The term “panini” typically refers to a pressed and toasted sandwich. In Cleveland, the word takes on quite a different meaning.
1. An overstuffed sandwich piled high with cole slaw, hand-cut fries, tomato, melted provolone and choice of meat, wedged between thick slices of italian bread.
2. My new favorite sandwich.
1986 Panini’s Bar & Grill in Cleveland, Ohio
Your eyes do not deceive you. French fries. In a sandwich. The Cleveland Panini is a specialty that should not be missed, and is the topic of today’s food guide. I’m on a real Midwestern streak (you can check out my Indianapolis post here). What can I say? America’s heartland’s got some great eats.
– We enjoyed two great meals out with his parents and sister Lisa.
– I met his Grandma Susan, a Holocaust survivor with an incredible life story that I hope Brian will put to paper someday. Grandma Susan will always be his number-one girl, as she should be.
– And we spent some quality time with Brian’s friends Zak and Jamie and their darling baby girl over overstuffed sandwiches at Panini’s Bar & Grill, a true Cleveland institution.
With several locations to choose from, we went to the Twinsburg Panini’s for my lightning-fast indoctrination. I’ve made my love for greasy food pretty clear on this blog of mine, so it should come as no surprise that my transition from life pre-french-fries-in-sandwich to life post was a smooth one.
Made all the more enjoyable with fried pickle chips and boneless buffalo wings.
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but my own fried pickles are better. Brian and Zak said it first.
What I’ll now have to try and replicate for myself is Panini’s Famous Overstuffed Sandwich. We got ours with turkey and it was everything I hoped it would be. Layers upon layers of french fries, refreshing slaw, crisp tomatoes, melted cheese and italian bread sliced thick the way God intended. No flat bread here please.
Presented with a choice between the traditional panini and Panini’s antithesis, I’d pick Cleveland every time. Go check it out for yourself.
I hope you have a great week. My task for the next few days is to attempt to understuff myself from all of the great eating we did. We’ll see how that goes. Happy Monday!