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Restaurant lunch highlights:

Paramount Grill

Paramount Grill

PG burger is reason to go off diet grid

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

paramountstoresfIt was time for a UF Entomology Nematology lunch pal gathering with longtime friends Kathy Milne and Jane medley. In the last year we have added two new lunch partners in Kathy's husband David, and now Jayne's friend Kenny Denham. So a table for five has become the order of the day in this visit to one of the GLOB Master's favorite lunch stops in the picturesque down town Summer in the City venue of the Paramount Grille.



I arrived first and was enjoying the wonderfulness, beauty of being swept into an old world feeling as the dark silhouettes of the PG windows allowing a view of the brick streets and oldest buildings in Gainesville providing a brief look at how Hoggetowne use to look.

In the GLOB Master's view the Paramount Grille is one of the two, or three more stylish, professional, and delicious Gainesville lunch stops.

Sorry GLOBers, the GLOB Master is not going to divulge the other two my other two lunch time favorites right here, right now . . .

Come on lunch outer you know our fair city is awash with a variety of excellent cuisine options, and 'just right' venues and over 240 different kinds of lunch adventure you are choosing.

I do admire Paramount's contemporary approach to a unique menu Daily Specials board with surprising, compelling lunch time entrée suggestions. The Paramount Grille lunch menu is loaded with enticing entrees including:

  zzGLOBbullet Braised Bison Short Rib Panino with Portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, gorgonzola and tomatoes – horseradish mayonaisse, ($11).

zzGLOBbullet The lunch menu includes three extraordinarily delicious sounding hamburgers ($15), and Main Plates including a blackened salmon ($21), and a veggie, stir fry curried tofu ($13).

Kudos to the PG Kitchen Team for creating one of the better looking panini sandwiches toasted, pressed to perfection and presented with very high lunch appeal. Sure, I'm Ok with plate presentation being very high on my lunch time appreciation list. GET INAGE FORM PG PAGE HERE.



In fact the Roasted Chicken Panino with bacon, apple, Boursin, and dijonaise rang the lunch chimes for Jane, Kenny, and Kathy with Kathy choosing a Kaiser roll fir her lunch time Sammy.



David's lunch was also chicken drive but he went the Wrap route for his that included bacon, avocado, and pesto in a yummy looking wrap.

I'm sad to say I don't include hamburgers in my diet ant more. I was thinking outside the salad plate for the PG Southwester Hamburger with fried green tomato, goat cheese, avocado, and chipotle aioli stacked on a magnificent piece of plump, juicy, 'Grilled Angus Beef''.



My lunch was sitting 'Tower of Pisa' like in front of me when I decided eating my lunch open face seemed like a good idea. Plus, feeling smarter, my knife-and-fork hamburger modification allowed me to eliminate a slice of white bread carbohydrate from my mid-day meal.

The juicy red meat protein was glorious. The layers of spectacular flavors offered a visual tower of avocado, fried tomatoes, cheese challenging me to eat the entire burger.

So I did.



The 'little somethings' spoil great lunch 

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

paramountstoresfThe question I hear the most when I introduce myself as Gainesville's GLOB Master is, "What is the best restaurant in Gainesville?"

After saying there are 243 restaurants in Gainesville with many unique 'best restaurant' choices, I quickly say if my mother were coming to town I would take her to the Paramount Grill downtown.

My friends and I were in luck with an early arrival there for lunch with only one table of six ordering ahead of us. The PG ambiance, service, and uniquely interesting menu never fails as a great lunch experience. This lunch stop is special if for no other reason than to gaze out the PG windows onto the old Gainesville brick streets and historic preserved buildings.

I was with long-time friends and previous UF Entomology & Nematology colleagues, Jane Medley and Kathy Milne, to celebrate Ms. Milne's birthday.



Ongoing adventures with my diabetes led me to choose the Paramount Grill Southwestern Hamburger with fried green tomato, avocado, goat cheese, and chipotle aioli for $11 as an excellent option, YELP image above.   I could easily leave behind the bread (and thus keep my carbs down) by treating the sandwich as an open-faced dish.

I find my cerebral logic wires working more often since I am trying to marginalize bread, white ingredients from my diet.

To start the meal, our server described a soup special of Indian-spiced, roasted garlic and tomato soup with cilantro that sounded divine down to the cilantro that had me thinking outside my lunch box for a side order of soup.

PGrosanneWhile we were catching up on Kathy's birthday, and Jane Medley's retiring from Entomology & Nematology, our server returned with the news there was no more hamburger meat in the kitchen. I was surprised by that – how do you run out of an important product like that so early during the lunch interval? As a second choice, like my pals, I too ordered a panini sandwich and lamented the toasted bread thinking Giilda Radner's very cunny character Roseanne Roseannadanna is correct saying, "If it ain't somethin', iIt's something else."

The Portabello Panino with asparagus, roasted red pepper, caramelized onion, spinach, brie and pesto for $7 did sound good, image at top of this review. In fact I had even given the Panini serious consideration before deciding on the red meat protein.



There is a link to the complete Paramount Grill menu at the restaurant link at the bottom of this page.

Our order arrived in a timely manner and I eagerly tasted the soup for spices and flavors. The soup was delicious with a very small tinge of Indian spices which made me happy since I am not a big fan of curry. I did manage to squeeze in a little bread during this lunch as the soup came with a tiny homemade basil roll. Yum.



"This is really good soup," I said to the server. "But I'm not tasting the cilantro," I say to the server disappointed about missing my favorite spice.

"Oh, the Chef decided he wasn't using any cilantro today," the server stated matter-of-factly. Another missing ingredient!

