Mix and mingle at Pamplona

by Kari Walker

Pick a few tapas and share with friends at the Downtown spot

One of my favorite places to go at the end of the week is Pamplona Tapas Bar on Jefferson Street in Downtown Lafayette. I am never disappointed whether I go with my husband and three year old or with a group of girlfriends - it's always a tasty experience.

First up is the cocktail list created by the talented bar staff - from classics to signature drinks, everyone can be thankful for a weekend celebratory drink. You can find me sipping either a Green Vespa or the Blackberry Lemonade because these are my go-to summer vodka drinks at Pamplona.

Once you've got your drink in hand, let's move on to important business - what to eat. Tapas are meant for sharing, so talk with your group and pick a few items to try. The bacon wrapped dates stuffed with bleu cheese and the fried goat cheese croquettes served with a balsamic reduction sauce are two musts.

Clockwise: goat cheese croquettes, half a hanger and bacon wrapped dates

The small plates menu is the perfect compliment to the snacking tapas menu. My favorite of all is the half a hanger - a butter basted hanger steak seasoned with rosemary is cooked via sous vide (a term for cooking meat under pressure in a water bath) and comes served with mircogreens. While sous vide cooking may sound a little crazy to someone who has never experienced it, the steak proves tender, moist, flavorful and cooked to perfection.

And for less-than-adventurous eaters, there are two side dishes that get the seal of approval from young and old alike - I'm talking about the duck fat fries and the mac and smoked gouda. Crispy fries and a cheesy classic side dish will make the entire table happy it's Friday.

Pamplona Tapas Bar
631 Jefferson St., Lafayette