The humble sandwich isn’t always cause for excitement. Unless you’re talking about a hot, toasty, melty bundle of goodness, like those found at Newhall’s Panini Palace.
Take their popular chicken pesto panini ($8.95). Think large, succulent chunks of white meat chicken, luscious avocado, juicy tomatoes and savory provolone layered between two pieces of fresh, crusty, buttery bread and pressed into delicious submission.
The result is a tangle of flavors and textures that’ll leave your mouth happy.
“I love to make things that make people say, ‘Wow,’” said Guillermo Sanchez, who cooks and operates the restaurant along with his wife, Issis.
By using the freshest ingredients and preparing just about everything from scratch, including Panini Palace’s many salad dressings and sauces (like the tasty pesto and hummus), Sanchez does just that.
Whether you’re a carnivore, vegetarian or vegan, Panini Palace has you covered with such sandwich delights as the Spicy Bacon Bliss (smoked turkey with bacon, tomato, avocado, jalapenos, provolone cheese and chipotle aioli), the Caprese (mozzarella cheese, tomato, fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar) and the Veggie No. 2 (hummus, mushroom, avocado, arugula, roasted red peppers and tomato).
“Paninis are a little more fancy than a sub, and each one has its own vibe, but with each bite, you get all the good stuff,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez first started cooking when he was 10 years old after watching his mom in the kitchen. Soon thereafter, he would start dicing and experimenting, coming up with meals while his mom worked late.
10 years ago, Sanchez and his brother opened Sylmar’s Fix, which featured an original menu of paninis, salads and smoothies.
It became the inspiration for Panini Palace, according to Issis Sanchez.
“Since we live here, we thought the Santa Clarita Valley could using something fresh and family-owned,” she said.
Panini Palace opened in July 2015 and quickly garnered a steady following of locals and tourists that have granted the restaurant a 4.5 star Yelp review.
Issis Sanchez chalks their success largely up to her husband’s passion and skill.
“Guillermo puts so much detail into his food and loves what he does. You can taste it in his food,” she said.
Whether you get a sandwich or salad, pairing it with a smoothie ($5 for 16 oz. or $6.50 for 24 oz.) is a good idea. All are made from 100 percent juice and fresh fruit plus orange sherbet or yogurt. The Berry Blend is tart, tangy, and chock full of raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
And if you have room for dessert, don’t miss the Nutella Croissant ($6.95). Between the crunch of the warm, flaky, panini-pressed pastry, the decadent, smooth chocolate filling and the fresh strawberry, I literally exclaimed, “Oh my God,” as I ate it.
Since Panini Palace’s food is served fresh and hot, ideally you’d be able to eat your meal in the large, clean and comfortable dining room for maximum flavor.
Do so and you’ll also get service with a smile from Issis.
“My wife is so friendly and cordial. She’ll make you feel right at home,” Sanchez said.
Panini Palace, 23120 Lyons Ave., Suite 6, Newhall. Open Monday to Friday, 10 am to 5 pm and Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. Closed Sunday. Family meals, kids meals, and catering available. For more information, call (661) 678-0552 or follow on Yelp.