Trying new cuisines can be intimidating, even for seasoned foodies, but Paramount Lebanese Kitchen in Heathrow minimizes that uncertainty by presenting the best of Mediterranean cuisine in a way that’s both tasty and approachable.
Paramount Fine Foods is an established restaurant chain based out of Toronto, but the U.S. franchise, driven by Scott and Nayrouz Brewster and CEO Amine Abdul-Aal, is new and already taking Central Florida by storm.
Just last year, the first restaurant opened up on International Drive, with Paramount Lebanese Kitchen — a fast casual style spin-off — opening in Heathrow – Lake Mary shortly thereafter. New locations are set to open soon in both UCF and Tampa.
From the simple “create your own” concept to the picture-heavy menu board (complete with descriptions for less familiar items) and inviting facade, walking into Paramount Lebanese Kitchen is anything but intimidating.
The friendly, casual atmosphere and customizable menu make for a perfect introduction to Mediterranean cuisine whether you choose to visit for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. (Or all three – the food is good.)
Upon entering, you’ll place your order at the counter, (Paramount is kind of the Chipotle of Mediterranean food) customizing as you go.
First up, you’ll pick a style. Authentic options include hummus and rice alongside fresh offerings like tabbouleh (a salad made up of parsley, onion, tomato, lemon, and oil) and saj (flatbread) wraps.
After picking a style, choose from 4 meat options or vegetarian-friendly falafel. I really enjoyed the beef shawarma, which is marinated beef cooked on a spit and thinly sliced. It’s excellent paired with tabbouleh salad, pickled turnips, hummus, and tahini. (Cue stomach rumble.)
Simple toppings can be added along with some truly standout sauces. While the food is great on its own, a sauce (or two) will really amp up the flavor. The tahini sauce is great with falafel, but equally as good drizzled atop a salad bowl. The garlic sauce is worth sampling and pairs great with a chicken saj.
While you may at first feel like you’re going to mess up your order by picking a strange combination, I assure you the process is foolproof. (I tested it!) The menu options all compliment each other; even tahini and hummus make a magical combination.
As a reward for your adventurous eating experience, don’t miss dessert. My personal recommendation is the baklawa – flakey phyllo, pistachio, and sugar water all add up to a bite-sized burst of sweetness. If one isn’t enough, grab a box to go. Just don’t be surprised when it’s empty before the end of the day.
If the simple ordering process and delicious food aren’t impressive enough, Paramount is also backed up by high-quality, healthy ingredients.
The Mediterranean diet in general is one based in balance and moderation, with a focus on clean and healthy ingredients. Paramount Lebanese Kitchen has kept this intact, using locally raised meats that are responsibly farmed, non-GMO, and free of antibiotics and hormones.
The concept is truly farm-to-table, with the owners selecting the local farms from which they obtain their meat, and butchering the meat in their own boutique butcher shop. This gives the restaurant full control over how animals are treated and butchered, while also offering top quality.
There is certainly a strong undercurrent of mindfulness from educating customers on where the food comes from.
“You can be part of the solution,” says Justine Assal who works with Paramount on PR and marketing. Restaurants like Paramount Lebanese Kitchen offer customers more than great food – they introduce a way to support responsible farming practices and local businesses.
All of this contributes to a dining experience you can feel food about. Fresh ingredients, quality meats, and community focused owners who genuinely care about those they serve.
It’s the foodie-oriented community and the clientele’s willingness to try new things that gets customers in the door at Paramount, but it’s the approachable (and deliciously satisfying) cuisine and fresh menu offerings that keep them coming back. Don’t miss this local Mediterranean favorite!
About Paramount Lebanese Kitchen
Paramount Lebanese Kitchen is located in Colonial TownPark at 1145 Townpark Ave #1211. For more information, visit www.paramountfinefoodusa.com or call 407-878-3236.