This is a nice, well-lit establishment. The patrons tend to be older
than most of the places we've rated, and the decor seems oriented towards their
tastes. The atmosphere is very diner-like, in a good way: friendly waitstaff serving
lots of regular customers. I have only two small quibbles about the seating. First,
there's a cluttered corner where various equipment is kept, and it's rather unsightly
(strangely, it also blocks access to a door with a glowing EXIT sign, but that's
just as well, since the door actually leads into the kitchen instead of outside).
Second, the smoking section is in the front, and you have to stand in it while you
wait to pay your bill. There's no atmospheric music, which is fine by me. The conversation
from other patrons is a bit loud, but we didn't have trouble hearing each other.
The first thing the waitress does when you sit is bring a basket of rolls and crackers.
The rolls are fairly tasty, but you should avoid them if you have a light appetite;
when your Reuben arrives (on real China with metal utensils) it will be accompanied
by fries, lettuce, a tomato slice, a pickle spear, and your choice of side item.
I can't recommend the peaches as a side; they tasted metallic, as if they'd been
in their can for a long time. Soup or salad is probably your best choice. The fries
are pretty unexciting, but tolerably good with the addition of salt and ketchup.
The sandwich itself is of good size, with plenty of tender corned beef. For some
reason some of my beef was _under_ my sandwich, I suppose as a result of building
so many Reubens in a hurry. The bread is a nicely-flavored rye, well grilled, lined
with Swiss on the inside of each slice. I didn't really taste the Swiss, but I could
feel its texture. The beef likewise had a mild flavor, not totally bland but not
very noticeable either. Kraut was piled high, and in those quantities added good
flavor to the sandwich. Dressing was on the side, and seemed to be of a different
recipe than the norm: Chris noted that it was unusually sweet, and it had green
and red bits in it. On the whole, a decent but not exceptional Reuben. In general,
the food is of unexceptional quality, but served in such quantities and at such
low cost that the Paragon is an excellent choice for the hungry Reuben-eater on
a tight budget. Next time I'll somehow save room for some baklava.