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Paramount falafel

Paramount Fine Foods is such a grand name for what is essentially a fast food restaurant. Quick serve at most.

Actually, I’m not sure that’s the name. I’ve also seen it refer to itself in various places at Paramount Middle Eastern Cuisine and Paramount Lebanese Kitchen.

Whatever, Paramount is a Middle Eastern eatery out of Ontario, Canada, that has recently moved into the United States with its U.S. headquarters on International Drive. A location there has been open for a while, but I stopped in to the newest store near UCF to give it a try.

It was clear that the crew there was still learning some of the ropes. People were obviously undergoing training and there seemed to be some confusion as to where things were and whose job it was to do whatever. All that was fine and to be expected.

Paramount counter

There’s a little bit of assemblage to the process, which I found more irritating than the training. I chose the Beef Shawarma but then had to choose if I wanted it as a sandwich, and if so what wrapper, or if I just wanted the meat in a bowl. And then I had to choose all the toppings. I got the lavash wrapper with some pickled turnips, tomatoes and extra tzatziki sauce. The wrapper tore easily, and the meat tasted of charred schnibbles rather than slices of grilled beef.

Paramount sandwich

But I also got a side order of falafel and it was very good. It was served simply as two balls of frittered chickpeas dotted with sesame seeds. But despite the crisped exterior the fritters were moist and flavorful inside. Next time I would get this as a sandwich.

I found the prices to be a tad high. The $8.99 for the sandwich, even if it had been stellar, was steep. And those little orbs of falafel goodness came in at a buck each.

There isn’t much fine about the space, which is tidy but a bit cold and sterile. The people were all pleasant and seemed genuinely concerned that their guests were satisfied. Maybe next time.

Paramount (fill in descriptor here) is at 11325 University Blvd., Orlando, and other locations (see website). It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The UCF phone number is 407-203-3219.

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