Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sandwich Snack? Panini!

i LOVE sandwiches. toss in mashed boiled egg or tuna, a pinch of salt, and a whole lotta mayonaise - slab 'em on a toasted buttered bread, paired it up with a couple of sliced tomato, cucumber and a bunch of green salad - with cheese if you have - and voila! one of the best snacks ever!

oh, and if you go syigim-style, you'd be adding crunchy chips or nachos to that combo! try it!

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i dunno what happened to delifrance - because as a used-to-be-loyal patron of the deli - i must say that the fav sandwich deli of mine has gone to the dumps. really! their sandwiches are not as yummy, not as fresh, not as crisp. what happened?

chicken mayo or crab mayo at delifrance used to be my choice of snack to tapau back home after a hefty meal at the mall. on a casual date with friends? i'll choose delifrance as a place to hang out. great food, nice hot chocs. now, i hardly look at the deli when deciding where to get a wholesome snack. sad.

* * *

i was waiting for mr. khairul after office hours near his building when i decided i was hungry for a good panini sandwich. there's an italian bistro just a few blocks away called 'vice versa' that offers the usual italian fare - spaghetti, pastas, pizzas, and italian sandwiches.

it's in sheikh zayed road but hard to notice from the road since it faces the parking lots buildings rather than the main road. if i'm not mistaken, i think it's also near four points hotel.

it's really a small, quaint little place, brownish in color. the words 'spaghetti', and 'lasagna' among others, in italics font are all over the transparent wall. once inside, and the evening sun shines through the wordings, the shadow it made gives the place a certain character.

i love the simple decor - red brick walls are always a charm to any interior (that's why i love alam budiman so much). there are brown tables and chairs and i took the one at the end, near the transparent glass wall.

the waitress offered to close the blinds, but i prefer leaving them up. the view couldn't be describe as anything close to fantastic - what with a big huge bilboard obstructing my view of the buildings along sheikh zayed road, but the setting sun was really gorgeous as they penetrate through the wordings, casting shadow on the walls and tables.

there are wordings as well on the walls inside the bistro, also along the stairs leading to another seating sections upstairs.

i flipped fast through a list of pastas, lasagnas and pizzas - and went straight to the list of sandwiches they have. i wanted a light snack, as i was only waiting for mr. khairul before we head on to dubai mall to get our actual dinner.

i chose the grilled chicken panini with focaccia bread as i don't really like ciabatta. i absolutely love it because it's served hot, with a LOT of fresh lettuce squeezed in between, sun-dried tomatoes and the main star - the grilled chicken. the yummy combo of mayo and garlic spread added to the deliciouso taste!


oh, you can choose a side dish of fries or salad. there's enough greens in my sandwich so i chose the crunchy fries.

before they served the sandwiches, i was presented with an appetizer of heated italian bread with this concoction of mashed olive leaves, garlic and olive oil as a dip. it looks weird (and i'm suspicious of weird, edible stuff) but i gave it a try. yummy!

when my panini came, it turned to be a much too big a portion for just a light snack, so i packed up the other half of my panini for khaleef and mr. khairul to try.

kahfi was an angel sitting quietly in his stroller - eating his biscuits, munching bits of italian bread and ended it with a relaxing drink of milk from the bottle. abang khaleef? i left him with his bapak when we arrived so it was just me and my youngest prince.

the service was excellent, with the typical warm philipino hospitality. if i had to wait for mr. khairul again, i'd choose to lepak here too! if you're just looking for a light snack to go with a cold bottle of water, just head on to 'vice versa' on sheikh zayed road!

* * *

i was just thinking - big sandwich places with fancy names and branding - namely 'central perk' and a few others also has sandwiches like these, and people would continue to go there if only mostly for the name. but these little unknown delis also offer the same if not better tasting sandwiches than their bigger, more popular counterparts.

take this 'vice versa' deli for example - they have delicious sandwiches, excellent service and nice ambiance. they just need someone to walk inside, try out their food and experience their hospitality to spread the good word around.

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