Panini Pete's is a sandwich shop in Fairhope, Alabama, that offers a little bit extra than the typical fast food joint. This small place, tucked into Alabama's French Quarter, puts its heart and soul into grill pressed, Italian-style sandwiches.
The actual Panini Pete is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He has years of industry experience, and it shows in his carefully crafted fare.
Panini Pete's is so noted, in fact, that it was featured in an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. There is even a Guy Fieri bobblehead by the cash register to thank the Food Network star for his free publicity.
All of the food, from the chips and fries to the bread and mozzarella cheese, are made in-house. Panini Pete's serves breakfast and lunch, and they stay busy throughout the afternoon.
Vegetarian options include the tomato and mozzarella panini. The soft, creamy mozzarella is stacked high on grilled foccacia bread with sliced tomatoes, torn basil leaves and a balsamic vinaigrette. When you only have one vegetarian sandwich on the menu, it had better be good, and Pete's truly delivers with this one. The chips are crisp and deliciously salty, with a hint of smokiness on the finish.
Crescent City fans will also enjoy the beignets. Pete's makes the New Orleans pastries for the breakfast crowd (although they can also be enjoyed after lunch by a less traditional diner).