PARAMOUNT: Not quite

416-366-3600    |    $8.49 -$16.99 Mains

 

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Paramount in the past couple months and hadn’t stopped in until a friend brought me there for lunch today. I’ll say that I didn’t hear anything specific about it, just that it was good. Some things were great, but I admit I’m a bit disappointed.

Video credit: Paramount Website

Food

Assuming you watched video above, your mouth is probably watering. It looks tasty. The menu features a lot of items you’ll recognize, and a few you may not unless you’re familiar with middle eastern cuisine.

We opted to start with falafel (the balls, not the sandwich/wrap) and kebbeh, a bulgar football shaped shell with chopped beef and pine nuts. I’ll say before I comment on these that there are variations on the above and everyone doesn’t make them the same as most cuisines go. I’ve linked them to wikipedia pages in case you’re more interested.

I thought the falafel was well done, fairly large, and had a richness to the inside. I usually like mine with a bit more herb flavour or spice, so it fell a little flat. The kebbeh to me had little to no taste, which I wasn’t happy with. Having had kebbeh made by family, this didn’t compare at all.

Then we tried the hummus and pitas (above). Good redemption here I’d say. The pitas come out freshly made in balloon shapes that you poke to let the steam out. The hummus is also very well done, extra fresh, and quite smooth. 

The main we shared was a mixed grill plate with two skewers of beef kafta, one chicken, and one beef striploin. The kafta was the only good thing on the plate, flavourful, well-seasoned, and tender. Chicken was bland, as was striploin (not to mention is was a bit chewy).

I’ll say that the trays of Lebanese sweets behind us looked really good, but you’ll have to ask someone else or try them for yourself.

Service and Ambience

Nothing to really report as far as service goes. Our server was nice, food came out pretty quickly. That’s about it.

The place is halfway between a food emporium and a restaurant. There’s sitting areas where they’ll take your order, but you can also walk about and grab something to go. The building itself is warm and reasonably well-decorated, and has a buzz about it that you somehow appreciate.

The Reco?

I would come back here to grab some hummus/pita and to try the desserts. However, I must say I wasn’t satisfied with a lot of what I tasted and was hoping for more flavourful dishes that are typical of well-executed Lebanese food. 

Other reviews:
 blogTO |     Eat Drink and Be Mary

 Posted by: Jacob, Visited Dec 5, 2011

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