Walking into the new Academia del Caffe just south of City Hall is like stepping from Philly into a slice of Milano. From the sleek, bi-level balcony design to the Hausbrandt coffee that anchors this rapidly expanding coffee chain, everything was done to recreate a Northern Italian feeling.
The paninis are no exception. This Tirolese, a pressed sandwich of smoky speck ham, Brie and mushrooms, was almost perfect (save for a squirt too much mayo.) But there's a glass case bursting with more than 20 varieties that co-owner Massimo Taurisano says have been selling at a pace of about 500 sandwiches a day. That's a lotta panini for South Penn Square!
- Craig LaBan