HOUSTON, Texas - If you are in the mood for meat and looking for Latin American flavors, look no further than Pampa Grill in Spring Branch.
The family-run restaurant is a carnivore's paradise specializing in Argentinian-style parrialladas of grilled beef.
"This is a copycat of the restaurants that we have in Montevideo Buenos Aires," diner Rafael Freira explained.
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Wife and husband owners Vicky Suarez and Javier Mendez opened Pampa Grill eight years ago to satisfy fellow South American diners looking for a taste of home, but the restaurant's over-the-top portions soon won over Houstonians with Texas-sized appetites.
"Their first reaction is, 'Oh my gosh, this is too much,'" Suarez laughs.
The restaurant's signature dish - the Parrillada - is a $35 platter of six different kinds of meat: flank steak, skirt steak, short rib, beef sausage, blood sausage, and chicken.
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It's served hot over charcoal to keep the food warm at the table. Mendez, a trained pastry chef, has also earned the praise of vegetarians with his cooked-to-order over-stuffed spinach and cheese enchiladas.
"They make everything with so much heart and so much dedication, that you can taste it," diner Pablo Valqui explains.
But Pampa offers more than just a generous meal. The couple also serves up a huge helping of hospitality.
"When people come for the first time and I hug somebody, they say 'Okay, next time you are going to hug me,'" Suarez laughs.
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