Paramount Fine Foods launched as a single location in Mississauga, Ont., and is now the fastest-growing Middle Eastern food chain in Canada.
It’s easy to see why, since Paramount dishes up top-notch Middle Eastern fare at very reasonable prices. Paramount’s hummus, for example, is one of the creamiest, silkiest versions I’ve had, and sings with the subtle sesame flavours of tahini. Moutabbal, Paramount’s version of babaganoush, is velvet-textured and deeply smoky. Served with the dips is hot-from-the-oven pita bread, puffed up like a football.
Other delights abound. Musakaa is like a Middle Eastern take on ratatouille, only better. Mujadara features rice and lentils together, a match made in culinary heaven! Even the fattoush and garden salads are a cut above. Anchored by romaine lettuce, they’re fresh, tasty and generous.
Another must-try is the manakeesh, the Middle East’s answer to pizza, here, anchored by a pillow-soft crust. We tried two, one flavoured with zaatar, the fragrant spice blend of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and oregano, and one stopped with the thickened, herb-dusted yogurt called labneh, which was a revelation! Superb!
The massive mixed combo platter brings a meat lover’s dream: chicken shawarma, chicken kebab, beef kebab, ground-beef kebab and large falafel balls.
Paramount bakes its own line of tempting Middle Eastern desserts, including assorted versions of baklava and mamoul, a kind of turnover filled with dates.
Paramount offers full catering capability for meetings and events of all sizes, and can prepare food at the event itself, but that capability is site-specific and depends on ventilation and other factors. The catering department can also customize menus and food decor.
— Don Douloff has been a restaurant critic for over 30 years and, during that time, has critiqued more than 1,400 eateries. In 1988, he studied the fundamentals of French cuisine at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, France. During his time in France, he furthered his gastronomic education by visiting the country’s bistros, brasseries and Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine. He relishes exploring the edible universe in his native Toronto and on his travels throughout Canada and abroad.