Zanatto’s is an upscale grocery store, the kind of place with more imported products than average establishment and the atmosphere to match. There’s a counter off to one side, filled with premade sandwiches, pastries, and sweets. This was labeled as a portobello and brie panini, but as you can see by the bit of cheese poking out from under the mushroom up there, that’s no brie. No, it was something more mild, likely provolone, and like so much cheese it neither detracted from the sandwich nor added anything. The real story here is the mushroom, a monster of a cap that puts a great many other mushroom sandwiches to shame. Beyond sizable, it was the kind of meaty goodness that any mushroom enthusiast is perpetually seeking. There was a bit more that could have been done in execution, sadly, as the mushroom was a bit more wet than is ideal. Scoring the cap before grilling goes a long way. There were also scant few leaves of spinach on top, less than a half dozen per side of the sandwich. If you want to include spinach, then include the spinach. Nothing inside the sandwich ought to be there for decoration, after all. On the plus side, the sandwich included one of those hard-to-pin-down sandwich spreads, a concoction likely mayo based and with a good hint of red chilies. The combination of that and the inherent goodness of a huge mushroom was enough to overcome the faults of the sandwich, and in the end this was a mighty tasty panino.
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