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Paramount Room: Bring Your Wallet

Paramount Room: Bring Your Wallet
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  • Post #31 - January 22nd, 2008, 9:20 am
    Post #31 - January 22nd, 2008, 9:20 am Post #31 - January 22nd, 2008, 9:20 am
    I am new to this forum, and my disclaimer is that my company sells meat to both Paramount and Kuma's. So to clear up a few questions about Paramount;

    Yes, the burger is All Natural Wagyu Cattle.

    Just about all Wagyu Cattle not from Japan is first crossed with Angus. Then each generation is reared with 100% Wagyu seeman. Hence each generation gets closer to 100% Wagyu. (with this brand anyway) Wagyu ground beef typically is a mixture of the trimmings and chuck graded "4" and up. Wagyu ground beef is typically $2.50 (wholesale) a pound more than regular choice ground beef.

    Chef Stephen has also upgraded almost all his meats to all natural and heirloom varities. Ex. Berkshire Pork shanks from Iowa, Amish Chicken from Indiana, and the Brisket is corned about 10 blocks from the restaurant.

    I am obviously biased so my opinion won't count. But, I support Paramount's work in sourcing quality products beyond the factory meats found at almost any other bar/ grill in the city.
  • Post #32 - January 22nd, 2008, 9:57 am
    Post #32 - January 22nd, 2008, 9:57 am Post #32 - January 22nd, 2008, 9:57 am
    jdymeats wrote:I am obviously biased so my opinion won't count.


    Hey, we're all biased, but our opinions still count. The important thing is being up front about what our biases are, which you have done. Thanks for your insight, and welcome to LTHForum.
  • Post #33 - January 22nd, 2008, 2:03 pm
    Post #33 - January 22nd, 2008, 2:03 pm Post #33 - January 22nd, 2008, 2:03 pm
    jdymeats wrote:Just about all Wagyu Cattle not from Japan is first crossed with Angus. Then each generation is reared with 100% Wagyu seeman.


    So you start with a girl Angus cow and inseminate her with semen from a Wagyu bull? Or do you import a girl Wagyu cow and inseminate her with semen from an Angus bull?
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #34 - January 24th, 2008, 8:02 am
    Post #34 - January 24th, 2008, 8:02 am Post #34 - January 24th, 2008, 8:02 am
    Good question Leek. I will find out that answer and let you know.
  • Post #35 - May 20th, 2008, 10:29 pm
    Post #35 - May 20th, 2008, 10:29 pm Post #35 - May 20th, 2008, 10:29 pm
    to the growing list of things I like very much at Paramount Room, let me add the caesar salad. For anchovy lovers out there, this is the dressing for you. Pungeant caesar dressing, heavy on the anchovy and served in just the right quantity so as to not overwhelm perfectly crisp, chopped romaine hearts. Sometimes you just need a good Caesar salad. Paramount Room gives it to you.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #36 - July 23rd, 2008, 3:36 pm
    Post #36 - July 23rd, 2008, 3:36 pm Post #36 - July 23rd, 2008, 3:36 pm
    I pass by the Paramount Room often on my way to work and there is a neon sign in the window that says something to the effect of "$10 Kobe Burger + a Pint." Curiosity piqued, I checked the website and saw this:
    PARAMOUNT IS NOW HOME TO THE $10 KOBE BURGER AND A PINT SUMMER SPECIAL!

    You deserve it! Discover Chicago's best "burger and a beer deal" and indulge your senses. Start with our Wagu Kobe Beef burger “dressed” with organic mixed greens, red onion, Beefsteak tomato and Paramount Room’s special sauce and then select from a rotating list of exceptional craft beers available on draft.

    Want to make it even more decadent? Add vintage cheddar (or other artisan cheese options), apple-wood smoked bacon, sautéed mushrooms, or even a fried egg for just a dollar more.

    Now available daily and late night until 1am on weekends (try this for yourself and help spread the word).

    I have not tried it (I would be curious about the selection of beers available for the combo), but it seems like a pretty good deal. Passing this along merely as a public service announcement.
  • Post #37 - July 23rd, 2008, 4:05 pm
    Post #37 - July 23rd, 2008, 4:05 pm Post #37 - July 23rd, 2008, 4:05 pm
    I have tried it, and love it. They really respect done-ness requests and the fried egg or cheese add-on makes for a Kuma's-like plate for $11, with a pint included. As I just mentioned in another thread, I'm also greatly impressed by the Gage's $10 burger (which includes good cheese, but no pint).
  • Post #38 - July 25th, 2008, 7:04 am
    Post #38 - July 25th, 2008, 7:04 am Post #38 - July 25th, 2008, 7:04 am
    Matt wrote:I have not tried it (I would be curious about the selection of beers available for the combo), but it seems like a pretty good deal.

