The Great (Il) Bambino

Having recently moved to the Big Apple, I’m on the constant prowl to taste all of the best eats this city of endless options offers. From Italian to Mexican, pizza to sandwiches, sweet to savory—I have to have it (or at least a bite).

And since each day is a new opportunity for a palette party (for my taste buds, that is), it’s no wonder that after a number of Google searches for the best breakfast sandwich in Astoria, I found my way to none other than Il Bambino.

Known for its Italian-style paninoteca blended with a Spanish-style tapas menu, Il Bambino is the spot to be for a number of cravings; but what they’re famous for—their Panini’s.

It was Memorial Day Weekend and the crowd was there—I immediately knew that I was in the right place. When I looked over their menu I sadly didn’t find the selection that the Internet so proudly boasted as the “best of the best,” but that didn’t deter me (or the gents behind the counter). After handing my phone over to the cashiers, the chef came peering over his shoulder nodding at the list of ingredients…

“It’s from three menus ago, but you bet we can whip this up for you no problem sweetheart.”

The melt-in-your-mouth ah-mazing breakfast panini from Il Bambino.
The melt-in-your-mouth ah-mazing breakfast panini from Il Bambino.

The Panini you may ask? Roasted garlic potatoes, scrambled eggs, melted parmesan, smoked bacon and truffle aioli pressed between the perfect combination of crunchy-chewy bread.

As I patiently sat in their back courtyard, I took in the atmosphere–wood and cast iron furniture, a waiter continuously re-filling water glasses, a child dancing on the benches, a couple divvying up another delicious looking Panini. As I sat alone, I got lost in the chatter and aroma of fresh ingredients and before I knew it my smoked bacon beaut had arrived.

First of all, let’s talk appearances. It wasn’t anything special—no unnecessary garnishes or swirls of aioli on the plate for decoration—it was just a steaming Panini filling the air with all the perfect Sunday breakfast scents. One bite in and I completely understood the hype. The bread was divine, giving just enough crunch before sinking into the chewy center and making my way into the girth of the sandwich. The ingredients were perfectly combined to create a hot and savory breakfast delight that 100% deserves to be considered A-list.

So, if you’re in Astoria and find yourself with a hankering for a breakfast sandwich that will knock the ball out of the park, be sure to head over to Il Bambino located at 34-08 31st Ave.

Happy Eating, Y’all!

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