Comfort Food   1 comment

There was one goal for going to Paragon Restaurant (an offsheet of a California chain that tries to do a American brasserie style restaurant)… a grilled cheese and tomato soup experience.

I was surprised that the cheese was not a bit sharper, or a more well known Tillamook cheese or Vermont cheese or any local cheese. The waiter explained that they made almost everything in house (homemade chips, relish, pickles… which were not part of this sandwich but another sandwich at the table). Well, this is probably something they shouldn't because it was ok but not outstanding. So the cheese sort of faded away, losing out to the fresh tasty massively thick bread which was a perfect mix of crunchy crust and doughy inside (which is not made in house but by a local bakery).

The bread was perfect for dipping into the excellent tomato soup (just add a little extra pepper- it was great with the grilled cheese, wouldn't pass on its own but since it did come with a sandwich there you go), though it got a little greasy since the bowl was so small and I had to tear the bread into small pieces to dip. Really it was more like cup of soup then bowl of soup, which was fine portion wise but I wished the lid was a bit wider (the depth was perfect for scooping out last little partial spoonfuls though it was best soaked in the bread). They were really generous with this plate- look how much side salad there is- that this $9.50 is not a bad deal as it gives you a full meal. The salad dressed with balsalmic tried to provide an acidic counterbalance to the umami ooze of the grilled cheese and the sweet and saltyness of the soup with a bit of bitter mixed greens, but I missed the homemade pickle that came with the reuben but didn't come with the grilled cheese. Not the best grilled cheese I've ever had- and only because the bread and tomato soup were so good and the cheese did not hold up its end of the bargain in the taste department. If only I could transfer Savor Soup House's grilled cheese menu to here. Still a great grilled cheese plate overall though, and so close to being perfect.

Meanwhile, the calamari that a co-worker's wife recommended was fantastic- very light batter, those little rings went down oh so easy accompanied by the soy-lime ginger (the salty sauce) and the apricot-jalapeno (the sour sauce- don't expect any kick from the jalapeno). I'm not quite sure what the fennel was supposed to be doing, but that calamari was kicking it, crunch and slight chewyness but not too much, and no discernible grease factor.

The surprise for me on this outing though was the tastyness of the cocktails. The "laissez les bons temps rouler" drink with whiskey, cherry liqueur, ginger liqueur, absinthe and orange bitters and orange zest packed a real punch like you would imagine in older classic times- perhaps kick this back to loosen you up when you leave work? My "antioxidant elixar" drink with blueberry house infused Skyy vodka, pomegranate juice and lemonade was light on the alcohol, but really really delicious in flavor. It would be a great drink in the summer for a party. Another great drink was the "paso doble" with mazama infused pepper vodka, cointreau, mango puree, fresh lime and blood orange juice. The appearance is deceiving- it really has quite a little kick that makes your mouth smile. It looks like it should be fruity, but it has a decent fire that tickled the tongue briefly. I'm glad I didn't order it as it would have competed with the tomato soup, but it would be a perfect accompaniment to some of their other sandwiches.

I have to go now… a friend sent me a picture of her gorgonzola fries at Henry's Tavern, and I both want them and feel a need to work out to burn off some chloresterol… I've wanted to go to Henry's for a while, because they have a great beer selection from different microbrews. Now I know they also have this insane concoction. Mmm…


Posted January 20, 2010 by pechluck in Uncategorized

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One response to “Comfort Food

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