    I'll go out on a limb and say Paramount's $10 burger + pint is one of the best deals in town.

    Current draft beer choices are Gumballhead, Bear Republic IPA, Blackthorn Cider, Oh Brother, Einbecker, Left Hand Milk Stout, Surly Bitter, Matilda, Blanche de Bruxelles, Brooklyn Monster and La Chouffe ($2 surcharge for the last four). As they say, "No Crap on Tap."

    The burger is damn good. Quality meat, cooked as ordered (as Santander also noted above). Tempura green beans (an additional $2) are a nice change of pace.

    Image

    Image

    Service at the bar couldn't have been better. I'm surprised how much I liked Paramount Room and will absolutely return.

    Paramount Room
    415 N Milwaukee Av
    Chicago
    312-829-6300
    http://www.paramountroom.com
  • Post #39 - July 28th, 2008, 5:22 pm
    Post #39 - July 28th, 2008, 5:22 pm Post #39 - July 28th, 2008, 5:22 pm
    Highly intrigued by this special, we stopped in this weekend -- and the burger delivered really well. Nicely seasoned, good portion and excellent cheese options made it a steal at only $11 (upcharge when adding to the burger). Even after adding another $2 for a side (fries or tempura green beans, same price regardless), it's a great value. As Rene G mentioned, the beer list is pretty unassailable, too.

    Our server was very friendly, though she did seem let down when all 4 of us opted for the dinner special. I'd go back, though, for the special certainly (as long as it lasts, anyway -- it's descibed as a summer special), and I'm curious about some of the other options. One of the starters, bourbon-cured foie gras, was calling to me but I was able to stay strong (sadly, the Scotch egg is no longer on the menu, and its call is one I can never shut out).

    I feel I wrote this place off early on for being high on style and low on quality. Thank you, Matt, for sharing the information on the burger/beer deal!
    best,
    dan
  • Post #40 - July 29th, 2008, 10:01 pm
    Post #40 - July 29th, 2008, 10:01 pm Post #40 - July 29th, 2008, 10:01 pm
    LTH,

    Met a couple of friends Sunday at Paramount Room for a pre Lao Szechuan libation. Wafting bacon aroma from the brunch crowd broke down our will and we ordered a side of bacon and a steak tartar.

    Steak Tartar, Side of Bacon

    Image

    The song "If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right" pops into my head as I type this, but crisp bacon with a topknot of steak tartar is ever so delicious.

    Bacon/Steak Tartar

    Image

    Chef Dunne was at helm and whipped up a odd, but terrific looking, and smelling, combo for some friends of his at the bar.

    Fries, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, roast chicken, bacon

    Image

    Chef Stephen Dunne

    Image

    Lao Szechuan was terrific, but I almost wish I'd have asked Chef Dunne to whip me up a mess o chicken, fries, bacon and Brussels sprouts.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #41 - July 30th, 2008, 9:52 am
    Post #41 - July 30th, 2008, 9:52 am Post #41 - July 30th, 2008, 9:52 am
    Count me as another very glad to have Paramount Room in the neighboorhood. From my couple of visits I'm very impressed by the both the quality and value of the food. One thing I'd mention is that most of the portions seem to be huge, so my wife and I have shared and gotten quite full for half price (before a few delicious pints of course). Mainly I wanted to highly complement the brunch since no one has really mentioned it yet. We split the brunch BLT, subbing an over-easy egg for the scrambled. It was outstanding (and plenty big for two, unless you actually enjoy leaving brunch miserable and with your pants unbuttoned), as was the Bloody. We also really liked the tempura green beans, and thought the chili sauce was very good with them (but we don't generally care much for tempura, so maybe that's why).

    Anyway, looks like opinion is lining up favorable, but I wanted to throw in my 2c after reading the pretty negative opening salvo.
  • Post #42 - July 30th, 2008, 1:08 pm
    Post #42 - July 30th, 2008, 1:08 pm Post #42 - July 30th, 2008, 1:08 pm
    Count me in as a fan of the Paramount Room. Perhaps they had a rough start that I didn't experience, as I've only been going there since this past Winter. I love the place.

