Food Find: Paninis at Pioneer Street Market

Torched mozzarella over grilled chicken!



( There's just something about a sandwich with grill marks that makes it look extra mouthwatering. Paninis are like a neat little hand-held package, tidy enough for those who don't want to look like they just ate way too much, yet hefty enough in the filling for voracious eaters. The ones at Tramezzino will definitely make any sandwich lover—including Joey Tribbiani—happy.


Tramezzino is actually an Italian-styled sandwich—white bread with the crusts cut out and flourished with a light filling. Tramezzino, the little sammie stall at Pioneer Street Market, isn't at all light. Theirs come in two sizes—a palm-sized junior (P99) and a regular (P199) which is twice as big—but neither scrimps on the stuffing. Using another Italian tradition, owners Erik Santiago and Con Versoza grills theirs a la panini, developing a smoke-kissed crispiness over a wonderfully light ciabatta bun. 


The Steak, Bacon, and Bleu Cheese is an obvious crowdpleaser. Onions, tomatoes, and lettuce complement the heft of the meats and cheese. Tramezzino uses a crispy bacon which offers a much more pronounced flavor compared to the fattier slab, and the steak is sufficiently savory. It reminds us of a tamer Philly Cheesesteak. 


Then, there's the Grilled Chicken Pepperoni Panini. Every ingredient in this sandwich is great on its own, but it's the mozzarella that floors us. The gooey cheese is torched to create this delicious char that really makes the rest more pronounced. As with any culinary artisan, their tomato and barbecue sauces are made from scratch. 



There's a lot inside the little square junior, but it doesn't overwhelm. It's fortunate because you're going to want to look around the rest of the market for other goodies. 


Pioneer Street Market is at Pioneer Street corner Reliance Street, Mandaluyong City; open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Wednesday to Sunday).

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