I love exploring menus. In fact, items I see in local restaurants inspire many of the dishes that I prepare in my own kitchen. Concurrently, whenever I order, I always strive to unearth an ingredient combination or something that really sparks my interest and pushes the envelope.
I visited Yum Kitchen and Bakery the other day and after dissecting the menu, I couldn't help but jump at the chance to indulge in their interesting-sounding chicken brie panini. The description on the menu includes grilled chicken breast, brie, spinach, caramelized onions and apricot aioli. Apricot aioli! Sounds pretty darn good to me.
The first thing I noticed about my sandwich was that it wasn't very panini-like. When I think of warm panini, I think of sandwiches that have been grilled from the top and bottom on a small press. This particular sandwich was grilled face-down, internalizing the goodness, which was disappointing considering the top and bottom of the bread was left soft and dull. The caramelized onions and grilled bread did pair well together giving a bit of a patty melt result, which intensified the flavor, and further softened the rich brie. The intriguing apricot aioli was more of an overly sweet mayo, with no real hint of apricots. The most disappointing part was that the promised grilled chicken breast turned out to be more like thinly shaved turkey breast - as exciting as an episode of Antiques Road Show.
Sandwich rating: Good, not great. Despite all the inaccuracies the sandwich was still enjoyable, but nothing to write home about. However, I do find it pretty unacceptable to be that far off in your description. I think I may need to reevaluate my inclinations to isolate the unique when navigating the menu.
Epic Sandwich Copyright 2009 by Teddy Hobbins