    $20 for half a dozen quality oysters and a glass of Muscadet from a small artisan producer or $20 for the best steak tartar in town and a pint of great Belgian lambic. If anyone thinks those are outrageous prices for Chicago, they need to get out more.

    The Muscadet is something that needs further comment. Yes, I know that there is weak, watery Muscadet out there, but the real stuff from a true artrisan producer is nature's perfect pairing with raw seafood, oysters in particular. I'm particularly impressed that I can find it by the glass at a supposed "beer bar" but not at "seafood temple" Spring. My point is that there is a real commitment to quality at Paramount Room that goes beyond quibbling over whether a Scotch Egg should be $9 or $7.

    BTW, nearby Ai Japanese Restaurant is somewhere else that gets it right vis-a-vis artisanal Muscadet.
  • Post #43 - August 4th, 2008, 12:45 pm
    Post #43 - August 4th, 2008, 12:45 pm Post #43 - August 4th, 2008, 12:45 pm
    We did brunch at the Paramount Room on Sunday with some out of town visitors. While the choices were rather limited (maybe 5 options, one of which they were out of?), the food was all quite good.

    I had the Paramount eggs benedict, which was toasted italian bread with poached eggs, tasso ham and hollandaise. It was good, though the $11.99 price seems a bit steep since it included nothing else on the side (potato, fruit, etc). My wife had french toast with a pomegranate maple syrup which she said was excellent.

    The things that really seemed to shine were the items ordered off the lunch/dinner menu. The Cuban sandwich was massive and made with large chunks of pulled pork rather than sliced. The croque madame also looked incredible. Either made me wish I had ordered them.

    Though I was still a bit too groggy from a late night at the Broken Social Scene show to drink, their beer list seemed like it had plenty of beers to enjoy.

    Will def be back but will explore the main menu instead of breakfast items.

    Jamie
  • Post #44 - August 17th, 2008, 12:04 am
    Post #44 - August 17th, 2008, 12:04 am Post #44 - August 17th, 2008, 12:04 am
    I think it's time to change the title of this thread.

    Image

    Forgive the crappy phone pic, but this burger - precisely medium rare, generously black-peppered, rich slab of good quality blue, two handcrafted dipping sauces - was at $9 (on special, cheese included) was better than the last two I've had at Kuma's for $10. Not larger, just more balanced, and in a considerably calmer environment. And the tempura green beans are one of the more original burger side options in the city.

    We rounded the evening out with a $7 flight (three generous pours, and actually, a complimentary fourth soon arrived) of draft beers, and then a peaty glass of Lagavullin neat, while enjoying the view.

    Image

    I think they finally have their portion size, and more importantly, hospitality, worked out. I'm liking this stretch of Milwaukee more and more lately.
  • Post #45 - August 18th, 2008, 9:29 am
    Post #45 - August 18th, 2008, 9:29 am Post #45 - August 18th, 2008, 9:29 am
    Santander wrote:I think it's time to change the title of this thread.


    No doubt. (Though typically we don't go around changing thread titles.)

    I had dinner at the Paramount Room a couple weeks back, and it was terrific. Burger and pint for $10 is a heck of a deal. The burger was wonderful, ordered medium rare, and actually looked a bit rarer. It consistent, solid bright pink throughout, but somehow without being much rarer in the center than at the outskirts. Good outer char, good bun. I took it straight, without any optional adornments, and was extremely happy with my choice.

    We started with the beef tartar, topped with raw egg. Also excellent. The complimentary breads were top of the line too.

    I had a beer at the bar while awaiting the rest of my party, and I enjoyed the lively, but laid back end-of-work-week scene. For dinner we moved down to a sort of mezzanine level, which was a really neat space, one of the more unusually appealing in the city. The basement level was hosting a private party. There's a landing with about three tables that overlooks the basement. We were seated at one of these tables, from which we had a great view of the mingling below, the cool space, and a very comfortable, quiet, but not-too-removed dinner.

    Count me a fan.
  • Post #46 - August 18th, 2008, 9:43 am
    Post #46 - August 18th, 2008, 9:43 am Post #46 - August 18th, 2008, 9:43 am
    Santander wrote:Forgive the crappy phone pic, but this burger - precisely medium rare, generously black-peppered, rich slab of good quality blue, two handcrafted dipping sauces - was at $9 (on special, cheese included) was better than the last two I've had at Kuma's for $10. Not larger, just more balanced, and in a considerably calmer environment. And the tempura green beans are one of the more original burger side options in the city.


