Paramount Fine Foods in Thornhill
This spot just opened in the old Friendly Greek location at Yonge & Clark (just north of Steeles). After reading a lot of positive comments on this site about their Mississauga location, I decided to give it a try.
First off, the place is huge. Friendly Greek was a large place. It looks a little strange to see the Paramount concept in such a large space. The concept really appeals to me. It's essentially a bakery with a bunch of different counters. One of the counters is for hot food. It's an order at the counter and seat yourself kinda place. While is fine by me. But at first, I was totally befuddled! Went up to the counter and a girl took my order for a chicken shawarma. She told me she'd bring it to my table and asked where I was sitting. Uhh... I dunno, I just walked in! Ok, whatever, I looked around and randomly picked a table. Then walked over to a dessert counter and asked for a couple date squares. The lady put them on a plate and said they were no charge today. Nice!
So I sat down at table #83 and within a couple mins, my shawarma sandwich was at my table. It came on a paper plate, wrapped in wax paper. The sandwich was good. Chicken had a ton of flavour and was very lean. The other stuff inside could have used work. The lettuce was kinda limp. There was no hummus, rather a white sauce with a strange texture that was overwhelmingly garlicky. I asked for it spicy, but it wasn't. No worries, there was hot paprika on the table, which I enjoyed. The sandwich was exactly like that at Madina in the foodcourts. I wish the pita was fluffier, the toppings more inspiring and they did away with the garlic sauce and put in hummus. I got the feeling that the garlic sauce was prepackaged and not homemade. The shawarma does not compare favourably to others in the area (ie. Sofra, Me Va Me, etc). Having said that, I'd get it if I were looking for a quick lunch.
The date squares, on the other hand, were FANTASTIC! Nice crunch to the exterior, helped by sesame seads. And pillowy and fluffy interior with incredible flavour. Not too sweet, which was refreshing. I ate two tiny ones and they were far more filling than they looked. I would have been happy with just one.
When I was done, I took my pink sheet and walked to the cash to pay. I guess the concept is similar to Richtree in that you could go to 2-3 different counters and collect 2-3 different pink sheets. Or probably you can order everything from one spot. I still don't know, but may learn in the future.
Others around me had more traditional dinner-type meals. They were brought pita baskets. You can get hummus and salads in prepackaged containers. Everything looked nice and fresh. It's a unique concept. And at $5 per sandwich, it's well priced. I will definitely go back and try some of the other stuff. Perhaps the shawarma on hummus will be better. And curious to try their falafels.
Anyone else go there yet?
I love the manakeesh at the Mississauga location - they remind me a bit of an Arab pizza - they come with a variety of toppings including labneh, zaatar, cheese or a meat mixture and are made to order, they're usually by one of the bakery counters.
While the shawarmas are good, I don't think that is their strength so try some of the other dishes as well next time you go!