I happened upon Stefano’s Golden Baked Hams some time ago while decimating my paycheck at a local comic book store nearby. Luckily for me, I had a couple of bucks left over to try one of their paninis.
The sandwich was blazing hot when it came out, my fingers burned when trying to angle it. This is the sacrifice I make for the attention on instagram that I so desperately crave (follow me here please, my ego needs it).
The subject matter? “The Cubano”: a sandwich served with their housed baked ham, slow roasted carnitas, swiss cheese, dill pickles, yellow mustard, and a house made cajun spiced mayo hot pressed into a panini. This to date has been one of my favorite sandwiches in Orange County, it was heavy & rich with competing flavors of spice and salt with a little brininess from the pickles. The natural sweetness of house baked ham with the soft and decadent textures of carnitas showed so well with the sauces, something that is not easily accomplished when there are some many ingredients.
The texture here was a real winner, imagine the hot and crispy grilled bread being the intro into the soft and gooey filling, with slow cooked meat and melted cheese. It is an absolute beast of a sandwich and not for the faint of heart. The portion is standard for any panini place, but the sandwich is so rich that it can easily be split between two people and still satisfy. Plus their beer selection can aid in filling up empty stomachs.
Stefano’s is a little gem in Laguna Hills that I feel I’m going to frequent quite a bit, not only is it next to my favorite comic book store but it also serves one of the best paninis I’ve had in Orange County. I urge anyone who is in the area to stop by and try it.
Stefano’s Golden Baked Hams
Alicia Parkway, Ste A, Laguna Hills CA 92653