    Santander - Is the side of green beans included in the $9 price for the burger? You said it was "on special." What is the special? Also, is the restaurant making any claims as to the weight of the burger?

    Aaron Deacon wrote:I had dinner at the Paramount Room a couple weeks back, and it was terrific. Burger and pint for $10 is a heck of a deal.


    Is the $10 burger and pint a regular menu special?
  • Post #47 - August 18th, 2008, 10:07 am
    Post #47 - August 18th, 2008, 10:07 am Post #47 - August 18th, 2008, 10:07 am
    aschie30 wrote:Is the $10 burger and pint a regular menu special?


    I asked about it after Rene G's pictures upthread. There is a sign in the window advertising it, but I didn't see it on the menu.

    If you just order a burger and a pint, but without specifically asking for the special, I'm not sure what they charge you.

    My fellow diners ordered some salmon special and fish and chips, both of which satisfied. There were enough chips that I didn't order a side (plus, the bread and raw beef...mmm cooked beef with a side of raw). I would be happy to split an order of fries, beans, or what have you between a few diners, steakhouse-style, if I wanted to order sides.
  • Post #48 - August 18th, 2008, 10:40 am
    Post #48 - August 18th, 2008, 10:40 am Post #48 - August 18th, 2008, 10:40 am
    Santander - Is the side of green beans included in the $9 price for the burger? You said it was "on special." What is the special? Also, is the restaurant making any claims as to the weight of the burger?


    Last week, cheese was a free add-on (it would normally make the burger $10), and the tempura green beans added $2, making the total cost of the burger plate $11 vs. Kuma's $10 (with fries). For the quality of the food, I thought this was a strong value. I didn't see the burger weight advertised, but it was plenty big, so perhaps they're getting less stingy. Please excuse my thread-renaming burger-glut glee (we still have some pretty amusingly named threads about LTH and Katsu out there, and on this one, the titular directive actually goes for every restaurant in Chicago). I meant to communicate that I think the food:dollar value is improving at Paramount.
  • Post #49 - August 18th, 2008, 11:47 am
    Post #49 - August 18th, 2008, 11:47 am Post #49 - August 18th, 2008, 11:47 am
    Aaron Deacon wrote:If you just order a burger and a pint, but without specifically asking for the special, I'm not sure what they charge you.

    I went in a few weeks ago unsure of what I would be eating and ordered a beer, followed later on in the evening by an order of a burger. I never mentioned the special, but it was reflected on my bill (which also included a few other beers and some mussels and fries ordered by my wife).

    As to size, I would guess the burger I was served was 7-8 oz. Plenty big for me.

    When I was there, there was a group of 3-4 guys drinking at the bar who had apparently ordered a plate (and I mean a huge, heaping mound -- at least 20 pieces) of bacon. I believe there was an accompanying bread basket as well to round things out, but they were eating it more or less unadorned by the piece. Heaping mound of bacon is not, based on my persual, on the menu. But it sure looked good.
  • Post #50 - August 18th, 2008, 11:53 am
    Post #50 - August 18th, 2008, 11:53 am Post #50 - August 18th, 2008, 11:53 am
    When I was there, there was a group of 3-4 guys drinking at the bar who had apparently ordered a plate (and I mean a huge, heaping mound -- at least 20 pieces) of bacon.


    I am almost sure this was us, though others (Wiv, for example) are wise to the bacon side as well. Rule of thumb: anyone eating a basket of bacon can't be evil. Feel free to introduce yourself to such a person / group. :)
  • Post #51 - August 19th, 2008, 9:06 pm
    Post #51 - August 19th, 2008, 9:06 pm Post #51 - August 19th, 2008, 9:06 pm
    I agree with the removal of the "Bring Your Wallet" portion of the title. :)
    DH and I just returned from our first and very successful trip to Paramount Room. We got seated immediately with plenty of tables to spare. The noise level was conversation appropriate and the flat screen TV's in the basement had the Cubs on.
    We both had the burger special (med-rare, cheese, egg). He had the fries and I had the tempura beans. The fries were great---I think the menu said they were hand-cut. YUM. The beans were also quite good. The sauces (garlic aoili and chili lime respectively) were a great compliment. We were both appreciative of the quality of the ingredients. Everything from the tomatoes to the lettuce to the whopper of a dill pickle on the side were quite nice. The burger and fried egg (very runny) were cooked perfectly. It really was a fantastic burger. The meat was just great. My only complaint would be the bun. It was a good bun to start but the juicy-ness of the burger plus runny egg plus sauce plus tomato made it sog up because I eat pretty slowly.

