Dropped back in for lunch today at Eat Cafe in the Gentry Pacific Design Center in Iwilei, this time trying out their Caprese Panini, a sandwich version of the classic Insalata Caprese, a.k.a. Capri Salad.
A very simple, yet absolutely delicious combination of fresh tomato, basil and Mozzarella cheese, where in this case is sandwiched between Country Sourdough Bread and Panini-pressed to perfection.
Here’s a look under the hood…
The tomatoes and basil are first grilled to soften it before going into the sandwich, which also adds a hint of smokeyness to the party. Nice.
The acidic and earthy element from the grilled, softened tomatoes, along with the zip from the basil and mild richness of the Mozarella and toasty, chewy sourdough bread with Balsamic Vinaigrette encasing all of that satisfied all the senses.
While I can’t say this Caprese Panini is as off the charts as the North Shore Farms’ Neapolitan Pizza, the “pie” version of the dish, it was wonderful never-the-less and a choice I’d certainly make again when returning here. Perhaps Ill try it with the Proscuitto next time.
As it stands, I’ll give Eat Cafe’s Caprese Panini an “I’d get this again!” 3-SPAM Musubi.
Next up from the same place, a few weeks ago I tried Eat Cafe’s Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Capers Bagel, done Panini style…
While this the core of this dish is nothing new, like the Caprese Panini showcased before it, the Smoked Salmon bagel has the perfect combination of flavor elements, with the acidity and earthyness from the capers, sweetness and bite from the red onions, savory from the salmon and richness from the cream cheese.
Even better in this case, where they add a wonderful toasty-tasty finishing touch by putting this “fully loaded” bagel through the Panini Press.
The fresh salad accompanying it, featuring a mixture of locally-grown leafy greens and cherry tomatoes, garnished with a generous helping of shoestring-cut carrots and beets with a basic Olive Oil Vinaigrette rounded out the entire dish splendidly. As for the $9.95 price, I think the freshness of ingredients, execution and presentation, as well as the the fact that I was satisfyingly filled by it was well worth it.
For that, I’ll give Eat Cafe’s Smoked Salmon Bagel done Panini style another “I’d get this again” 3 SPAM Musubi.
• Iwilei Eats: Eat Catering and Cafe – The Tasty Island