Friday, January 19, 2018

REVIEW: Pampas Steakhouse in Johns Creek

Obviously, most steakhouses are fairly gluten-free friendly.  Sauces and some side dishes might contain gluten, etc., but it's relatively simple to get a safe gluten-free meal at a steakhouse - if you order steak and baked potato, for instance.  However, I'm not a huge fan of steak anymore, and neither is my husband so we rarely eat at steakhouses.

Enter Pampas Steakhouse in Johns Creek, GA.  One of my gluten-free friends told me about this place as she went with in-laws for a birthday celebration.  After hearing about the Truffled Potatoes Au Gratin - yes they're gluten-free(!) - I went about planning a b-day celebration of my own - or rather, for my husband - at Pampas.

The online menu denotes which items are gluten-free, except for in the dessert section.  Thankfully, the sweet treat we wanted, bananas foster, is indeed gluten-free.  Several other options are as well. With most of the meats and several seafood dishes being gluten-free as prepared, the Chef at Pampas is happy to accommodate other requests, when possible.  Therefore, I inquired about having a crab cake appetizer and, to my delight, was told that was doable!

The atmosphere at Pampas is quite lovely with warm, inviting decor.  We sat in a comfortable booth and our well informed server knew it was my husband's birthday (noted on reservation) and that I was getting a gluten-free crab cake.  We ordered salad and the (non gf) lobster bisque as starters.  My husband enjoyed the bisque and we both enjoyed the salad.  However, the star of the show for me was the amazing almost all crab meat crab cake.  The presentation was lovely and the taste was even better!  As there was no breading, or filler of any kind besides minced veggies, it was a refreshingly light crab cake.  I've had similar crab cakes before, but this was the best version without breading that I've had out in over a decade!

My husband said his Center Cut Filet, with au poivre sauce, was wonderful and we were both impressed with the side dishes we chose.  Those are meant to be shared and even then, we took some of each one home!  The basil fried corn seemed very fresh, as if it had just been shucked off the cob, and was delicious.  The Truffled Au Gratin Potatoes were the main reason I wanted to go to Pampas and were more dreamy than I could have imagined!  The only issue I have with it is that when I make my own version of the dish at home, it will never compare to the amazing option at Pampas!

The icing on the cake, so to speak, during our amazing meal didn't involve cake at all.  We ordered a dish my husband makes a wonderful version of - meaning we're super picky about it - Bananas Foster.  Once again, this dish, which is prepared table side as it always should be, didn't disappoint.  Like most versions of this decadent treat, eating just half the generous portion will put you in a sugar coma, but it was well worth it!  I actually had a quarter of it (they nicely split the dish for us) and my husband enjoyed the rest.

It's honestly worth going to Pampas Steakhouse for the sides and desserts for me, but for most people, it's about the steak.  Aside from my husband's lovely filet, I'm happy to report that friends (who've had other steaks there) have been quite impressed with the quality of meats offered at Pampas!

Other notes worth mentioning: valet parking is available and we saw no children during our visit.  To my knowledge, there is no rule about kids, but we appreciated the "adult atmosphere" we enjoyed during our fabulous visit to Pampas!


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