    Even with the add-on fees of toppings and sides, we still felt like it was a good value for the amount of food (tons) and more importantly the quality. Some items on the menu are on the pricier side of bar-food for certain but they also are interesting, atypical items for a bar type place to serve (foie gras, truffled ravioli, etc.)

    Also tonight, in addition to their summer-long pint and a burger deal, they had all you can eat fish and chips (which we saw and looked excellent) and half-price wine bottles. To reference a comment prior as to the comparison of their burger and Kuma's, they are two different experiences as far as food options and atmosphere are concerned....however as someone who has grown increasingly intolerant of long waits and noise I'll take Paramount Room. The Paramount burger is craveable. However, if Kuma's decides to take reservations, that decision is subject to change..... :lol:
  • Post #52 - August 19th, 2008, 9:20 pm
    Post #52 - August 19th, 2008, 9:20 pm Post #52 - August 19th, 2008, 9:20 pm
    Chloe54 wrote:Also tonight, in addition to their summer-long pint and a burger deal, they had all you can eat fish and chips (which we saw and looked excellent)


    You know, it's funny, we saw this deal too, but after ordering a regular helping of fish and chips wondered how much more of a deal you could possibly get from the "all you can eat" deal. It's a pretty good-sized regular portion.
  • Post #53 - August 23rd, 2008, 11:46 pm
    Post #53 - August 23rd, 2008, 11:46 pm Post #53 - August 23rd, 2008, 11:46 pm
    Finally made it to the PR last night for some drinks and dinner. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience, which was great fun but the food was not without problems. Service was friendly, helpful and excellent, overall.

    To take a step back, I have to say that I'm really not in agreement with the 'bring your wallet' part of the subject line of this thread. 6 of us ordered 6 appetizers, 5 large plates, a couple of sides and a bevy of cocktails, which totalled $206, before tip. For Chicago (especially this part of town), I thought that was a relative bargain, based on the number of items and the portion size.

    However, quality-of-plate-wise, the food was nothing to write home about. It was a major bummer when our tempura green beans arrived at the table somewhere near room temperature. 3 other appetizers ordered in that round were variable. Bacon-wrapped fresh mozzarella and fennel salad was tasty but also cool and the bacon could have been much crispier, rather than chewy. Scotch Egg was tasty but again, room temperature. Beet Salad with goat cheese was nothing special but it didn't suffer from not being hot enough. :wink:

    Larger plates were relatively unsuccessful. The kobe burger was cooked past the medium rare at which we ordered it and it had a very unpalatable seasoning on it. Some at the table thought it was thyme but I thought it was more menthol-y than that and actually reminded me of pine sol. Another person in our group said it reminded him of eucalyptus. 17-hour-braised pork shank, a special, was fork tender but way too sweet for my taste. 2 orders of fish and chips arrived at the table cool and flaccid. Steak Tartare was very delicious, as was the Lake Superior Whitefish with seasonal veggies. A side of bacon was flavorful but rubbery and an additional side of seasonal veggies was perfectly cooked -- possibly the best item on the table.

    My expectations were high because I'd read a lot of the praise on this thread and had also heard from other friends about how much they liked it. I also know that chef Dunne has a solid reputation. But also, while I realize this is a bar, chef's name is painted on the door and that does set the expectation level fairly high. Quality of ingredients was excellent but execution really lacked. We sat in the lowest level of the space, which some in our party said could have accounted for the cold food but I'm not buying it. This was a kitchen problem, IMO. I drive carry-out food home (and to my office) all the time, and even after 10-15 minutes in the car with the a/c blasting, it's usually hotter than the food we were served during our meal at the PR. Conveying food down one stairway does not cool it off to that degree. This food must have sat for some time before it found its way into the hands of our server, and to our table.

    After being prompted, one of the people in our party mentioned some of these problems to our server, who seemed genuinely concerned about them. She insisted on bringing a couple of comped desserts to the table -- a turtle pie-type thing with marshmallow sauce and a rootbeer float that, I believe, had Guinness as a component. Both of them were tasty and it was a very nice gesture on her part. Again, I can't say enough about the great service.

