Paradise Cafe and Bakery

Located in Clay Terrace, we visited Paradise on recommendation of a friend (based primarily on the cookies). We went for lunch, and while we waited in the quickly‐moving line, we nibbled on free little cookie bites. Nice appetizer!

Reasonably priced, I went for the sandwich and salad combo. Leave it to places like this to take any nutritional value a salad might possess (thank you for using Romaine lettuce instead of iceberg) and dousing it in fatty‐fat dressing. I chose the Southwest Ceasar salad, which was essentially lettuce and cruched tortilla chips swimming in a spicy dressing. Good, but I had requested “just a little bit” of salad. I would hate to see what a normal amount looks like.
At any rate, it was tasty, and all of their salads are hand‐mixed on the spot, so at least you know they’re fresh.

For my sandwich selection, I went for the Southwest Chicken sandwich, which scored much better than the salad. I really like that they slip a slice of jicama in some of their sandwiches, making for an unexpected bit of crunchy texture. The bread was soft and hearty, what you’d expect from a bakery.

As for dessert, each lunch comes with a chocolate chip cookie…gooey and warm, just the way I like them. After the big salad and the hefty half‐sandwich, though, I probably shouldn’t have had the cookie, even though I managed to (sigh) choke it down for the team.

Karen enjoyed her pasta salad (a whole lotta carbs, let me tell you) and her tuna sandwich. We liked that you could get any salad with your combo, and you weren’t limited to specific choices as with other similar franchises. Karen also enjoyed her cookie, by the way. I wasn’t the only one.

As for originality, I guess there’s not a whole lot you can do to make a sandwich any more interesting or innovative. Paradise seems to have a few more creative offerings than competitors, so they get three stars, but overall nothing really wowed me. I’d most likely visit again (going for the turkey cranberry sandwich next time or, if I’m feeling particularly decadent, the ham and brie panini). A word to the vegetarians, however…make sure you verify whether or not certain soups contain chicken broth or vegetable broth. Employees aren’t always certain, so make sure you speak with someone who knows for sure…

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