In Praise of the Perfect Panini

I have in the past spoken about my incredibly selfless dedication to ensuring the good people of Didsbury, nay, Manchester, have something decent on their plate and something delightfully quaffable in their glass.

This week I once again saw fit to don my cape of selflessness (I’ve had one specially made, don’t worry) and gallop down to the Alpine Tea Room to sample their panini/panino/Italian style toasted sandwich. Whatever you want to call it.

Now, in the spirit of honesty, I am quite good chums with Lou who runs the Alpine Tea Room. He’s basically ace and has a way with cake that would make Mr Kipling green with envy. Any road, he was launching a new range of paninis and (adjusts cape of selflessness) asked if I’d come down and wrap my face round the roasted veg, pesto and cheese panini in exchange for my brutally honest opinion.

Honestly, my brutally honest opinion was that it was ruddy lovely. The bread was sprinkled with sesame and nigella seeds which when toasted added a nicely nutty note. The roasted veg was amongst the best I’d ever had, often roasted veg is floppy and tasteless but this was mega and incredibly flavoursome. There was a thin schmeer of pesto which suited me as these things can tend to be over pestoed for my tastes and enough cheese to ooze seductively from the panini.

Alpine tea room

Oozy, cheesy loveliness – Roasted veg, pesto & cheese panini

I’m proud to say I was the first human being ever to try the Alpine panini (I think I get a badge or a trophy or something). As you can see from the picture, it’s a pretty handsome piece of hot Italian toasted sandwich. It’s massive and well priced at £4.95. I had intended to shovel a piece of carrot cake in for pudding but I was so full that I couldn’t manage it, and we all know my feelings about carrot cake.

Lou’s luscious panini hit the posh toasted sandwich spot! It was, in short, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I normally (for shame and convenience) indulge my panini based urges in one of the popular coffee chains as its just round the corner from my house. I’m always, always disappointed and a little bit weirded out because they always taste vaguely of disinfectant.

You know, it’s really no less convenient for me to amble over to Fletcher Moss. I’m pretty much addicted to the filter coffee in the Alpine Tea Room anyway and the cakes are just FIT. So should you find yourself on the south side of Didsbury I heartily recommend a fortifying walk round Fletcher Moss followed by a well deserved butty and a brew served by the lovely Lou.

The Alpine Tea Room is located in Fletcher Moss Gardens and is open Tues-Fri 11am-4.30pm. Sat & Sun 12 noon – 4.30pm.

Disclaimer: Fair enough, Lou gave me a free panini to try for no other reason other than he wanted an honest opinion (and I clearly need feeding up). He didn’t know I was going to write a blog about it, but I loved the panini and reckoned he’d be as pleased as peas if I did, bless him (he’s a good lad).

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