The Portabello Panino was a very good alternative to my red meat dream. The bits and bites of red pepper, onion, and spinach were delicious in the melted brie. The pieces of asparagus jumped out off the flavor palette literally making me stop to smile at the delicious, crunchy asparagus flavor. The accompanying side order of a light salad with navy beans and a tangy vinaigrette dressing was my substitute for the waffle fries.

As always lunch with friends from my bug/insect working days is an enjoyable lunch hour and the food served was delicious. Unfortunately this trip created a quandary as far as my recommending the PG as one of the best lunch stops in the future. Should I mention the ingredient missed steps in my evaluation or should I think of the missing cilantro as a grain of salt?

The Pluses and Minuses of the Paramount Grill:

The Paramoung Grill + indicators :  Excellent cusisne, atentive service.

The Paramount Grill - indicators :  With attention to detail falling off is the Paramount resting onit's laureals?

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the Paramount Grill. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS



A wonderful, 'old Gainesville' lunch experience

zzGLOBbullet Paramount Grill one of Gourmet magazine's best Valentine's Day dinners.

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

Would it surprise you to learn that the fine dining establishment, the Paramount Grill (PG) in downtown Gainesville, is serving up a sandwich at lunch?  It's an incredibly tasty, pressed sandwich called "Grilled Chicken with Havarti, Bacon, Plum Tomato, Organic Greens and Avocado with Garlic Aioli."

PmountPICThat's quite an inventory of ingredients combined in this toasted, pressed-to-perfection, melted cheese flavor extravaganza.

When it's my turn to suggest a lunch out spot to friends I am happy to pick the Paramount Grill because I like to think of the PG as one of my special lunchtime discoveries.

The Paramount Grill is a great friendly lunch gathering spot for your biz meeting. The tables are spaced out evenly enough that you don't feel like you're invading the space of lunch outters at the next table.

There is no sense of being in a hurry at the Paramount Grill. Located on a side street just off of Main St, the PG has a large front window with a great view looking out on one of the oldest streets in Gainesville. Directly across the street is a beautiful, red-brick rustic building that once housed what may have been the first hardware store in Gainesville (Rice Hardware, now American Apparel -- which retained the original well-worn wooden floor).



You can imagine yourself in a Gainesville from another era as you sit amidst a gracious decor at a table traditionally laid out with a white table cloth and cloth napkins, and an attentive, quick-to-please wait staff eagerly anticipates your needs.

The Paramount Grill lunch menu is an interesting variation of their dinner menu and features salads, soups, and wraps.

They have also included a nice collection of burgers, some veggie items, and a very nice assortment of special lunch entrees like Almond Encrusted Crab Cakes, Salmon Saute' with Portabello Mushrooms, and Pesto Roasted Chicken Roulade.

From the perspective of this professional eater, if you are looking to impress, to close a big business deal, or just to stop, step back, and take a breath away from every day madness, the Paramount Grill might very well be your designated destination.

So fellow GLOBers, if you are out to impress where's your best lunch out spot?



Plans had been made for a Paramount Grill Sunday Brunch for quite a few weeks.The PG's menu of excellent choices made decision-making very hard but eventually entrees were chosen. Gold stars go to the Crab Cake Benedict with lots of crab, plumtomatoes, roasted garlic and basil hollandaise, and gooey poached egg yolks over all, despite the curiosity of crab cakes sitting atop a slice of sourdough bread. The Chicken salad crepes with brie were a close second with tasty chunks of chicken over baby spinach, asparagus, and plum tomato salad tossed with fig vinaigrette and finished with walnuts. The thick slice of Almond Crusted French Toast served with fresh blueberries, raspberry coulis and sour cream was very good. Two friends took advantage of the all-you-can-drink mimosas. How good was our Sunday brunch?  Our plates were cleaned spotless, we had enjoyable extended conversation, and I'm going back!

-- Mike Sanford, GLOB Master

The Pluses and Minusesof The Paramount Grill:

The Paramoung Grill + indicators :  A superior lunch experience in beautiful, old Gainesville.

The Paramount Grill - indicators : Lunch can quickly work up to the pricier side of a good lunch deal . . .

 Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about the Paramount Grill. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS

Last modified onWednesday, 19 June 2019 04:54

Additional Info

  • Phone Number: 378-3398
  • Address: 12 SW 1st Ave., Gaineville, FL
  • Urban GLOB Location: Downtown
  • Latitude: 29.651189
  • Longitude: -82.325363


  • Sidecar Bob
    Sidecar Bob Tuesday, 17 November 2015 12:39 Comment Link

    Pan seared salmon Benedict ,poached eggs with avocado slices,bacon,garlic Hollandaise on toasted bun.... Paramount Grill Sunday special.... very excellent !

  • LynnD
    LynnD Wednesday, 14 May 2014 21:26 Comment Link

    I went to Paramount Grill's brunch last Sunday and the “Banana, strawberry, walnut and vanilla bean pancake with real maple syrup and honey butter” had WAY too little fruit AND is WAY too big. It’s like a Dutch pancake in that it is as big as a plate, but Dutch pancakes are supposed to be thin, and this "pancake" was more like 2 inches thick. I do not recommend it unless there are about 4 of you really in the mood for a pancake . . . but even then, my beef is, Where’s the fruit? Ironically I ordered the pancake because I thought I would get a good serving of fruit, but I think there might have been what added up to one whole strawberry, MAYBE 4 walnuts (one for each quadrant I guess), and maybe 4 slices of banana . .. and they were baked in the cake so they did not provide a freshness that would have actually complemented the pancake. PS, The pancake, in and of itself, was good –it’s actually more like a thin cake.

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