Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hot Krust Panini Kitchen in Orlando, FL

I was invited to try Hot Krust Panini Kitchen for a Social Media Menu Tasting. Hot Krust is located in the Whole Foods shopping center at the intersection of Sand Lake and Turkey Lake Roads. Before trying any of the food, what initially impressed me was all meats are roasted fresh at the restaurant. Hot Krust doesn't use any processed meats or cold cuts in the sandwiches, unlike the majority of the other sandwich shops out there. 

When I arrived at Hot Krust, the meal started with two bowls of soup to try. The first was their soup of the day, a tomato cream soup (left). The second was Hot Krust's signature soup, their Chili Cactus Soup. It was made with cactus, ground beef, diced tomatos, onions, corn, northern beans, and spinach in a spicy broth. The soup had a flavor similar to a chili, but with a consistency more similar to most soups. It was very tasty and the uniqueness of adding cactus to the recipe made it even better.
After the soup, I was able to try two of Hot Krust's sandwiches. The first was the Meat Lover's Paradise. This panini was filled with roasted chicken, turkey, freshly roasted steak, bacon, pesto, tomatoes, red onions, melted jack cheese, and chipotle ranch sauce. It was a good sandwich, but I personally found it to be somewhat of a meat overload.
I also tried the Buffalo Bill Chicken Panini. This had freshly roasted chicken, buffalo sauce, onions, jalapeno peppers, lettuce, provolone cheese, and blue cheese crumbles. This was my favorite of the two sandwiches. Unlike other buffalo chicken sandwiches that I've had elsewhere, this one was actually nice and spicy. The jalapenos added a lot of flavor to the sandwich, and Hot Krust seemed very generous with the rest of the sandwich fillings as well.
The sandwiches were served with waffle fries, although fries may not be the best word since these were baked rather than fried. If I wasn't told that these were baked, I honestly don't think I would have noticed that they weren't fried. I tried the sweet potato and regular potato fries, and I personally preferred the regular fries (I'm not a big fan of sweet potatoes).

Hot Krust had some tasty sandwiches. The ingredients that they use seem to be good quality and they appear to care about their food. I'd gladly return to try some more of their paninis next time I'm in the area!

Hot Krust Panini Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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