SERVICE with a smile and a polite chat to match is what greeted me when I walked through the doors of Panini, in Westgate, Grantham, in desperate need of some food to get us through deadline day.
I’ve been to the cafe once before and it was packed but fortunately yesterday (Thursday) I managed to beat the lunch time rush as the range of sandwiches is quite daunting, especially when you have to pick for you and your colleague!
The first choice is sandwich or panini. Given the name of the place I decided that I should follow the clue and selected a tomato, mozzarella and pesto panini, which the helpful server cooked promptly.
After spotting the Belvoir juices the only difficulty for me was selecting a flavour. In the end I went for the lime and lemongrass - It was really tasty.
Next came the mammoth task of selecting a pudding. They all looked amazing! There were brownies, muffins, waffles, shortbread and much more. In fact I got stuck between having a squillionaires shortbread and a double chocolate waffle. On the advice of the server the waffle won - apparently it’s very popular.
After running to the cash point to grab some money, apparently they will take cards very soon, I returned to find two neat purple bags being filled for me. If there were awards for presentation of take away sandwiches Panini would win no question.
Getting back to the office I sat down to start my lunch. The panini was nicely filled with what looked like some very pricey ingredients. The taste was lovely too although it could have done with a slightly stronger pesto for my liking.
Next came the best bit for me, as is usually the case, the dessert. The waffle, which was beautifully packaged with a label telling you of the home-made origins, was fantastic.
If possible the taste of this incredible treat was even better than the look of it. The sweet waffle was coated in lashings of milk and white chocolate - For anyone with a sweet tooth this is a must. So much for healthy eating!
It was definitely more than I would pay for a normal lunch, costing £15.80 for both of us, but I would recommend it for a treat. After all, the waffle could be what led to page three being written!
I had a chorizo sausage and mozerella cheese panini - and it was lovely.
I’d half regretted my choice after ordering it, thinking it might be a little spicy, but in fact it was just right.
It arrived red hot, and was still steaming 10 minutes later.
The filling was plentiful, so much so I had to wait a couple of hours before digging into the blueberry cheesecake muffin I’d ordered.
I thoroughly enjoyed the panini and will definitely be returning for another.
Meanwhile, the muffin was to die for! It was light and soft and the chunks of cheesecake topping were delicious.
Suzie, the kind soul that she is, brought my lunch back to the office for me, so I didn’t experience the customer service myself. However, I was pleased that she was so appreciative of it. After all, good customer service is vital.
Panini also has to be praised for the presentation of its food - it was fantastic!
The hot panini was wrapped in a bag which allowed it to breathe, while a tag attached to the muffin told me it was home-made using “oooodles of lovely ingredients and a generous pinch of free range love”. I thought this was a great touch.
Panini gets a big thumbs-up.
Review by Suzie Pike and Marie Baker