Deck on Paseo – Restaurant Review

On April 2, 2010, in Reviews, Seattle, by admin

Today was one of those random day off holidays, so I figured it was a great opportunity to try a new recipe and a new restaurant; a perfect food day for me!  I was going to try and get up this morning and check out a nice cafe or bakery, but that didn’t happen.  One of these days it will, especially since there is coffee and cafe culture around here that I really have not taken advantage of.  So instead, I decided on lunch.

There were three places I was debating.  The first is Specialty’s Cafe, quite possibly my most favorite sandwich place, at this point.  I haven’t gone since I was an intern downtown nearly four years ago, but it’s downtown, and I’ve been there before, and this is about new experiences.  That left two places, Salumi and Paseo.  I found out about both of these places from watching the Travel Channel, with Salumi appearing on No Reservations and Paseo on Chowdown Countdown.  I decided on Paseo mostly because it was closer (and because I fully intend on going to the Metropolitan Market in 15 minutes to buy some Salumi Salami, thanks Marnie!).

When I looked up the address for Paseo, I noticed that there are two locations, and that I have driven by both of them many times since I’ve lived in Seattle.  One is down on Shilshole, near Ray’s Boathouse and Anthony’s, and I drive past every time I go to Golden Gardens, at least a half dozen times every summer.  The other is on Fremont Ave.  I can’t count how many times I’ve driven and even walked past that location.  When I arrived at 1:30 in the afternoon, there was a line out the door, and I wondered how I could have missed it so many times.

Paseo is a very non-descript restaurant.  In fact, there isn’t even a sign.  And don’t think about pulling out the credit card as Paseo is cash only.  The line wasn’t exactly fast moving; it took about 20 minutes to get to the front to place my order.  But, based on the reviews, I figured it would be worth the wait.  When I finally got to the front, I simply defaulted to the most popular item, the #2 Cuban Roast, as simple combination of roast pork, caramelized onions, cilantro, and the Paseo sauce.  As I was waiting for my sandwich, I was wondering why anyone would want to stay and eat in the small dining room.  The place was packed, and I’m not one that really enjoys eating with a line of people bumping into me the entire time…

Ten minutes after I ordered, I left Paseo with sandwich in hand.  I was hurrying to my car, so I could make it to my appointment on the Eastside.  I had decided that I would wait until I got to the freeway before breaking into my sandwich.  Before I got halfway there, I couldn’t take it anymore.  The smell of the pork was just overwhelming, and so, I had to unwrap it and take a bite.  The first bite was pretty good.  The bread was nice and crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside.  The sauce was was excellent, and it had a nice hint of cilantro.  But I realized I didn’t catch very much meat or onion.  So, I took another bite.  In the second bite the sandwich went from good to amazing.  The pork was so juicy and flavorful complimented perfectly by the caramelized onions, jalepenos and a sauce with it’s hint of garlic (kind of like a garlic aioli).  I quickly took two more bites, and was absolutely in heaven.

I can’t believe that I’ve lived in Seattle for 6 years, and this is my first trip to Paseo.  The sandwich was absolutely perfect, and I will definitely be going back.   I am already planning on doing the number 8, the Cuban pressed sandwich.  This is a spot that I definitely recommend to anyone that has not been there.  Just be sure to bring $10 in cash and your appetite.

And as to the question earlier as to why someone would dine in, I now get it…waiting to bite into that amazing sandwich (and I’m sure the other food) is pure torture.

Paseo (Fremont) on Urbanspoon

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