Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the tag “appetizer”

The Par Lounge 

Best chicken tender appetizer in town is at The Par Lounge, that I can tell you!  Likely frozen and off the Sysco truck, it’s still a high quality, fried chicken tender.  Coupled with their hot, crispy fries, it’s a meal in itself.  Pairs perfectly with ranch dressing, BBQ sauce and a draft IPA. 

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Way Point Saloon 

Way Point Saloon has the most impressive onion ring tower I’ve encountered!  What stands out for me is how hot & crispy they come out of the kitchen coupled with an outstanding fry sauce.  The rings here are beer battered and definitely in the top two of Ramona when it comes to onion rings.  23 draft beers on tap is a pretty good draw too!

The Par Lounge 

Outstanding dinner recently at The Par Lounge. Here’s the “Combo Platter” from the appetizer menu. Only $13 during happy hour, it includes potato skins, fried mozzarella, onion rings and chicken tenders. Served with sides of ranch dressing, warm marinara and sour cream.

Comes with three tater skins which were great, crispy and hot with an ample amount of cheese. Could have used more bacon and green onions though. The fried cheese was a fairly conservative portion, but excellent nonetheless. Triangle shapes that yielded a perfect cheese pull. There was a very liberal amount of onion rings which is fine with me. For frozen, institutional rings, these are some of the best in town. Five small chicken tenders rounded it all out. I noticed them to be smaller than they used to be, but thicker and more tender & succulent. Not all flat and stringy. 

Now obviously this is a sea of fried brown goodness and not something you want to eat everyday! Occasionally though it’s a nice treat. The only other restaurant I eat at with this much brown on one plate would be Cracker Barrel. Good thing for my pants size there’s none in CA. This whole platter is plenty for two hungry adults, or two average adults with picky child.

The Par Lounge

The next Par Lounge appetizer I’ll be reviewing are the “Chicken Tenders”. Happy hour price is $7.25. Comes with four big, meaty, breaded and fried chicken tenders plus fries. The tenders did seem somewhat institutional (frozen), but were tasty nonetheless. Not the best I’ve had but certainly could have been worse. Highlight was the fries. Always outstanding here! Hot, crispy, moderately seasoned, just the right thickness, etc. And a good amount comes on the plate with the chicken.You can request an array of dipping sauces here but I recommend their ranch and blue cheese. I really appreciated how the dressing was loaded with a liberal amount of blue cheese chunks.

The Par Lounge

So, for the next few posts I’m going to review some of the great appetizers at The Par Lounge. The appetizers here are easily a meal in themselves! Their happy hour is a generous 4 hours, Mon-Fri, 3-7pm. Why limit “happy” to only an hour, right? During HH it’s $2 off everything on the “Great Bites” section of the menu.

Here’s an outstanding order of onion rings, only $3 (HH price). I’ve reviewed this before during our onion ring series so I’ll just stick to the highlights. Despite being frozen, still probably in the top 3 onion ring orders in Ramona. A fair amount comes out hot & crispy in a faux newsprint lined basket. I noticed a new dipping sauce along the side that was so good! Some sort of a spicy ranch type dip.

Be sure to check your itemized ticket at the end. Sometimes there are keying errors and you don’t always get the happy hour pricing.

This place has a modern, top shelf atmosphere with numerous flat screen TVs, patio seating with great golf course views and outstanding service.

Da Tuna Shack 

It’s been a while since we’ve reviewed any onion rings for our series, so we had an order recently at Da Tuna Shack! Shown here is an appetizer order for $5.50. It was beautifully presented in a basket lined with an attractive checkered print, served with a side of ranch dressing.

I’m happy to say this was the first place in Ramona (maybe the only place?) where the rings are housemade/hand-cut! They are coated in a great tempura batter that comes out hot and crispy, albeit bland. The onions (red) were pretty thick and retained a firm mouth feel. Not all soft and mealy. All bites cut through very cleanly without dragging the rest of the onion.

North County Tavern Bowl

They call this “Spare Chicken” at Tavern Bowl.  Outstanding appetizer of fried chicken tenders with fries for only $2.95 during happy hour. 

Dave & Buster’s

Just had a root canal (or endodontic therapy as like to call it) and the dentist is right next door to the adult Chuck E. Cheese.    Of course I had to go and get something soft before the numbing wore off and I couldn’t eat.  These outstanding loaded tots worked out just perfect. 

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