You could call it “Big Wheel Panini” since it’s adjacent to Big Wheel Auto Parts (4455 Stone Way N.), or you could call it “Pat’s Panini Sandwiches” after its owner, Pat. Either way, Pat won’t mind since he hasn’t officially named his new hot panini sandwich stand, which is now open Mondays through Saturdays, from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
Pat offers five different types of hot panini sandwiches, all for $5 each, except for the Grilled Cheese, which is only $4. Prices include tax. Add avocado or cheese to any sandwich for just a buck more. Chips and beverages are also $1.
I came by on Day 2 of his “official opening” and Pat told me he’s already received a tremendous amount of support from the neighborhood, and he’s already seeing repeat customers and folks who learn about the stand from word of mouth.
Pat has lived in Wallingford for over 13 years and has worked as a house painter, which, he explained, is really just a seasonal profession; but prior to his house painting, Pat worked in the food business. So, when the space became available, after Doggy Style‘s departure, he jumped at the chance to open up a panini stand.
He loves being able to walk to the stand and he loves being a part of the community, and you’ll see this when you stop by and chat with him. He’s got an award-winning smile that shows his bliss. Any tips he collects in the jar on the counter goes to charity.
I ordered a grilled cheese panini and it was still plenty warm when I ate it at home, after our chat. Maybe I’m easy to please, but I thought the sandwich was mighty tasty, with a perfect ratio of cheese to toasted roll and warm, sliced tomato. My husband, on the other hand, is a lot harder to please. I ordered him a ham panini and added the cheese for $1 more (his first comment, “A ham panini without cheese? Who does that?”) He said it was “ok” though he was slightly taken aback by the lettuce in the panini. Plus, the mustard was a little overwhelming. But, “it tastes fine,” he said.
But don’t just take it from us. If you go there in the next few days, let us know what you think. And if you don’t want lettuce on your hot ham panini, give Pat the “heads up”!