PLEASE NOTE: For reasons known only unto themselves they are closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Heidi greeted me with great good cheer at the counter and explained, much to my surprise that Paseo has two original stores in Seattle http://www.paseoseattle.com/ The website is minimally useful to anyone in Key West; while it does show the menu there is no mention of their latest and only Florida store. What they call "loners" in Seattle are labeled "sides" in Key West. Much more civilized.
One in Ballard and the other in Frémont, neither suburb well known to me. Now they have a store in Key West, and what a great addition it is to the town.
I was going to try the West Caribbean Bowl with rice vegetables and a piece of chicken but Heidi said the restaurants fame rested it's sandwiches and those she was serving to other patrons looked delicious. So I went with the Paseo Press of nine bucks.
The sandwich was well within this week's planned ten dollar lunch exploration while I am training in Key West during the day. On the other hand some of the sides looked substantial enough to constitute meals and they were even cheaper.
I sat out on the bench at the front of the restaurant and watched the world go by waiting for my good eats.
The sandwich was fantastic, frankly. The pork was entirely Cuban, falling apart and moist, the Swiss cheese and ham were good quality but the grilled slices of onion combined with the banana peppers gave the sandwich a sweet delicious and quite unusual flavor. Plus it was big enough for two people. My wife was pissed I didn't take her half...but it was my lunch I kept insisting to her later! Sharing should be caring.
I wasn't alone in enjoying my meal. Heidi said the place opened a month ago and word seems to have got around. This is in fact a small corner of the Pacific Northwest where civility and recycling are the norm.
It is simply finished, sparsely even, but it is bright and cheerful and they even have a cup of coffee the perfect after sandwich drink. The only coffee drink they make is a double espresso (essentially acolada for Cuban fans) and it was just right.
The mist sprayers first alerted me to the fact that something was happening on Eaton Street across from the Old Town Bakery (think superb dessert...!) and I am so glad a reader told me to check it out.
As the economy continues to squeeze us the relatively cheap lunches and sandwiches offered by restaurants like Paseo will make eating out fun for those of us that are looking for value in a restaurant meal. Paseo rocks.
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