• Pampas (Palo Alto, California)

My friends are overly intelligent.   I now found myself in Silicon Valley visiting a friend studying for her PHD at Stanford.

To celebrate the end of her assessments, and our one-on-one reunion after several years, we went to Pampas, a Brazilian restaurant/bar with a good-value happy hour, stylish and rich clientele and appealing cocktails and snacks.

Arriving just after happy hour started (we were very keen and had planned most of our day around “drinks”), we were lucky to find a seat and table.  The bar was soon full with people finishing their day in the office.

My friend ordered her usual of a caparina, I was adventurous with their Cosmo de Diabo.  Made with chili vodka, pineapple and passionfruit, it was easy-to-drink but had the added interest of a hot kick.

To accompany, we had the yucca fries.  They were delicious with a spicy chipotle ketchup, crunchy exterior and fluffy inside as if the yucca had been mashed and then reassembled before being deep friend into chips.

We also enjoyed the roasted poblano, which was a type of capsicum (or pepper as they call it here) stuffed with smoked gouda and a chili puree.  This was different to what we had expected, being served with rice like a full meal rather than a bar snack.

Round two saw more drinks, and despite my friend’s advice of it being too sweet, I ordered the Coctel de Coco.  It was too sweet.  Made with cachaca, coffee liqueur, pineapple and coconut cream, it was a weird combination that did not really mix.  I struggled to appreciate the flavours in this one.

Feta and olives followed, neatly set-out and drizzled with olive oil.  The feta was firm, but the saltiness was appreciated as we became slightly tipsy.

After two cocktails, an absence of drinking over the past few weeks and not much lunch, I was feeling aptly merry at the end of happy hour.

529 Alma St
Palo Alto CA 94301
(650) 327 1323

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