Dec 132010
Cuisine: Deli, Pasta, Pizza, Dessert
Restaurant Features: On-Site Parking
Location: North Oaks, MN
Address: 857 Village Center Drive North Oaks, MN 55127  651-486-0296
Hours: 11am-8pm
Atmosphere: The North Oaks location sits in a strip mall at the northeast corner of Hwy 96 and Hodson Rd.  The inside is very cute, with hand-painted murals to help guests feel the Italian spirit.   There are booths and tables in both the main dining room and this cute little dining area in the back.  There are also festive lights strung up at this time of year and Holiday music playing from time to time.
Menu: Appetizers at Panino’s include Panino Fries, Garlic Cheese Bread, Panino’s Gourmet Bread, Mini Meatballs, Chips & Salsa, Steak Sliders, Garlic Bread, Chicken Strips,Breadsticks, Cracker Crust Pizza, Artichoke Spinach Dip, Meatball Italiano, and Hot Honey BBQ Sliders.
Poppers are cream-cheese based with a variety of fillings rolled in pizza dough then baked.  Choices include Ham & Pickle, Jalapeno, Pizza, and Artichoke & Spinach.
House soup is Chicken Tortilla, a soup du jour is also served.
Salad options include Spring Salad, Pasta Salad, Chopped, BBQ Chicken, Chef, Ultimate (with ham, pepperoni, mozzarella), Chicken Cesar, Buffalo Chicken, Chef, and Panino’s Steak Salad.
Panino sandwiches are all custom made with choice of ingredients wrapped and baked with pizza dough.  Options include Philly Beef,  Sicilian, BBQ Beef, 3 Meat BBQ, Spicy Pepper Melt, Steak and Cheese, Combo,Big Bopper (turkey, bacon, ham, cheddar and swiss), Fajita, Rachel or Reuben, Spaghetti Pie, Chicken Tortilla, Smothered Burrito, Taco, The Cheeseburger, Mexicali Pie, Buffalo Chicken, The Colorado (chicken, pepperoni, jalapeno, mozzarella), Chicken Tango, Fresh Spinach Chicken, Zucchini Panini, Chicken Cheddar, Artichoke Chicken, Hot Honey BBQ Chicken, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Southwestern, My Big Fat Greek Panino, Chicken Gyro, Turkey Cajun Ranchero, The Cowboy, The Hawaiian and the Vegetarian.
Panino’s also serves pastas like Spaghetti, Lasagna, Cavatappi Bolognese, Chicken Fettuccine, Mexican Fettuccine with Chicken, Cheese Ravioli, and Tri-Colored Cheese Tortellini.
Panino’s also makes pizzas in either 10″ or 14″.  Build your own from a variety of toppings.
Dessert options include Homemade Mudpie, Spumoni Ice Cream, Ice Cream Sundae, and Mound of Joy Chocolate Cake.

Price guide: Appetizers $5-9 Poppers $10 Panino $10  Salads $6-11 Pasta $8-12 What we ordered: Our party started with a couple of orders of the Panino Poppers.  The first one we tried was the Ham and Pickle.  These are a tasty little creation of bread dough rolled up around cream cheese mixed with tiny pieces of pickle and ham, then baked until golden brown.  These were good but there was so much cream cheese in each little popper that it was almost overwhelming, especially since the pieces of pickle and ham were so miniscule that they were they were barely noticeable. If there were only  half the cream cheese and double the ham and pickle, these would be exceptional little snacks.  They was served with Thousand Island and ranch dressings, I especially liked the Thousand Island with them.

We also tried the Pizza Poppers to start,  made with cream cheese and marinara.  I liked these better than the ham & pickle, especially when dipped in more marinara, but there was still more cream cheese than necessary.  A mix of Italian cheese with the cream cheese would’ve been ideal.

One of my companions and I split the Chicken Artichoke Panino, made on whole wheat pizza dough.  This half of a sandwich was plenty big for me, especially after eating a few poppers.  We each had our choice of a side and I chose the seasoned kettle chips.  The Panino was filled with small bites of white meat chicken, bacon, a few artichokes, and lettuce.  The sandwich was good but a little boring for my taste.  I asked for a side of marinara to go with it to give it a little more flavor.  The Buffalo Chicken would be more up my alley, I will try that one next time.

Another companion ordered the Chicken Gyro Panino with a side salad.  This panino was stuffed with lettuce, chunks of chicken, swiss cheese, onion, tomato, and cucumber dressing.

We also ordered a 14″ Cheese Pizza for the younger ones in our party.  I did not try this pizza but the kids loved it! It had a lot of cheese, toasted golden brown and a thin crust.

Service: The service at Panino’s was very good.  We were promptly greeted and only had to wait a few minutes for our party of 8 to be accommodated.  The server was attentive to the needs of the children in our group and brought drinks and most anything else we asked for in a timely manner. Overall Impression: We had very good service at Panino’s and the food was also pretty good.

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  2 Responses to “Panino’s ~ North Oaks, MN”

  1. I had the Spaghetti Pie Panino, which is spaghetti, meatballs and mozzarella, rolled up in the crust and then smothered with marinara. It was good, but way too heavy for lunch.

    I like the idea behind the ham/cheese/pickle poppers, but like you say, you need good chunks of ham/pickle.

  2. BEST classic Panino!! Panino’s has been there for years and have stayed open for all these years because of their food and restaurant next door neighbor feel!

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