I remember the torrid affair I had with Taco Bell's Border Fries in the summer of 2004 (Or was it 2003?). Every night that I stumbled out of Walnut Hills, I simply did a u-turn out of their lot and stopped for Border Fries. My day job was very manual and outdoors, so I didn't have to worry about the calories - just the awesome. One night toward the end of the summer, I rolled up to the drive-thru only to find that they'd been replaced with some other unappealing, short-lived side item. If you're sensing some resentment, it's probably because I'm still seething over it like a scorned lover. You never even said goodbye, Border Fries! We could have had something special!! Basically, imagine you were banging Sofia Vergara for an entire summer, then she just gives you the vapors but leaves you Fergie's number - that's how I feel about it.
But, I digress. What I was trying to get around to are Tim Horton's new Panini sandwiches. Not only are they being test marketed right here in the Gem City, they're ONLY being tested marketed here in Dayton.
I think these launched sometime in April, or maybe early May. Either way, it's a safe bet that it was cold and rainy here, which combined with my aversion to most meat, led me here to purchase a grilled ham & cheese. I'm pretty sure all the paninis ring it just over $4, and you can choose from Tuscan Chicken, Pesto Chicken, Chipotle Turkey, Smoked Ham & Cheese and Tomato & Cheese. The first one I ordered was the Pesto Chicken, which was really tasty, but also WAY messy. Not a sandwich that should be eaten in the car, even if the car is not moving. Nice pieces of white meat chicken, and I didn't sense much of the rib-meat filler that most placed use in chopped chicken. The pesto and cheese blended together in a warm, ooey-gooeyness that made it a perfect rainy day lunch.
When I ordered a week or so later, what I asked for was the smoked ham & cheese with tomato, but they chose to ignore that last part. Regardless, it was still a damn tasty sandwich - except for the mayo that was apparently applied with a spackle knife. You can order your 'wich on white or whole grain, and the whole grain is really, really good bread for fast food caliber. It crisps up nicely and it sturdy enough not to give under heavy, melty contents. I have yet to finish one of these paninis, even with the ravenous hunger I've been prone to lately. Considering most sub-par fast food sandwiches will run you at least $4, T-Ho's new paninis are a hell of a value. They lose half a point for not following my order and overdoing the mayo. I would take off another point for switching from Coke to Pepsi products, but that has zero to do with the sandwich.
4.5 out of 5 sporks!