If you are going to Pam’s Patio for lunch, be sure to get there a shade on the early side. Pam’s cookin’ has been known to pack the locals in the smallish dining area right when traditional lunch time starts; however, true to the name, there is abundant seating in the outside patio. You just have to be able to brave the Texas heat to snag a spot!
I have to start out by saying that the most striking feature about Pam’s Patio is the fact that the staff is so friendly given the fact that their restaurant is so packed that they must have to negotiate around the maze of people to deliver food and pick up the plates. Amazingly they all have smiles on their faces.
One of the big minuses to Pam’s, although something that would not typically bother a consumer at any other restaurant, is the whole ordering process. You wait in a line that snakes around tables and then order your food, but instead of paying, you are told to walk down the line to the register. The line is quite congested because there are multiple servers to the queue that takes the orders; top that off with the fact that some people are being served their salad instantaneously along with the fact that the soda refills are in the same line, and you get a cluster pretty quick. This cause you to be in a line for a while in order to finally pay. I think the biggest minus to this is that you don’t get to talk to your friends because it is pretty much a single file line and you have to be on point to figure out where to go and incoming people to dodge.
Ok, enough about the ordering process (I know that is not why you are here).
I ordered the strawberry lemonade and the chipotle chicken sandwich which came with a piece of watermelon, homemade chips, and mango avocado salsa. The total of my meal was $11.35 (it would have been $9.25 if I just got the sandwich).
The strawberry lemonade was fresh, and the added bonus was having real strawberries (not some syrup) floating at the top of my glass. I definitely recommend this choice and bypassing the soda.
The chips were all right, but what really made them was the mango-avocado salsa that has some red onion and maybe cilantro in it. I know that it may sound a little gross, but I wish I could have had more! It really tastes like summer and that with the lemonade made me feel like I was free.
They were out of focaccia bread, so I got it on their sub bread, which I think turned out for the better. I have to say that the sandwich was pretty dang amazing. The chicken was hot, the bread was soft, and the homemade chipotle mayo was muy delicioso. The sandwhich really brought it.
My friend got a chicken salad sandwich and said that it was equally as impressive. He did make a lot of sense when he said that, “The reason that I got a chicken salad sandwich is because if I am going to spend $9 on a sandwich, there better be more work involved than just slicing meat and putting it on bread.” In spite of Expensive Sandwiches being Number 63 on the popular list www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com, I think it is a little absurd to charge that much for a sandwich. This is callous, but it is true.
Then again, it was an amazing sandwich and I might be tempted to set aside some money from the next 3 paychecks and go back…
Value: 6.5/10 (lunch is steep, but (1) it is a restaurant that prides itself on “fresh ingredients” and (2) it truly does taste good; I just want you to know your dollar won’t go far)
Atmosphere: 7/10 (I like the inside atmosphere, the paintings, and the patio, however, as a person with a background in Industrial Engineering their ordering process is nothing but frustrating that robs you a quarter to a third of your lunchtime from talking with your friends)
Service: 9/10 (Incredibly friendly folks that somehow can wind around the crowds to make every table clean; the service is quite good in spite of what they have to work with–imagine what it would be like if they got the ordering process straightened out)
Salsa: 9/10 (yes, this is San Antonio so we do have chips and salsa at our sandwich shops; it is a funky take on salsa that really delivers)
Taste: 10/10 (as much as I want to complain on the price, it is a dang good sandwich)