Andiamo Restaurant, Amherst, MA

I was absolutely starving when I got back from practice tonight. Turns out my roommate was, too, so we decided to try this restaurant whose menu had recently been slipped under our door. They're a modern Italian place, with panini and salads, and with free delivery, it was hard to pass up!

Delivery took almost no time at all, which was great, and our sandwiches were hot when we got them. I ordered the Levante, which is a baguette pressed with chicken breast, fresh mozzarella, pesto, and sundried tomato aioli inside.

The overall sandwich is about a footlong. Compare this to Subway, though, and it's about $8, total. A good price for good, fresh ingredients as opposed to Subway's more mass produced stuff. The baguette is crisp, but not as crisp as I'd like it. It's a chewier baguette, and when I eat my panini, I like them to be crispy and buttery on the outside. It does have grill marks, though.

The sandwich is really good and soft, the fillings, that is. I'm always worried when I order a sandwich with grilled chicken that there will be one, tough breast piece that will slide out and fall away. This prevents that. There are neat little strips in it that melt along with everything and taste awesome. The chicken is perfectly cooked. The mozzarella isn't as noticeable as I'd like. I like fresh mozzarella to be gooey and prominent in a sandwich, and it's unfortunately overshadowed by the sauces. It's a little odd, the distribution. On one side, there's the pesto, which is good and basily and salty, and the sundried tomato aioli on the other. I don't know what to make of the aioli. On one hand, I was relieved that there weren't any chunks of sundried tomato, which nauseate me as much as mushrooms, but on the other hand, the definition of "aioli" was used rather loosely, more for pretension than actual literal ingredients.

By definition, an aioli is a sauce made with garlic and olive oil. This seemed to be a mayonnaise if anything else, and had a sharp and vinegary taste that left a bitter flavor and also overpowered some of the sandwich's other aspects. You can order chips with your sandwich, too. I find it a bit of a cop-out, because they charge $1.89 for a small bag of Kettle Chips, where I'd much rather have fries or another complementing side.

Italian, this is. Perfect, it's not. Go with simplicity and order the Levante without the aioli. It will taste better. And ask them to grill it extra.

6/10- GOOD

Roomba ordered the Andiamo salad without portabella mushrooms, but it came with the mushrooms. She describes it as the fancy poor man's salad, and that the addition of ranch dressing to a salad with bitter greens, arugula, and avocado really took away the beauty of the fancy salad. And picking out the mushrooms was just awful- to quote Up, our new favorite film, "We do not like the mushrooms of shame."

6/10- OKAY

Andiamo Restaurant
485 West Street
Amherst, MA, 01003

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