New Gluten Free Eating Experience at Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse
9929 - 109 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta, T5K 1H6
T: (780) – 756-7030

Mark wrote in to tell us about Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse"

They serve a one price dinner which they call “rodizio.”

Basically, you get unlimited cuts of meat, and access to the salad bar. What they do is give you a disc, with a red and a green side on it. If you desire meat, leave the green side up, and it comes until you flip it to red, which signals stop. They serve beef, pork, lamb, chicken, done in different style - basically, if you wish, you can get stuffed to the gills!

Basically that is the only option for dining there is - it's really a one-plate dining experience - which is unusual, but very unique. The servers come around with skewers of meat, and carve you the meat off the skewers right at the table for your plate. Very professional and courteous staff at Pampa as well.

I wish I could tell you a bit more about the salad bar - it was good - some unusual items, but I really went only once to the salad bar, and was taken in by all the delicious skewers of meat coming by us!

The set price for dinner was $45 per person, so after drinks and a tip, it came to about $150 for the two of us.  This probably does seem pricey, but for me at least, I've not had such good cuts of meat for a long time, and now when we go to a regular restaurant that serves steak, it's purely second-rate for me in comparison.

Their website can give you far more information in general than I could, it's here:

Personally, though, I'd recommend it to anyone as being gluten friendly (my wife was able to eat all the cuts of meat with no ill effects afterwards) and I really enjoyed it. To me, the only flaw I found with Pampa is that most other steak places are just pale in comparison!

Well, just to add to the salad bar, I had asked Pampa about that as well and here was their response on Twitter:
@gfreeYEG You bet! All our meat is gluten free and there are only 2 or 3 (out of about 40) items on our salad bar that contain gluten :)
You can follow Pampa on twitter at

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse on Urbanspoon


  1. That is so strange - I talked to a manager at Pampa restaurant last night and he indicated that there were very limited gluten free choices and pretty much advised me to go somewhere else....I'll have to double check with them as to what is their official gluten free (or not) status!

  2. I might try this one time. For some reason, I like gluten free dishes. They're definitely lighter. And besides, I'll be having a date and she prefers gluten-free meals.

  3. Looking around for other downtown restaurants but I needed to vent about this place. Short version: They treat guests like crap and will squeeze every last penny from you. Not impressed at all beyond the food.

    Went there earlier this year with friends. I can't vouch for gluten-friendly or not as I was not with my intolerant wife; given that it IS a buffet style place you'd be taking your chances with cross-contamination.

    The meat was good, the food was tasty, and different, but there were many things I disliked about the overall experience. Our waiter essentially did nothing but take drinks and explain the menu, because there was no order taking. He didn't carve meat. He was charming, and kept drinks up, but while I'm quite fine tipping 20%, I thought the auto-grat was excessive compared to most dining experiences. I'd rather give the tips directly to the meat-cutters, some of whom were informative, engaging and attentive.

    They charge for water. $2 a head if you want tap water, because of some 'special filter' they've installed. They bring a pitcher to the table and don't charge you again, but every person who drinks water gets dinged two bucks. Oooooook.

    We had a large party. It was a friend's birthday. It was nearly thirty people, although a few people who said they were in did not arrive. We were forced to pay for those people's seats, the complete fixed-price dining experience. I do understand they need to protect their business; it's not uncommon for people to overbook, screwing a restaurant out of potential business. But I look at it this way: we brought almost $3000 worth of business into their restaurant, two hours before closing. The table before us actually was not GONE when we arrived, and we were not seated until 45 minutes after our reservation. The place was full all night. They clearly made oodles of money. Our waiter had additional tables besides us, so must have walked out with nearly five hundred dollars in tips (based on auto-grat for larger parties and the default $40 price point). But no, we signed a contract, and they will not bend for anybody.

    Again, our total bill was nearly $3000 *before* the auto-grat was tacked on. We were a whole 2-3 people short of 26-27. It wasn't 12 people showed up for a reservation of 30. I get 'policy', but I also know you have to be willing to work with people. We're guests, not just customers.

    They also won't do separate checks. It's too hard (for some reason). I consider this a joke to be honest, having worked in this industry for 13 years with many different computer systems. Particularly since ALL you need to worry about is drinks an desserts - everybody is having the same entree! Okay, fine. We're all smart, the auto-grat is included, and tax is only 5%. We all whip out the calculators on our smart phones to figure out our proper amounts. Some of us tip extra anyways.

    And we end up nearly $100 short on the total bill. The waiter explains that we signed a contract, and have to pay full price food cost for the guests who did not arrive, shrugs, and walks away. Sorrrry. It's our pollllicy.

    So everybody on the table, some of whom had already tipped a bit extra, throw in some more money on the pile to cover the bill. Noting again we were seated 45 minutes AFTER our reservation (offered nothing but the barest apology for the wait). And paid for tap water. but there was 'nothing they could do' because we didn't bring our entire party. based on the autograt (either 18 or 20%), that waiter made hundreds off bucks just off OUR table. But there was 'nothing they could do' for us after spending three grand.

    Not impressed. Wouldn't go back. Maybe it's a better experience with just three or four people, where they don't apply the auto-grat and you won't get dinged for somebody not showing up, but no.


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