Hot Krust Panini Kitchen – 8015 Turkey Lake Road Orlando.
The marketing of a restaurant has always been a high priority and with the advent of all the social media platforms available this has never been more important. The owner at Hot Krust Evan Dimov, has done an outstanding job of getting the Hot Krust message out there. Namely that they have amazing Panini Sandwiches made from freshly roasted meats, not processed, and only use the highest quality products.
But a marketing message only has resonance when understood, believed and adopted by the consumer and interactions begin to create a sound customer base. We have all read with caution, comments attesting to the excellence of products and service on various blogs and review posts only to find that the post was written by the business owner or friend. In the case of restaurants, accredited third party recommendation is “King “as this review will support.
Customers and critics alike have embraced Hot Krust and the restaurant has gained fantastic reviews from Orlando Weekly and USA Today 10 Best, plus the Trip advisor certificate of excellence and Best of South West accreditation. So we headed out to Dr. Phillips to see what all the fuss was about.
Hot Krust is situated on the busy strip mall complex on the corner of Turkey Lake Road and Sand Lake Roads adjacent to Whole Foods grocery store. Service begins at the counter where you place your order from the amazing selection of Paninis and sides via two huge menu display screens. Our server explained the Hot Krust unique selling point of “Freshly Roasted Meats” and specialty bread as well as promoting the soup of the week.
You are the given a number to place on your table that you select from a small amount of indoor seating or choose to dine on the front patio area. Table covers are limited but they make the most of what space is available.
After a short length of time our order was delivered to the table and a quick check back was performed to make sure we had all we needed. As each new customer received their food the server checked back on tables to ensure satisfaction, a very rare occurrence in counter service restaurants and a welcome change.
The food we chose:
Florentine Chicken– Roasted Chicken, Sundried Tomatoes, Muenster Cheese, Spinach, Mayo & Pesto Sauce.
Meat Lovers Paradise – Roasted Chicken, Turkey, Slow Cooked Steak, Bacon, Pesto, Tomatoes, Red Onions, M. Jack Cheese, and Chipotle Ranch Sauce.
In other Panini operations it is difficult to distinguish the individual meats, let alone flavors as the filling mostly resembles a mush of ingredients. Hot Krust Panni’s however are in a league of their own. It starts with the bread, which was outstanding, locally baked and grilled lightly. It terms so of the filling you can taste each succulent element of the exceptional quality ingredients, the combination of which makes a perfect bite.
Hot Krust Signature Dish Chili Cactus Soup – For me this was the star of the show, so good I ordered another bowl to go (actually I am eating it as I write this review) Made with Cactus, ground beef, diced tomatoes, corn, onions, northern beans & spinach in spicy sweet gravy. I have tasted Cactus many times before during trips to Mexico, usually in Taco’s but this is the first time I have experienced it as a flavor in Chili, the earthy semi sweet Cactus adds a unique flavor to this stand out menu item. I will be back for more.
Waffle Potatoes – Baked to order, (yes I said baked) almost healthy with a great unadulterated, natural flavor.
Butternut Squash Soup – All the flavors of fall, well balanced and delicious.
- Ask about Vegetarian and Gluten-Free Menu options including their soups.
- Check out the Combo Meals.
- Rotating weekly featured soups
So I now know what all the fuss is about, and so do many more Orlando natives. I overheard a conversation between three people as they left the restaurant, commenting “Great Recommendation we will defiantly be back “. Well, so will we, even if it’s just for the Chili !!!