If you’re passing through the toasty ground floor of Ballantine Hall on a typical weekday, you might notice a delicious aroma wafting through the air. The scent of warm bread filled with meat, melted cheese, and crisp veggies…that is the smell of a freshly pressed panini sandwich. In addition to classic panini options such as the Three Cheese, Honey Mustard Chicken, and Ham ‘n’ Cheese, you may also order cold deli sandwiches and Bakehouse sandwich, made with freshly baked artisan bread from the Scholars Inn Bakehouse.
My go-to is the Three Cheese panini, which I order with sourdough bread, green peppers, tomatoes. The provolone, cheddar, and mozzarella cheeses are perfectly gooey, and the bread is soft and chewy with a crunchy crust.
The common complaint of having to wait quite a while for the panini to be made is also no more. Just last week, the café debuted a shiny new panini press, which shortens the cooking time considerably. Once you make your order, you simply go outside the café to the pick-up window, and usually your name will be called in a matter of minutes.
In the morning hustle-and-bustle, students can choose from Ballantine’s Scholar’s Inn Bakehouse bagels (flavors include blueberry, cinnamon raison, jalapeno cheddar, and everyseed) with cream cheese, portable breakfast items such as granola bars, or a selection of pastries, including donuts, muffins, and the like. There is also a variety Starbucks drip-brew coffee and Tazo teas, for the people who aren’t fully cognizant until they’ve had their morning dose of caffeine.
Throughout the day, if you’re in the area and have a minute to spare, you can stop by the café for snacks, bottled beverages, and portable meal options. The café is located conveniently among dozens of Ballantine classrooms, and Ballantine itself is just a short stroll from buildings such as the Chemistry Building, Jordan Hall, and the IMU, to name a few.