Everyone is jumping on this “healthy, hormone free, free range, no chemical, no processing…..” band wagon. Is there taste in eating dirt and grass? How about the miracle olfactory explosion of fat? Nothing taste good without fat, right? Hang on, pork belly is the newest sensation. Hot Krust has taken the healthy approach to sandwiches on a whole different farm.
Staying true to delivering the freshest and healthiest product is always a challenge. Fresh bread is sourced from a local Orlando bakery. Fresh cuts of meat are seasoned and roasted on site everyday. There really is nothing processed. How did I know this? I struck up a conversation with the staff. Did I read the website before walking in? No. But after I got home the website confirmed every single claim to fame. When a staff is friendly and confident about their product, it shows on the plate.
Panchetta Shrimp Panini – Grilled shrimp, bacon, tomatoes, red onions, lite mayo, and monterey jack cheese. The bread was hearty with crispy crust, flecks of sesame seeds, and a clean crunch. The combination of shrimp and very subtle bacon made for a surprisingly great sandwich. The freshness of ingredients speak for themselves. Portion size is not overwhelming. Sweet Potato Fries – baked and not deep fried in fat. The gentle crisp outside and slightly soft inner makes this a surprisingly delightful indulgence.
Philly Steak Panini – Skirt and Sirloin steak, onions, red bell peppers, lite mayo, provolone cheese and topped with chipotle ranch sauce. Amazingly tender beef, I was waiting for grass and dirt, but got full beefy flavors. So that is what a real piece of beef taste like. I am liking this. Cactus Chili Soup – made with savory cactus, ground beef, diced tomatoes, onion, corn, northern beans, and spinach in a spicy broth. What an explosion of flavors! Wow. Nicely balanced tartness that compliments the spicy broth. Definitely the dish to have on these slightly lower temperature days around the Christmas season.
If these two sandwiches speak for the rest of the menu I eat my words about grass and dirt. I hereby declare healthy to be tasty! The restaurant carries a small assortment of beers and wines. What better thing to do than have an adult beverage while waiting for your sandwich to be freshly made?
The dining room is a modern soft wood and high ceiling space. Tables and chairs are a mix of high tops and lower comfortable seating. The walls are adorned by foursquare, tripadvisor, urbanspoon, yelp, and twitter comments. If you make a nice comment you might get published on their wall of social media. A soft floor with tiny pebble like surface rounds out the warmth. The front door of this adorable little space is set back from the parking lot to create outdoor dining. If you walk in here and can’t decide what to order, let the staff guide you. Chances are they designed that sandwich and are more than delighted for you to give it a twirl.
In the world of sandwiches and healthy food Hot Krust Panini Kitchen is head and shoulders above the rest. This is a great alternative to snazzy Sand Lake Road dining. Be casual, get take out or dine in. This place will turn your head upside down with healthy food. Healthy is the new tasty.
A loyal fan, Sukree Boodram, sent in these pics of the Alibaba Special Panini along with her great comment. Thanks!