Portland >Food & Dining >
2811 Ne Glisan St, Portland, OR | Directions 9723245.526635 -122.636957
Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Kerns
It's so easy to fall in love with this cheerful technicolor Cuban spot, which is why every table is taken pretty much every time you go there. Awesome happy hour, weekdays 2-6pm and Fri-Sat 10-midnight--the $5 canchanchéras made with fresh lime and sugarcane brandy go very nicely with a sidewalk table on a warm afternoon/evening.
This long time northeast gem serves up affordable, authentic Cuban fare in a cheery and energetic room. Try the chicken & rice, ropa vieja, plato cubano and a selection of mauduros & croquetas. Everything I've had here has been a good value but breakfast and happy hour are a real deal.
Outdoor seating at brightly colored picnic tables is a plus.
Grab some dessert - Cuban style. They have Flan to pineapple upside down cake.
Enjoyed it (a lot)! – Been there twice (2 days apart...we were so impressed with the food the first time around). Nice decor. Very good service. Avocado salad is amazing! There's a strong aroma of oil (esp. noticable on clothing the next day) but given that it's a small place in an old building (poor ventilation), I'm guessing it can't be helped. Great value for the money.
PS Very good coffee too.
Nonsense policies, food waste – I saw this same issue by a couple other reviewers. I had late happy-hour at Pambiche a few days ago, and had quite a bit of food left in every dish. So naturally we ask for boxes at the end for our leftovers. Turns out they do not allow anyone to take home their happy-hour leftovers.
I had seen something in the menu that said: "No take-out at happy hour". Fine. Now, take-out and leftovers are 2 completely different things.
I grew up in a very poor country (such as Cuba....) and the idea of throwing good food in the trash just appalls me. I also offered to give the food away to a homeless guy across the street, in front of the manager, instead of it just going in the trash. No can-do. "If we open an exception for you we will have to do it for everyone" - can you imagine how much food this place purposefully wastes every single day...I don't even have to have the leftovers, I just don't want food in the trash. I left with a horrible impression and will never go back.
Cheap professional women – I saw those pro's. they wanted to take happy hour food home. CHEAP
Decent Food – Although crowded on a summer evening, my party and I didn't wait too long to get a table. I ordered a chicken dish and it's sad to say that it was no different from chicken that my school cafeteria makes! However the empanadas were delicious and they had a good variety of desserts.
Huge Con: They only accept 2 cards max per table?? This made it very inconvenient for my party of 4 who were all planning to pay separately. How difficult can that be to just split the check into 2 different tables? My friend had to actually run down the street to a convenient store and get cash. lame.
Food, folks, and flat-out fun! – I love bringing family and friends to Pambiche. It is a really unique place in Portland that is fun to share with others. Bright colors, bilingual servers, incredible scratch pastry and lovingly prepared food wrap you up in a delicious, sensuous embrace. We always leave with smiles on our faces, even when we begrudgingly have waited an hour for a table.
My favorite dishes are the oxtail and the spicy gulf prawns. I would steer clear of the yucca frita. My hubby loves it, but it fills me up so much, I can't enjoy the rest of my meal. Don't miss dessert either, especially the lime cake.
My beef with Pambiche is the lack of elbow room and the loud- as- hell music. Sometimes I find it a little cozy (as our server once described the interior space) for my taste. So don't expect a tranquil, soothing evening. But do expect some awesome food and service.
Delicious Food and Pastries – Pambiche is one of my favorite places to while away an afternoon nibbling small plates and enjoying a hot cocoa in the winter. During the summer, I wish they had cocktails to sip (I'm not a sangria kinda girl).
I recommend ANYTHING on the menu, it is all phenomenal. Desserts, oh their desserts are to die for! Honestly, you can't pick a bad one. I have to say the sweet potato cheese cake is my favorite though... or was it the pineapple cake. Oh just try them all!
Que Lastima – I went to Pambiche last night with three friends. We are all professional women who get together every month or so at a variety of places around town. We have never experienced such horrible, inconsiderate service as we had at Pambiche.
Nothing was easy or simple. Not only was service incredibly slow, but at each stage of our meal we were subjected to unreasonable "house rules" by the server. Individually, those rules were frustrating. Together, they were excruciating. We received no explanation or understanding, just constant barked orders.
Just a few examples --
- They would not seat us until at least half the party was there.
- They seated us in an area where some of us had blinding sun in our faces. When we borrowed an extra chair to sit out of the sun, we were told that was "against the rules" (no path was blocked, by the way) and that we should "just squish in and lean a little closer together." (Quarters were already tight.) When we asked for another table, we were refused. When we complained that it was intolerable, they turned around the table, thus putting the table in *the very area* we were told it was "against the rules" to occupy with an extra chair. (And it didn't solve the sun problem.)
- I was not allowed to order a drink for my friend who was on the way -- that also was "against the rules."
- They were out of or did not stock seemingly basic items (out of plantains at a Cuban restaurant at 6:30 PM on a Tuesday? out of the drink special by 7 PM? no lowfat milk at a restaurant that has a large part of the menu dedicated to coffee drinks? )
- After spending a considerable sum on our dinner, we were not allowed to split the check four ways as we normally do. When we complained to the manager, she snidely told us that she would do it "just this once" but never again.
Don't worry, madam. We won't be back. At Pambiche, we were not treated like guests or even customers -- our "hosts" acted like surly and irrational drill sergeants instead of waitstaff.
Bad Experience – Probably about as good as one could expect for Cuban food in Portland- but that doesn't mean its good. What brought my rating down to one star is the rude service, the fact that they inexplicably do not allow you to take left overs home and the tight quarters on a public sidewalk that forces walkers-by to knock into your table. Avoid this place.
Very disappointing – We got the snapper sandwich and a pork, rice and beans plate and they were both very bad. The fish smelled like it was moldy and the pork was nothing to talk about.
It will have to do – I am from Florida move here 2 years ago. I have been craving Cuban/Puerto Rican food. The mexican food just all taste like taco seasoning mix and the flavors not so great. I finally found the one and only place to get Cafe con leche and few other cravings. The pastry basket for breakfast was good with coffee while waiting for food. I could not believe the pries for a cuban sandwich. In florida you can get a real cuban on cuban bread not stuff they uses her that calling cuban bread and a soda for under 4.00 and a entire meal dinner for like 6-8 piled high. It was enough to fix my cravings but not the real thing and it being so small inside - you think they would expand for more business. I can not wait for my trip back to Florida and for my husband to taste a real cuban(with out having to go to islands). I wish someone to come here and open a real cuban style cafe.
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