Thursday, August 25, 2011
3605 Sandy Plains Rd., Marietta, GA www.paradisegrillmarietta.com
A couple of weeks ago my friend Megan accompanied me to Paradise Grill in east Cobb. It's located in a nice shopping center with a Hallmark nearby and Publix as the anchor.
This wasn't the first time I've patronized Paradise Grill. Several years ago I used to eat here at least every other month, and had an opportunity to try many of the dishes. I was pleased to see that one in particular is still on the menu.
The prime and cheddar ($8.99) is an excellent sandwich. This consists of slow cooked prime rib (thin-sliced, slightly shredded) and good quality cheddar cheese with a side of au jus. I must admit - I'm a sucker for au jus, and Paradise Grill provides a tasty version. You'll have a choice of breads, and you should definitely get the marble rye. For sides, your best bests are the house chips or the pasta salad. The pasta salad is light, chewy, and perky, and the chips are home-made, thin, slightly dark but not too greasy.
The Grill also offers plenty of typical bar food - wings, club sandwiches, chicken fingers, nachos, quesadillas and burgers. None of it is particularly noteworthy, but none of it is actually bad, either. If you've got kids, they'll probably eat almost anything on the menu. Parents have obviously already figured this out: Paradise Grill is usually packed, with about 3/4 of its customers being families with young or preteen children. What kid doesn't like a chocolate brownie a la mode? There's also an actual kids' menu.
If you're not in the mood for any of the above, Paradise Grill has a page of seafood items you might enjoy. I recently had the shrimp tavern basket, which at $8.99 was basically a rip-off. For this price you get a whopping total of 9 fried shrimp, along with a serving of fries or house chips. 9 shrimp? I don't know what I was thinking - this was clearly stated on the menu - but this isn't enough food for anyone who weighs over 90 pounds. If you want to fill up on fries then you can get out a lot cheaper at McDonald's.
On the subject of seafood, there's also mahi mahi, salmon, fish and chips, fish tacos or pasta with scallops, etc. added. These are all more expensive than the baskets, but they're probably worth the extra money because you'll actually receive more than 5 mouthfuls of seafood. I seem to recall enjoying the blackened fish wrap ($7.99) or some version of this in previous years..
My biggest problem with this place is the service. When I used to frequent this place about 5 years ago the service was consistently good, but now the entire staff appears to be between the ages of 17 and 20. Lots of cute young girls, but also lots of mixups on your orders, bone dry water glasses and apathetic servers who are M.I.A. whenever you need them. Notice to restaurants: I'll take an older, unattractive but conscientious server over a young, hot clueless one any day.
Verdict: Not as good as it used to be, but the prime and cheddar is still worth a visit.