Where: In Goleta, Montecito, Solvang, Los Olivos, and 834 Santa Barbara Street, (805) 963-3700, paninorestaurants.com
What: A seemingly ever-growing mini-empire of made-to-order high end sandwich shops
How Much: Sandwiches $8.50-$8.95, salads $8.50-$9.95
The Dish: Anyone feeling as if he or she were in a lunch rut should head to Panino, as they offer 30 sandwiches and 10 salads, a plethora of possibility. It’s not just variety for variety’s sake, either; we’re talking clever combos like English Stilton with Asian pear (nine selections are vegetarian), a curried chicken with pine nuts, dried cranberries, and apple, and a roast beef served with a zingy horseradish cheddar. It’s the attention to the details that raises Panino above a quickie lunch spot – anybody can put raisins in a curried chicken sandwich, but cranberries? That takes some creativity. So if you want thinking outside the (lunch)box, this is the spot for you. Even the more strip-mall-y locations are bright and airy and inviting.