Parkstone Restaurant Newport Beach Review:
This past weekend I had the opportunity to finally try out a new fast-casual restaurant called Parkstone Restaurant in Newport Beach. Parkstone Restaurant is a fast casual restaurant which also offers a large selection of beers on tap, a great selection of appetizers, ample seating, and a wide variety of menu options ranging from soup and salad, to burgers and tacos. We were introduced to the restaurant by one of my husband’s coworkers, and since it’s just a short drive from Irvine, it was a quick jaunt over there to grab some Friday night happy hour with a casual dinner.
On Fridays, Parkstone offers happy hour from 3-6pm, and you will get reduced prices on the on-tap beers. There is no price reduction to the food.
This is a counter-style ordering experience, so there is a big menu in front which lists all the food options. Beer options can be seen by going over to look at the taps, or by looking at the handheld menu by the register. After perusing the menu for a few short seconds we decided to order the deep fried deviled eggs and a side of the roasted brussells sprouts for our appetizers. The deviled eggs were pretty interesting, I had never had a fried deviled egg before, so having nothing to compare it to, it was very crunchy and delicious.
The roasted brussells sprouts had a great smoky flavor and were topped with a tangy dressing (maybe it was just vinegar) it was hard to tell. For my entrée I ordered the Grilled Fish tacos (Wild-caught rock cod, spicy cabbage slaw, and pico de gallo) which also came with a side of chips and salsa. The tacos were topped with a tartar sauce, which helped a lot because the fish was on the dry side. The chips tasted like “bagged” chips, I don’t think they made them on site, and the salsa was fairly average- it was on the thinner side and didn’t have any cut up tomato chunks or any visible vegetables in it. My husband ordered the Spicy Bacon and Egg Burger (Fried egg, applewood-smoked bacon, onion rings, chipotle aioli). The entrees were reasonably priced at 10.95 for the tacos and 9.95 for the burger. The burger also came with a small bucket of seasoned fries and a chipotle aioli dip which was spicy and delicious.
For his beer, by husband decided to try out the “Golden Road Point the Way IPA”. The beers are offered either small or large, and the large is 22 ounces- so if you aren’t planning to stay a while you may opt for the small.
A few quick thoughts and qualms about the restaurant.
*For my drink I ordered water, and they gave me this flimsy, tiny child-size plastic cup to put it in. As a dine-in patron, I would expect at least a glass cup at this type of establishment. Also you have to refill your own beverages, (except for the beer), and since my tiny water cup was so small I had to get up and refill it about 4 times during the course of the meal. Also a side note, that the beverages offered are not your standard Pepsi, Coke, Sprite variety- they are artisan sodas of different flavors like different fruits.
*The other thing was the fact that you had to wait in line to order your food. It just seemed a little strange to me that people would be waiting in line to order at a place which also has such a large beer tap selection and larger entrée type foods. I kind of didn’t know what to expect when the food was brought out to us, like would it be served in a plastic basket like they do at Rubio’s or In N’ Out, or on actual plates? It was served on actual plates, and was plated quite nicely. Also since the food was brought out to us, I wasn’t sure if I was expected to tip, since I hadn’t actually been waited on by a waitress, was a tip necessary?- it was a little confusing to say the least. Also we weren’t sure if a tip was necessary at the bar either, since it was just beer and not cocktails. We opted not to tip. I mean, we don’t usually tip at places like Rubio’s and they also serve tacos and alcohol.
*The food was good, albeit not really unique in any way. It was well seasoned, had good flavor and was cooked properly, but there wasn’t a real “signature flair” that could distinguish the food from any other establishment.
*The service was good, maybe a little too good. The person who was working the cashier and also brought out our food and my husband’s beer, asked a little too many times “how is the food?”, like it got to be an every 3 minute sort of thing. It was a little annoying. If I say: “oh great thanks!”, then that should be the cue to just leave me be to eat my food unless you are refilling my drink (which they don’t here) or until you need to bring me the check.
Parkstone was an enjoyable dining experience, and I may go back- if only for the roasted brussells sprouts, those were extremely tasty.
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