Saturday, August 15, 2009

Paseo - Fremont, Seattle

The food at Paseo was pretty good, but it definitely doesn't deserve to be one of Seattle's top rated restaurants. Sure, the line is long. Being sought after seems appealing. Sure, the prices are fair. Our total was just under 30 bucks. But, the flavor is not extraordinary, and there were entirely too many bay leaves in the food.

The Cuban Roast is Paseo's most popular item on the menu. It's a slow-roasted, marinated pork shoulder on a toasted baguette. The sandwich comes with pickled jalapeno slices, carmelized onions, a whole Romaine lettuce leaf, and lots of aioli. The pork was very tender, but the flavor wasn't terribly exciting. Dear Ben thought it was cooked perfectly - he liked it more than I did. I did like the sandwich just fine, but it was hard to eat. The abundance of aioli caused the pork to slip-slide off the bread. I ended up eating my half with a fork. You're going to need several napkins if you order this sandwich.

The Cuban Roast Sandwich

We ordered a side of the carmelized onions - the same ones served on many of their sandwiches. I wanted an extra side to taste because apparently they are so well loved that there's even a carmelized onion sandwich! I love onions, and these were tasty, but I'm not sure it will be necessary for me to order a side of these in the future.

Side of Carmelized Onions

Dear Ben loves Cuban sandwiches, and the "Midnight Cuban Press" sounded right up his alley. Here's Paseo's description: "Cuban pork roast nestled a top sweet banana pepper slices, draped with sheer slices of smoked ham and sweet cheese melted between a hot press." You gotta admit that sounds pretty good. There was nothing wrong with the sandwich, but I only had a few bites before moving on to other items in hopes of something better. I was really hoping that the sandwich would be pressed thinner. I think I would have liked it better that way. The Cuban Roast was better.

Midnight Cuban Press

In addition to the sandwiches, I wanted to try the prawns in rojo sauce. You get to choose your spice level, one through five stars. We chose a three since we were unfamiliar with their spiciness. It was a good level of spiciness - I might have been able to go hotter. The rojo sauce was great - I love sauce over rice. Unfortunately, the prawns were overcooked and chewy. No, thank you. That is not for me. Nice sized portion though.

Not sure where my picture went? I'll look for it, and post soon!

We also ordered the salsa and chips. These are purchased separately and very inexpensive. The salsa was pretty close, if not exactly, like the rojo sauce. I do really like the Caribbean flair, but think the bay leaves should be removed before serving. Some of the pieces were small, and I didn't like getting it in my mouth. Go ahead and order a few sides of this salsa. You can pour it all over your food. It's tasty and unique.

Salsa & Chips

Finally, we tried the black beans. You can order by the cup or pint. Grab a spoon, it's more like a soup. The bay leaves are much bigger in this dish, therefore easier to remove, but I still think they should be taken out for me. Black beans are kind of a no-brainer, but good nonetheless. Good choice for vegetarians though!

Pint of Black Beans

I'll probably end up going back. I'm going to order either the Cuban Roast Plato - it comes with salad, rice, beans, and corn on the cob - with a side of 3-star salsa. Or... I might go out on a limb and try the West Caribbean Bowl. It's their signature rice and beans "blessed" with cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, and tortilla chips. Sounds like nachos, and nachos are definitely a weakness. I'll let you know if I am more impressed with Round Two. As for this Round at Paseo, well, it doesn't live up the hype.

4225 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103-7221

Paseo (Fremont) on Urbanspoon

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