It’s kind of contradictory. When seeing the word Panini, immediately a hot pressed sandwich with loads of ingredients and oozing with cheese comes to mind. The Panini’s Bar & Grill sandwich franchise in the greater Cleveland area boosts a healthy list of those loaded sandwiches, but they have way more on the menu than that. Everyone around me recently was talking about just absolutely loving their pizza. As long as they have been open – which is on the good side of 25 years from when the first Panini’s was conceived on the East Bank of the Flats, I had never stepped foot into one of the restaurants. Not because of hearing bad things…but because of hearing not anything about it. So glad to have finally tried the Sagamore Hills haute on Rt. 82 with my husband and a couple of friends.
Fashioned as a sports bar with TV’s, memoribilia, hustling bar and and a busting menu, my visit on a Friday night was both good and accomodating. Having no idea what to order, the friends we were with guided us through the menu suggesting the overstuffed sandwiches. Boy you’d better be starving because these sandwiches look like they can feed three. The menu boosts burgers, wings for $7.59 a dozen and 17 sauces to choose from, as well as Classic sandwiches diners would expect to find on the menu at a place called Panini’s. The prices are crazy cheap with the average price of just about everything on the menu $7.99. Appetizers for no more than $5 are showcased with their push for a Jumbo Pretzel with Con queso cheese and mustard. Chicken sandwiches and soups and salads round out the menu. Our curiosity lead my table to order pizza. Ordering larges – Pizza #1 with mushrooms, pepperoni and peppers and Pizza #2 with sausage, onions and double cheese. We also ordered salads which were good but not really great. When the pizza arrived, the order was wrong. Oh brother, how hard is it to take a pizza order? The waitress made it right though, so kuddos to her. She told us to keep the pizza and she put the correct pizza order in. Only 10 minutes later we now had 3 pizzas – with the wrong pizza and the newly corrected pizza free. “Their mistake” she said. The pizza, served on pedestals was good. The dough was excellent. Crisp on the edges, not doughy and very flavorful. All the pizza could use a little more of the very good sauce and pushed to the edges. The ingredients were plentiful and it came out piping hot. Pizza is a good bet especially with the prices. Original crust is $7.99 and Thin crust is $6.99. It’s $1 per ingredient with over a dozen to choose from. Have a slice with a beer from their full-service bar. This place is worth at try. Find their 18 locations online at www.paninisgrill.com. The Sagamore Hills restaurant is located at 480 W. Aurora Road (Rt. 82) and is open from 11am-2:30am. Call for take out 330-468-6200.