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Local Cuisine : Pam's Patio Kitchen
by Branden Hart
No matter where you live, there is always a local restaurant that blows you away each time you go. Someplace that, for myriad reasons, is special. When you live in a city like San Antonio or New York, one of the most exciting things to do is go out searching for new places to eat. In San Antonio, there are thousands of restaurants. Some are great, some have potential that they just haven't reached, and some leave you with a burning need for Pepto Bismol. I am fortunate enough to have one of those rare great restaurants within walking distance of my house.
With its small, unassuming front, one wouldn't necessarily expect four-star cuisine from this strip-mall occupant. But if you've been picking out restaurants as long as I have, you know to never judge a book by its cover. Pam's has a nice outdoor patio for days when it's pleasant outside, and when the candles are lit and the sun is setting behind the restaurant, it makes for a gorgeous place to spend time with friends and family. On the inside, Pam's is a nice, modern looking little joint, painted with bright colors and funky paintings from local artists. In one corner, they have a projector that displays old black and white films. As I discovered last night, "old black and white films" includes Mel Brooks' classic Young Frankenstein. Just another feather in the cap for this establishment. If I ever go and they have Monty Python's Holy Grail playing, I won't eat anywhere else—ever.
But enough about the establishment—let's get to the meat. And by meat, I mean meat. Pam's serves a wide variety of entrees. Their menu includes dishes from Thai Panang Beef Curry with thin strips of beef, coconut milk, and Thai curry, to Bistec Tacos with grilled Angus beef, sautéed onions, and homemade guacamole served on fresh corn tortillas. I have yet to try all these delicious dishes, but friends rave about each and every one of them. What I have tried is the filet with Roquefort. Two eight-ounce filets, served medium rare, topped with exquisite Roquefort cheese. When this dish comes out, the Roquefort is pleasantly melted, leaving the beautiful steak near sizzling. It is very rare that I find places that use bleu cheeses with any satisfactory results, but the combination of the premium cut of meat with top-quality Roquefort is a taste that I have yet to find rivaled anywhere.
Pam's Patio Kitchen is a local treasure. Pam herself will come by your table to say hello. It is one of the friendliest places you will ever dine in. So when you readers make it down to San Antonio next time, you let me know, and I'll treat you to some of the best food in town at Pam's. In the meantime, tell me about some of your favorite local establishments. Cheers!