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Monday, July 21, 2014

More Than Just A Sandwich! Restaurant Review

There is a restaurant in Park Ridge called Panino's. According the the free online Miriam Webster Dictionary a Panino is usually a grilled sandwich made with Italian bread.

To be sure, Panino's serves a variety of sandwiches, some of them grilled and some on Italian bread. And they serve much, much more.

I often go for the Blue Cheese Burger, a favorite of mine, and so filling I often share a burger & fries (or soup) with a co-worker. Eating the whole thing leaves me unable to contemplate dinner later in the day so . . .

The burger is very good - well cooked to order and dressed simply with lettuce, tomato, sliced onion & pickle slices on a grilled bun, the bun hearty enough not to fall apart and tender enough to be bitten easily. The fries are the sort that are coated. Not my favorite but I'll take them if the soup is not one of my favorites.

Ministrone and a delicious Cream of Chicken soup are available every day, with a third "Soup of the Day" which changes seemingly at random. All the cream soups are good. The Tomato Basil with Rice is exemplary. Order a hunk of Italian bread & butter with a bowl of soup for a light but satisfying lunch.

Other burgers, all in the $8 - $9 range, include Mushroom Swiss, BBQ & Cheddar, BBQ, Bacon & Cheese and one with Avocado sauce, Bacon, Jalapenos & cheese. All come with fries or soup.

Sandwiches include the ubiquitous Italian Beef, a couple subs, a wrap or two and several versions of a steak sandwich. I hear "Da Pot Roast" (both the sandwich and the dinner) is to die for.

The salads are beautiful, generous and varied. Greek, Caeser, Chopped, Caprese, and Antipasto are only some of them. The greens and vegetables are fresh and crisp, the toppings ample and the dressings delicious and served on the side. From $3.50 for a side to $9 for the salads including breaded or grilled chicken they're worth the price.

Typical appetizers include fried mushrooms, baked clams, chicken wings and calamari as well as mussels and toasted ravioli. Two pages of pizza include Chicago & East Coast style, Pan, Stuffed, Artisan Neopolitan and Calzones. Name your poison and they'll make it fresh for you. Thin slices and "Grandma Pizza" slices are available at lunch for $3 to $4 each.

Paninis, Tostinos and Timpanos (a sort of stuffed pasta pie baked in a pizza crust with cheese) are also on the menu, as are dinner entrees ranging from pork chops (breaded or grilled) to skirt steak to pot roast, shrimp & ribs and chicken, BBQ or fried. Italian dinners include chicken or eggplant Parmigiana, Vesuvio, Marsala and Saltimbocca. Pasta dinners, too numerous to mention, range from spaghetti to ravioli to lasagna and everything in between, including seafood choices.

Fresh baked bread is served during dinner. A recently introduced wine list includes several reds, whites, Italian and other beers, sparkling water and soda pop. Catering, Lunch & Daily Specials and delivery are all available.

The Park Ridge location of Panino's is open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for dinner. Sister locations include one on Broadway in Chicago and one on Dempster in Evanston. Visit their website at or the individual web sites for more information or to view the full menu.

Quotable quotes; in the category Don't Worry, You Won't Go Hungry!

"And I don't cook, either. Not as long as they still deliver pizza."  Tiger Woods

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