Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Paramount, Boston

Two things struck me as particularly un-american about The Paramount, 44 Charles Street, Beacon Hill, Boston, Tel +1 617-720-1152. First, they know how to spell omelette. Second, in this land of super-dooper-service, they offer virtually no service at all. And yet a long line of eager diners snakes up and down the counter where, after about ten minutes shuffling forward, they can place an order, wait for their food, then scurry for a table.


So why do people wait 20 minutes for no service? Because it's cheap. Not normally a word you associate with Beacon Hill. Not only cheap, but good. My triple stack of blueberry pancakes was, as the kids would say, fat. Fluffy, too. All it needed was a generous slurp of maple syrup to juice things up a bit. Only $5.50. Sweeeet.

The coffee was shite. But this is America, so you just have to force it down like a teenager learning to drink beer. Presumably, one day, you just wake up and suddenly it tastes good. Mmmm... what a fine brew this is... top me up girlfriend.

Cheapest of all is the breakfast special of two eggs, toast, home fries and coffee (the shite stuff), for a mere $5.95. A side of turkey sausage will set you back another $4. And most of the omelettes will fill you up for less than $8.

13/20 "self-service"


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen about American coffee Jamie. I lived in DC for a while and I nearly strangled people when they asked 'do you want foam on your latay?'...god it was good to move from the US to Italy!

20/1/08 17:29  
Blogger Sarah said...

Ew at the coffee!

I'm in Germany now and the coffee is so hit and miss (more misses than hits)... You know it's bad when Starbucks is the best coffee around!

xox Sarah

20/1/08 22:31  
Blogger Jennifer said...

oooohhhhh.... i so agree with your coffee assessment. i'm an aussie living in new hampshire, i've been living in the states for 7 years and still haven't woken up realising that it tastes good. believe me, it didn't take that long to appreciate beer as a teenager :)

i've followed your blog for a long time and have always envied not being able to eat where you eat, i'm thrilled that you are eating breakfasts in a city that i'm likely to visit in the near future!

24/1/08 07:38  
Blogger cin said...

do you know how many versions of omelette I've seen in on the chalkboards of CBD cafes???

25/1/08 23:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Different types of establishments, in different cities, sell different types of coffee in America. As an American, I always find it interesting when foreigners sum up their one American experience as typically "American". We live in a very LARGE country, larger than most others, and there is a great variety of regional cultures and markets. As a New Yorker, I've had good and bad coffee before. And I've also had sublime coffee in Europe. But please realize, that Americans (as a different people) are not always trying to make their coffee exact replicas of Italian or French ones; we do have our own thing going on here, and "gosh!", we sometimes like it!

Also, $5.95 for the egg breakfast is not cheap. That's a long time breakfast standard in the U.S. and even in NYC you can get that for under $5 at authentic diners.

27/1/08 00:49  
Blogger fifi said...

first time i drank coffee in north america it almost put hairs on my chest. i was buzzing for days from that 16 ounce drip stuff! but low and get used to it. took me a while when i moved back home to get used to a flat white! don't be too hard on them cause boy, do i miss that $5 breakfast (went out for breakfast the other morning and it cost us $50 for 2 of us.....)

13/2/08 14:02  

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