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The lunch crew had mentioned that the nearby Pampas Grill served Argentine cuisine. It hadn't been chosen recently because the prices were a little higher for lunch. I was still curious about the food so I had Dennis meet me there for lunch one day. The restaurant is very close to the air field off Aero Drive, between I-15 and I-163 highway. Parking was easy and we were seated in the larger dining area complete with a stage for their occasional evening performances!
The waitress mentioned that the empanadas here were good so we had to pick out several flavors! Pictured is the beef, chicken, cheese, and spinach empanada (2.75 each) but externally they look about the same! We cut those suckers open to see what was inside!
The first one we tried was the beef on the bottom right. It was subtle like a pot pie but less beefy tasting. The chicken on the bottom left made me think of Mexican rice but not quite. The upper left was spinach which was combined with a white cheese like parmesan or mozzarella. The cheese one had a cheddar flavoring but not a lot of content. We found that the veggie one was the biggest but didn't have more content than the others. The beef one was smallest for our sampling.
The pastry crust was the same for all. It was on the softer side where crumbs wouldn't get everywhere but strong enough to hold the goodies inside. I thought it was an interesting sampler but none of the flavors wow'ed me enough to warrent ordering more.
What did wow me was the Chimichurri Sauce which was oh so yummy for dipping the appetizer bread in! I had to look up a recipe right then and there to see what was inside this sauce, which is usually finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red wine. Sounds like a real keeper!
For entrees, the Open Faced Skirt Sandwich (13.95) caught my eye. You can choose between fries or argentine rice so we ordered fries with this. They turned out to be crispy thin but underseasoned.
The sandwich was the winner of this meal. I am a sucker for carmelized onions, bell peppers and tasty meat morsels to go with. This combination did not disappoint me!
This is the other entree, the Beef Milan (10.50). The meat portion was very large and thin. The soft and pliable breading was only lightly seasoned. I wished that the meat underneath was flavored a little better and overall was a bit on the drier side for me. The lemon squeeze helped a little. I chose the argentine rice as the side but didn't really care for the taste, which was a bit on the bland side and too soft.
We came for a late lunch but there were still multiple customers dining at the same time as us. It works as a business lunch kind of place with prices generally over $10 so not the cheapest of lunches in the area. I actually wouldn't mind trying a few other items if coworkers came out here though.
Pampas Argentine Grill
8690 Aero Dr #105
San Diego CA 92123