable and clean, tastefully decorated with a great bar. The employee speak English and all full of smiles. Whatever you want just ask.

My friend, Doice, and I enjoyed every part of the meal. I had the salad with a choice of home-made salad dressings, I choice the cilantro. Great choice. Doice had the soup of the day, awesome! The main course followed with both of us opting for the fish, the local catch Corvina, served with white wine and garlic sauce. Outstanding and it is to be noted that you can catch Corvina Surf Fishing in front of each of the Ensenada Beach Houses! I certainly would be willing to try anything else on the menu based on how good this was, but I enjoyed it so much that I may not want to order anything else. High quality food as good if not better than something a 5 star restaurant in the states would serve.

Mario found out it was my birthday and the very comfortable music started to play some traditional Mexican Birthday songs. The dessert was on the house and was probably the best cheesecake I ever had, and I am a cheesecake connoisseur.
I will have to go back now and try their breakfast. I was told also by locals that this was a meal not to be missed.

Mario's Restaurant is a welcome to the neighborhood. I do hope that you will give it a try. You will not be disappointed.

Eileen Kennedy