    Maybe it was just an off night and we certainly had fun but I was let down by the food. I was told that chef Dunne was not in the house and that perhaps his absence was the reason that the food was a notch below what it otherwise might have been. My feeling is that at a great place, chef being out doesn't result in such issues. I'd definitely go back and hope for a better outcome next time.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #54 - August 24th, 2008, 9:44 pm
    Post #54 - August 24th, 2008, 9:44 pm Post #54 - August 24th, 2008, 9:44 pm
    Stopped by Parmount room this evening for dinner and can report a very good meal. Everthing served at proper temperatures - tempura beans came piping hot out of the fryer to our table - so hot we had to let them sit for a minute and cool before eating. Crispy Truffled Ravioli was quite good and served over a big bed of sauteed vegatables and bacon, but there were only three ravioli in the serving which would have been a problem it I hadn't ordered the side of beans.

    Otherwise, Fish and Chips came out nice and crispy, enormous Reuben was made with some tasty corned beef, and the burger was cooked to temperature and seemed quite good, although I didn't get a taste.

    The prices seemed reasonable for what we were served. The Kobe/pint deal was quite a bargin I thought, and the excellent draft beer selection was a bonus. Service was right on target as well.
  • Post #55 - October 16th, 2008, 12:22 pm
    Post #55 - October 16th, 2008, 12:22 pm Post #55 - October 16th, 2008, 12:22 pm
    A lot of the posts here, as well as in the GNR nomination thread, mention their burger (one that I've certainly enjoyed). Curious about some of the other items on the menu, I had dinner last night (with an eye already on the Wednesday night fried Amish chicken special).

    Three of us picked up the following -- the Amish fried chicken, served with mashed potatoes and gravy; an order of pozole with pulled pork and scotch eggs; and the fish of the day, a whole red snapper, lightly breaded and fried with a (hearty) garnish of chorizo, olives and toasted garlic. Overall, we were very happy -- everything was pretty/very good. The chicken had a nice flavour, though I found the coating to be a little breadier than anticipated. This wasn't a bad thing, at all, since the coating tasted like the really crispy topping you get to a plate of stuffing finished under the broiler. Still, when I think 'fried chicken', Amish or no, I have Harold's in my mind, or something similar.

    Speaking of the broiler, the Scotch eggs were okay -- hot, unlike Ronnie's experience, but having been finished under a broiler, I think, most of the egg was cooked away. I mostly tasted sausage, a slighly spicy Italian mix, but very little egg. On other hand, unlike, say, the Gage or Hopleaf, you got enough eggs to feed 4. The pozole was thicker than expected and didn't have as much pulled pork as we would have hoped. My friend also thought that at $9, it was a little over-priced.

    The snapper was excellent, overall. Their chorizo is really good, and stood out really well in contrast to the more mellow flavours of the fish. It was also a lot of food for one person, as was the fried chicken, come to think of it.

    The cost of everything got to us, too. I thought everything was priced all right, maybe a touch on the high side (the chicken was $14, the fish $20 and the eggs about $6 (I think?)), but price/value is relative. Their burger-and-a-pint special is no longer a summer-only thing -- my one friend said she would gladly come back, but only for the burger, bringing things back full circle, I guess.

    FWIW, the other off-menu special was "fries with eyes" (their description), aka fried smelt.

    Their beer list, as frequently mentioned, is solid, though we were sad that Rogue's Anniversary Ale was no longer available -- we went with pints of Surly's Furious, prompting lots of jokes about '2 Surly, 2 Furious', which were also very good (I also had Founder's Breakfast Stout which could have easily been confused for an unsweetened iced coffee -- I found it too much leaning on coffee flavours, and it could have been served a little warmer, too).

    The lower room was being used for a private party, leaving precious little space otherwise for walk-ins. I don't know how often the restaurant is used by a private party, but if anyone was going to go with a large-ish group, you might want to call ahead to make sure there would be a table available.
    best,
    dan
  • Post #56 - October 17th, 2008, 9:51 am
    Post #56 - October 17th, 2008, 9:51 am Post #56 - October 17th, 2008, 9:51 am
    danimalarkey wrote:The chicken had a nice flavour, though I found the coating to be a little breadier than anticipated. This wasn't a bad thing, at all, since the coating tasted like the really crispy topping you get to a plate of stuffing finished under the broiler.


