Paul’s Place: cozy feel, mediocre food

The Paul’s hamburger special, which includes a classic hamburger, fries and a soda, costs $7.33 at Paul’s Place in Orange. Photo by Megan Abba

The Paul’s hamburger special, which includes a classic hamburger, fries and a soda, costs
$7.33 at Paul’s Place in Orange. Photo by Megan Abba

Paul’s Place, a small Orange County “gourmet fast food” restaurant chain with locations in Anaheim, Los Alamitos, Buena Park and Cypress, opened its first Orange location a couple weeks ago. Located on the corner of Taft Avenue and Glassell Street, Paul’s Place is a great spot for students to get some good, inexpensive diner food less than two miles from campus.

Its classic American diner menu of burgers, sandwiches and roasted chicken is unexpectedly complimented by Greek favorites (feta fries, gyros and Greek salads) and Mexican cuisine (tacos, burritos and taquitos). Since the restaurant is so new, breakfast items are included on the menu, but won’t be served until further notice.

The interior is clean, classy and modern, nicely decorated in warm, welcoming neutral hues—a nice change from the expected black- and-white checkered floors and red booths often associated with diners.

The restaurant was surprisingly crowded for it being new and 2 p.m. But because customers order and pay in front before sitting down, the food came quickly. The waiters and waitresses were friendly and regularly checked on guests.

The Paul’s hamburger special (hamburger, fries and a soda) was filling and reasonably priced at $7.33, including tax.

The burger (100 percent beef patty, 1000 Island dressing, tomato, lettuce and diced onion on a sesame bun) was pretty basic. It topped most fast food restaurants in quality (as expected) but the meat was dry and, in general, the burger lacked much flavor. The bun was thick, overpowering the rest of the layers, forcing me to eat the rest of the burger without it.

The fries, however, were delicious. They were perfectly crisp on the outside but soft and fluffy on the in- side. Dipped in ketchup, they made the dish worthwhile.

The homey and welcoming feel of Paul’s Place will have me coming back, but this time hopefully for something more flavorful (the blue cheese bacon burger, perhaps?).

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