Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Recipe for Success--Paradiso Pizza and Subs

They signed the contract pre-construction. Time frame, by my best estimate, was March of 2007. Sitting in their restaurant, Big Joe's Pizza and Subs in Manassas, we marked the occasion with a serving of their fine Italian cake laced with rum. The availability of retail and restaurant condominium property for sale is rare, and they were excited about owning commercial real estate. It took almost a year for the building to be constructed and close to another year for their build-out to be completed. In late 2008, Paradiso Pizza and Subs officially opened its doors at the Piedmont Center Plaza in Gainesville.

I visit Kamran, the owner, and his partner often. Whenever I am out in the Haymarket/Gainesville area (at least once but generally several times a week), I like to see how some of my clients and customers are doing. It is rewarding for me to see how people I've worked with take a concept and bring it to fruition.

Location has been a challenge (they are tucked behind US Tiger building with no road visibility), as was the unforeseen economic times. But I am happy to report that business at Paradiso Pizza and Subs is thriving, so much so that they've added outdoor tables to accommodate additional seating. This is not just a pizza and sub shop. Paradiso Pizza and Subs also features a full menu of Italian as well as Greek specialty offerings, including what I have found to be one of the best hummus dips you can find anywhere.

I discovered their hummus when I stopped in one day to pick up some lunch. The gyros, kabobs, salads, sandwiches, calzones and pizzas all seemed to offer larger portions than I was hungry for. So I asked about the hummus on the appetizer portion of the menu. "We have the best hummus," Kamran told me. "One serving and you will be hooked." Turned out he was right. Their hummus, perfectly seasoned and textured with lemon, oil and garlic, and served with fresh slices of pita bread, is a worthy food craving, and whenever I am in the Gainesville area at lunch time, I pick up my hummus fix.

At Paradiso's, you can eat in or take-out, and free delivery is offered. I have sampled my fair share of their pizza, calzone and salads, and they are all excellent. Which goes to show that good food and friendly service are a recipe for success. The Piedmont Center Plaza is located on Route 55 in Gainesville, across the street from the Haymarket Post Office. Paradiso's address is 6826 Piedmont Center Plaza. Hours and directions are on their website.

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