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Apr 27, 2007 05:32 PM

Good Panini in Austin?

I grew up in Austin, but left before I really learned to love and appreciate food. I have since developed quite a taste for panini, and was wondering if anyone could share with me their favorite panini sources in Austin? I'm especially keen on places that use bread that, when pressed, is not overly crusty (I hate when toasted bread goes hard and the rough corners hurt the roof of my mouth.) Thanks!

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  1. I had a really great panini at Portabla (or La Portabla), which touts itself as an Italian deli but it really isn't, they have some tiny deli case with like, maybe two types of salad. Anyway, they were having some special, a beef tenderloin portabello panini with blue cheese, because the chef found some kind of deal on the tenderloin. And it was soooo good!! So I feel like, if whoever designs the menu can whip up a great panini with some extra beef tenderloin, I'm sure the other sandwiches should be good.

    3 Replies
    1. re: eliza0124

      Enoteca Vespaio has some interesting fillings and presses/toasts the bread without knife-like edges.

        1. re: eliza0124

          Has anyone ever had the paninis at Sweetish Hill? I am not a big panini eater, but I have really enjoyed the ones at Sweetish Hill- especially the daily special ones they do sometimes with grilled vegetables. Trouble is, I have nothing to compare them to since I do not really eat them elsewhere.

        2. Actually, Grapevine makes a really great one. Only serve it lunch weekdays.

          1. The porchetta panini at Mandola's Italian Market is one of my faves, although the bread is not the typical flat bread that is scored with grill marks. It is a slow roasted pork loain sandwich seasoned with alive oil, lemon, herbs and topped with fresh arugula and a little parmigiano.
            The Texas Culinary Acadamy's grill also has a similar panini, but with grilled focaccia.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Homero

              I had the panini at the Texas Culinary Academy's Bleu River Grille today and it was fantastic. The pork loin was well seasoned and tender, the arugula and mustard dressing good, and the focaccia was perfect. It also has some balsalmic reduced onions. I got it with fries for 6:50 although next time, I will get it with soup or salad. Their white balsalmic vinagrette is pretty tasty!

              I recommend this place if you are in the Domain area and want a cheap but tasty lunch.

            2. not really a "pannini", but i love the milanesa torta cubana at taqueria arandas #3. it is pressed, so does that make it a pannini even if it's mexican?

              1 Reply
              1. re: yimay

                I suppose it's like a cousin to a panini. I prefer tortas to paninis myself just because the bread is much softer (and I'm fond of the asada and pastor fillings).

              2. I had a lovely tuna panini at Asti not too long ago. Big hunks of canned, imported tuna with capers and a caponata, I think. Very, very nice.

                2 Replies
                1. re: bookgrrl72

                  This may seem unlikely, but the ones they make at Randall's aren't at all bad.

                  1. re: TAF

                    I kinda like the chicken panini they have at Halcyon. It's pretty basic, but consistenly good.