On October 11, The Taste Adventure crew, joined by Fred Kindred, Joe Hermann and Mike Egan, convened again in the heart of Loveland to have lunch at one of that area's iconic eateries: Paxton's Grill, literally just across the street from the Bike Trail. Aware of the place's well-deserved popularity, we met up early at 11:30, hoping to snag a coveted outdoor table on the snug patio just a few feet away from Loveland's main street. While our efforts were rewarded, and the weather was glorious, unfortunately the dining experience was marred by a seemingly ceaseless convoy of HUGE dump trucks rumbling by, often drowning out any attempt at normal conversation.
While obtrusive traffic noise was exasperating, Paxton's food, as expected, was delightful compensation. The multi-page menu truly offered "something for everyone"—from appetizers to soups to salads to sandwiches to burgers to wraps to platters to kids' meals to desserts—and even vegetarian choices! (While primarily lunch and dinner oriented, Paxton's even serves breakfast on the weekends.) With such a broad spectrum of choices, the group took some time deciding, so a dozen chicken wings were ordered for the table, and some of us took advantage of the various craft beers on draft at the full bar. The tasty wings didn’t last long.
For the main event, Fred ordered a bowl of white chicken chili, and was pleased with it. Mike chose a Cuban panini (pulled pork, ham and pepperjack cheese on grilled ciabatta bread) with waffle fries ($1.50 extra for the fries in place of the standard chips), and was a happy man. A bit more conservative, Joe went for the fish sandwich (two cod fillets on grilled rye) which he found delightful. John, a native Cincinnatian, tried the unique goetta sandwich (grilled, on rye bread with melted Swiss cheese and grilled onions) with waffle fries, and found it exceeded his expectations. George, intrigued by the Bleu Boy (thinly sliced roast beef topped by roasted tomatoes, shallots, mushrooms and blue cheese crumbles in a balsamic glaze served on a baguette), gave it a try, and was considerably relieved to discover that it tasted far better than it looked. All five members of the group felt their respective meals were excellent, and well worth the moderate prices charged. Service was consistently brisk and friendly.
Everyone in the group had eaten before at Paxton's, so there were no surprises; we all agreed it was one of the best restaurants the Trail Taste Adventure had yet visited. Factoring in food quality, breadth of choice, reasonable prices, proximity to the trail, excellence of service, availability of outdoor seating and offerings of craft beers on draft, it well deserves 4 1/2 bells.
126 W. Loveland Ave., Loveland
Hours: Mon. - Thurs. 11 am to 10 pm; Fri. 11 am to 11 pm; Sat. 8 am to 11 pm; Sun. 8 am to 9 pm