    When I visited The Paramount Room, Chef Dunne made a point of recommending that I come back for the Wednesday fried chicken special. He described the chicken as first being heavily seasoned, then breaded in a mixture of Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes. This could account for the slightly different style of coating.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #57 - October 22nd, 2008, 11:11 am
    Post #57 - October 22nd, 2008, 11:11 am Post #57 - October 22nd, 2008, 11:11 am
    I ate here last night and had the burger, and hubby had the all you can eat fish and chips. We went to try it out as its near the condo and very easy to get to after work, just take the #56 bus over from the loop. I am kind of conflicted on this place. As far as a GNR, I can see it, maybe kinda. It's definitely a neighborhood place, and I guess I just wanted to like it more. The food was good, but certainly not great. I wanted the burger to be Kuma's good with the egg and all, but it was just above average. I wouldn't get the special sauce next time for sure. Maybe it's just that I don't like baseball style burgers. I like them flattened out a bit more. I really didn't like the green beans. They were warm, not hot, and the dipping sauce seemed as if it was Frank's and Sriracha mixed together, just an overpowering garlic taste. The fries were not "chips". They were hand cut and could have been really great if not for the sogginess. The fish was great, perfectly cooked. All in all, I want to return, I'll just try something else.

    I really liked the vibe in there. They have some great specials, and the half price wine bottles last night was a winner. We sat in the bar area near the window. The bar was surprisingly rowdy at the early happy hour time. Sean the bartender was working his tail off to give good service, so I'm definitely going to give it another shot.
  • Post #58 - November 17th, 2008, 8:57 am
    Post #58 - November 17th, 2008, 8:57 am Post #58 - November 17th, 2008, 8:57 am
    A quick story that furthered my belief that Paramount Room is a great neighborhood restaurant...

    Last night, chef/ owner Stephen Dunne was tending bar, and apologizing for being less up-to-speed on the beers than Shawn, PR's usual bartender/ manager. I jokingly asked what gave Shawn the nerve to take the night off, and Stephen reminded me of Shawn's pretty good excuse - he and his wife had a baby this weekend.

    Fast forward to a perfectly cooked burger and an hour later: the phone in the bar rings, and Stephen answers. The jovial crowd of about 20 people hanging out at the bar is pretty loud, so Stephen covers his free ear to block out the noise and carry on his conversation. Then, he holds the phone in the air and yells, "Hey everybody, I've got Shawn on the phone!" All conversation ceases, and the whole crowd launches into a full 30 seconds of "Woo Hoo!'s" and "Congratulations!" The excitement in the air was palpable, and it was truly touching.

    When Paramount Room first opened, there was some early speculation about it being an investor-driven, impersonal place that's out of touch with the friendly feel of the neighborhood. For all in the bar last night, nothing could be further from the current truth.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #59 - December 6th, 2008, 2:27 pm
    Post #59 - December 6th, 2008, 2:27 pm Post #59 - December 6th, 2008, 2:27 pm
    Alas, our attempt to celebrate Repeal Day at the Paramount Room last night were mildly cramped by Paramount's lack of success in just about everything we ordered.

    Two of us ordered medium burgers and got quite well done. The server specifically repeated "medium" when verifying our orders, so I'm assuming it was the kitchen's fault, especially because the french fries and tempura green beans that we ordered were way too greasy.

    Furthermore, I was not very impressed with any of the four cocktails I tasted (I ordered "Autumn Leaves" and one other which isn't on the online menu and I forget what it was called.) Actually, the Paloma was not too bad. It is no longer on the printed menu, although it's still online and the server suggested it and got them to make us one anyway.

    This was my second visit to PR. On the first time I enjoyed the manhattan and steak tartare... so I won't totally write it off. But honestly, with disappointing food and drinks, plus the music too loud (and why do there have to be TVs on?)... there wasn't much to recommend it based on this visit.
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #60 - December 6th, 2008, 3:22 pm
    Post #60 - December 6th, 2008, 3:22 pm Post #60 - December 6th, 2008, 3:22 pm
    germuska wrote:... there wasn't much to recommend it based on this visit.

    Joe,

    You sit upstairs or down?

    It's my opinion Fri and Sat evening are booze, and simple preparations at that, only at the Paramount Room, maybe an appetizer at the bar if need arises. Most every negative comment, mild or otherwise, I have heard concerning the P Room has been generated by people sitting downstairs on a busy weekend evening.

    Yes, I know, that's not the way it should be, but, at least from my experience and observation, that's the way it is.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow

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