Eco Cajun – The Earth Just Wants To Be Loved Ba-you!

Nestled in Downtown Lafayette, in a gorgeous historic building, is the restaurant Pamplona Tapas Bar.  The restaurant is known for its gourmet tapas menu, ambiance and killer sangria (okay, it’s definitely known to me for its killer sangria).

But did you know that Pamplona has also made efforts to reduce its own waste footprint and recycle more?

The restaurant has discontinued automatically giving out straws, but they are still available upon request.

They also recycle all aluminum cans with the assistance of a dedicated staff member.

Most of the restaurant’s food waste is either turned into chicken feed or compost. Another staff member has a farm with dozens of chickens, and scraps are saved for them. Some of the vegetable waste is also added to a garden compost bin.

They’ve made efforts to cut down on single-use materials they receive from vendors. “When we first started working with our produce vendor, Helical Outpost Farms, tomatoes were being brought to us in plastic clamshell containers. We both talked about it and are now using and reusing plastic hotel pans with lids that we both purchased,” says Pamplona’s general manager, Andrew Payne.

When patrons request takeout containers, Pamplona uses paper boxes, deli containers for soups, and a other items that are dishwasher and microwave safe, so they can be reused many times.

Used cooking oil is turned into biodiesel.

The majority of Pamplona’s products, like these brandy cherries (and aren’t they a beauty?) are made from scratch.

The restaurant also uses reusable cups instead of single-use ones for both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks. At last year’s Festival International,  I refilled my Pamplona cup a few times with more sangria, instead of getting drinks in single-use or new cups. The bartenders were happy to oblige with my request to use the same cup each time.

Andrew says, “The chef, Kris, and I feel that as a business, we need to make a conscious effort to try to reduce waste and be as environmentally friendly as possible. We realize that there is still a long way to go in our restaurant and the industry overall, but we are hoping that through our efforts, we can help bring some awareness to some of these issues.” 
So, if you’re planning a date night around Lafayette, make plans to support a locally owned restaurant committed to sustainability!