Pampas is the second meat-based restaurant I’ve noticed that has a vegetarian entree on the lunch menu, but not dinner menu (the first was a French restaurant called Vincent’s.) How strange. And that’s too bad for Pampas, which has a dinner tango show, but whose dinner menu will keep vegans far away. Every menu should have a vegan entree.
Pampas is located in the Kearny Mesa subdivision of San Diego, CA in a small plaza near Montgomery Field airfield on Aero Dr. Across the street are new apartment buildings to accommodate the ever expanding population. White-collar office workers seem to like this place for lunch, but also random everyday people as well (mostly fatties.) Too bad there aren’t more vegans coming in with gift certificates they won on the radio. I suppose only the non-affluent vegans would think to do that.
For lunch Pampas has a Grilled Zucchini & Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich. You just have to tell them to leave out the cheese and mayo. Although, since vegan mayo is readily available these days, there’s no excuse for any restaurant to not have it in their kitchen. One time the server offered to replace the mayo with balsamic, which was good. You can choose rice, Argentine fries, or potato salad to go with it. I’ve only had the Argentine fries, which have parsley and grated raw garlic on them. I never asked if the rice was vegan friendly and I doubt the potato salad is. They also have an Ensalada Mixta salad, which can be made vegan friendly, although I only got that once because the other times I went the servers assumed I was done ordering after I ordered the sandwich. Sometimes I want to use up my gift certificates, ya know!
I never actually got confirmation on whether their bread is vegan-friendly or not, but one time the server assumed I didn’t eat bread even though I ordered a sandwich. (Bread is a traditionally vegan food for which there is no excuse to add animal products.) So, he wasn’t going to bring the bread, but another server did anyway, which was a relief. I like when restaurants serve oil with the bread instead of butter (which is a product of bovine rape intended to keep people fat, not that oils keep people skinny or anything.) Pampas’ oil has parsley and garlic.
Bad news. None of their empanadas can be modified to be vegan because they are pre-made. They should really consider getting some vegan empanadas. For example, the Espinaca empanada has spinach and onions, but what is cheese doing in there? I don’t even need vegan cheese. Just replace the cheese with tomatoes or red peppers. Get it done. Cheese is a ridiculous concept for food.