If it weren’t for the tantalizing smell of toasted bread wafting from the little yellow school bus parked outside Deadbeach Brewery, you might’ve mistaken its presence for a peculiar field trip. Last year, the owners gutted out a short school bus to convert it into a gourmet panini academy that can be found throughout El Paso at businesses and events.
Six sandwich creations are on the menu to be toasted as a panini on ciabatta bread or a wrap on an herbed flour tortilla. These aren’t your typical grilled, flattened sandwiches; their paninis are lightly pressed, yielding a more filling and substantial meal. A slightly crisp exterior with a soft interior – loaded with meat or fresh veggies and generously sealed with cheese – make these paninis the perfect mélange of flavors and textures. Everyone loves El Chuco for its combination of shredded chicken, roasted Hatch green chile, tomatoes, Muenster cheese and a spicy mango spread that ties it all together with a zippy sweetness. Meat lovers will enjoy a classic BLT with Applewood-smoked bacon or The Billy Club, which layers ham, turkey, bacon, cheese, greens and tomatoes.
Be sure to add a side of their seasoned fries, which are hand-cut and fried upon order. Fries can also be smothered in a homemade chile con queso and shredded buffalo chicken. For a street snack, order the battered and fried chicken tenders tossed in their signature buffalo sauce and skewered on a stick. Three come to an order. A sweet panini pays homage to Elvis when peanut butter, jam and bananas get pressed for a gooey treat.
Visit their Facebook page to find their next location, occasional soup features and new items, such as their shredded buffalo chicken panini.
Location varies, 915-626-7550, facebook.com/paninibus, Vegetarian Friendly, $7 and up.