Paragon – San Jose

by brendan on October 10, 2006

Last night, my lovely bride and I celebrated a.) my birthday, b.) our 7th wedding anniversary and c.) the fact that we have now signed our lives away and are more in debt that I could ever imagine to build our dream house by going to Paragon in San Jose (word of note: their website is pretty crappy in terms of speed and navigation).

Do I realize that this is a chain restaurant and that the readers for Cod Cheeks will turn up their noses in our direction? Of course. However, we had a dining certificate (read: coupon) and our traditional standard, Vin Santo, is closed on Mondays. Paragon has always been a very reliable back-up for us. The food is good, the ambiance is quite nice and the parking is free. For me, the restaurant equivalent to a hat trick.

My wife never eats traditional meals when we go out. Like me, she is really cheap in a lot of areas and the idea of spending a ton of money on food pains her to no end. A few hundy on a nice pair of shoes? No problem. $16 on an entree? No f’ing way. So she eats appetizer and judges all restaurants on the quality of their apps. Last night, she had asparagus and french fries. She loved both, but only ate a few of the fries. She commented to the server that I don’t really let her eat and I think that he believed her.

Meanwhile, the evil ogre that I am, skipped the appetizer and went right for the entree; Pan seared Chilean sea bass (yes, I know it’s toothfish, what can I say? I’m white trash). It was really good. If I had a straw, I would have slurped up the juice that was left over on the plate. It was served over a bed of baby potatoes and topped with diced olives, capers, and sprouts. Really amazing stuff. Hopefully, when I have a good range, I will be able to make something like this too. I had a glass of Hess Select Cab to go with it.

The atmosphere at Paragon is bordering on XYZ annoying, but they are just chill enough (I wore flip flops) that you don’t feel like a big tool if you wear jeans. They have a full bar and small TV’s with sports on them. I’m sure that, if San Jose had a more hipster & bustling down town, that this place would be jumping. Unfortunately, the affluent people that live in San Jose also don’t like to dress all in black and drink to techno music.

That’s the word from the man on the street looking for a bite to eat.

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