By SETHWILSON GRAY
Most people who have explored Tejon Street would recognize Panino’s, which just a short walk away from campus. This local pizzeria features a variety of pizzas, pastas, and their popular paninos. However, in addition to their kitchen, Panino’s also features a little bar tucked right next to the entrance.
The restaurant is fairly plain, sporting red leather linings and crimson walls, but it has a warmness that creates a “family restaurant” vibe. It was empty on a Sunday night, and the quiet speakers were just enough to stave off the kitchen echoes. The ambiance feels familiar even if you’ve never been, like a memory you can’t quite remember making.
The bar’s copper backsplash separates it from the restaurant thematically, despite its central location. The bar is short with not many seats, so restaurant seating may be the better option for those looking to grab a drink.
Every day of the week, Panino’s has bar specials that run from 4 p.m. until close. These specials run on everything from microbrews, pitchers, house wines, and even strawberry daiquiris and piña coladas on Fridays. They also have happy hour specials from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. every day on well drinks (the common cocktails and highballs), wines, and select microbrews. If you’re ever free after 4 p.m. and looking for a deal, Panino’s is a good place to find one.
Unfortunately, Panino’s is missing a cocktail menu. Currently, they only offer well drinks in addition to a decent beer and wine list. However, my waiter mentioned that next week they will be releasing a new menu which will also include a bar menu featuring new drinks. After my visit to Panino’s, I’m looking forward to returning and trying some of their mysterious concoctions.
Avalanche Amber Ale from Breckenridge Brewery
Before I start, I must admit that Amber Ale is one of my favorite kinds of beer. That being said, this one isn’t anything too special. But it was still super drinkable and smooth. Displaying a beautifully rich dark amber color, this microbrew has a lighter carbonation and is low in bitterness. Surprisingly, I found a soft caramel sweetness in the aftertaste. Overall, the flavors are subtle, and it wasn’t until I had a few sips that I could put my finger on what was there. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who is looking for sharp flavors, but for those looking for something to pair with a spicy panino, this one is for you.
Oatmeal Stout from Breckenridge Brewery
This beer is crazy. After seeing the name, I had to give it a try, and this stout did not disappoint. It’s a dark beer that is totally opaque. Before you sip, take a whiff. This beer has one of the most interesting aromas I’ve ever found; it smells like an oatmeal cookie with a little bit of smoky coffee mixed into the batter. Despite its darkness, the mouthfeel wasn’t too heavy, and there were smooth oat flavors with a sweet and smoky aftertaste. With so much happening, this beer was fun to drink and explore, and I can only imagine how good it would go with a campfire.