My friend, Sara, and I went to Cafe' Parizade for lunch today. I've heard much about Parizade and my expectations were high. This restaurant is one of Georgio's Hospitality Group, run by Georgios Bakatsias, known by everyone in the area simply as "George". It's been a rare time that I've been in one of his restaurants where I wasn't well served, well fed, and left happy.
I walked in Cafe' Parizade and was immediately struck by the artwork. It was so bold, so daring, yet, just so perfect. The paintings are by artist Henrik Fantazos, please visit his website ( http://henrykfantazos.com/ ), see his style, if you are the least bit interested in art you will still be mesmerized by some of his paintings while you are in Parizade. I'm not critiquing the artwork, I'll leave that to you, but the subject matter is worth a discussion or two. I do think it's perfect for the place, especially the mural on the ceiling, it's quite fun.
When we walked in we were seated immediately. I knew I was taking a chance by just walking in without calling. but we had a very nice waiter who knew exactly what gluten was and didn't mind checking with the chef about things. The lunch menu was a bit limiting about gluten free items, it consisted of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, and pastas. I'm sure we could have gotten inventive with a sandwich - no bread, I even thought about a pasta with no pasta, but the soup of the day was gluten free and I thought I'd just add a salad. So I here's what I had: (Thanks to my friend Sara for the photos)
Cup of White Bean and Sausage Soup $3.00
and Mixed Organic Greens with Balsamic Vinegar.$5.00
My friend's lunch was not gluten free but it looked very good and she assured me it was. She had the BLT Stromboli - crisp bacon, mozzarella, fresh tomato, and a Caesar side. $8.00
We were both very impressed with our meals. My soup and salad were extraordinary, I was so impressed by the quality of the balsamic vinegar. We both walked in the restaurant expecting our meals to cost much more, needless to say we were very happy to find ourselves walking out with our bill less than $10.00 each. They also have a $4.95 lunch special and a card where you can buy 3 and get 1 free. Of course, that's a lot more difficult when you are gluten free.
Over all I give Parizade high marks, especially for a busy lunch. After looking at the Dinner Menu I think it would me much easier to eat gluten free at Parizade for Dinner. I will be happy to go back again. When I get to try it out for dinner, I'll let you know how it goes. ; )
Cafe' Parizade is located in Erwin Square 2200 West Main Street Durham, NC 919-286-9712
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