Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Eataly - Panini

Location: 43 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL 60611
Eataly on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:

Having studied in Italy for a several weeks, I have been exposed to incredible sandwich shops.  Each of them have fresh meats, cheeses, and veggies.  Even in Chicago, places, like J.P Grazianos, offer authentic sandwiches with freshly baked bread and high quality meats.  At Eataly, one of the first stands you encounter is the Panini stand.  They have six or seven different sandwiches ranging from prosciutto to porchetta and even a couple vegetarian options.  Unfortunately, I thought it was awful.  Nothing like hard bread, flavorless meat, and no cheese/veggies except for some finely chopped up giardinera.  I don't know if coming at dinner time is a disadvantage with freshness, but it was awful.

If I was doing a review on the entire establishment, I would easily give this entire establishment a 2.5 mile rating.  Other parts of Eataly make up for this awful attempt at an Italian panini.  Definitely check out the Focaccia.  When it comes to just the panini stand, I did not hesitate to give it a 1-mile rating.

What We Ate:


As I mentioned above, the panini stand is located right next to the entrance of Eataly.  We already had some focaccia in a bag, but decided to also share the Nicoletta Panini.  This cold sandwich has porchetta (supposedly seasoned with garlic and rosemary) and is topped with giardinera.  This may have been one of the most DISAPPOINTING meals I have ever eaten in Chicago.  The bread was HARD, not chewy... HARD.  The meat was bland and the giardinera was minced till essentially it was unrecognizable.  I personally like chunky giardinera so it didn't help the sandwich at all.  There was no sauce or even olive oil.  I think it needs either cheese, olive oil, whole grain mustard, or some kind of substance to give it a creaminess.  I know we chose this sandwich, but still... how is something like this on their menu.  Do not order this sandwich and honestly, if you like softer, edible bread, avoid this place altogether.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- If you end up coming to the Panini stand, get ready to spend $7 or so for a very below average sandwich.  Do add cheese or some kind of condiment to your sandwich.

- Honestly, don't waste your money here.

How far would I walk for this food?

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