We’ve wanted to check out Trasca & Co. Eatery for some time now, but we don’t often make it to Ponte Vedra. On a recent Sunday afternoon we were tooling around 3rd street and thought it was the perfect opportunity to head a little farther south to try a panino.
Trasca & Co. is a quick service restaurant near Sawgrass offering gourmet coffee, craft beer, wine, craft soda from a fountain, panini (plural of panino, basically a rolled up fresh, hot sandwich), salads, soup, pizza, and dessert. When you walk in Trasca & Co. it is obvious that the entire concept was well thought out. The space has a vintage east coast feel with chunky wooden tables (made by the owners), planked wood floors, walls with bold color and some with wood boards, and twinkle lights in the dining area. It’s an easy place to just be.
Before we get into the food, we wanted to share that while we did go to Trasca & Co. anonymously, by the end of our meal we had outed and introduced ourselves to the owner, who was personally walking around the restaurant, taking care of guests. She offered to give us a tour, which we were thrilled to accept. You find out a lot about a restaurant when they take you in their kitchen.
When Trasca & Co. says they are “Handcrafted Deliciousness”, they are telling the truth. They get everything in fresh, with many ingredients being sourced from specific places in the U.S. because of their high quality (meats, cheeses). Their dough is made fresh in house every day. Their soup is made from scratch every day in house. Their desserts are made fresh in house. Their freezer is only slightly bigger than the freezer in your kitchen at home. Mostly their freezer houses desserts and dessert ingredients (ice cream, etc.). All of these things make a difference in the quality of the meal you eat, and you can taste the difference at Trasca & Co.
We tried the Buffalo Bleu Panino (Ashley Farms Free-Range Chicken, Switzerland Swiss, Buffalo Sauce, Celery, Bleu Cheese Dressing, $10.95), Trasca-style Cracker Pizza (Our Family’s Secret Dough Recipe, Housemade Pizza Sauce, Mozzarella, and choice of 3 toppings, $10), Roasted Tomato Bisque (soup of the day), and Trasca’s Famous Mud Pie (Oreo Crust, Dulce de Leche, Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream, Grandma T’s Homemade Hot Fudge, Topped with Housemade Espresso Whipped Cream, $5).
Having not had a true panino before, we weren’t sure what to expect, but the Buffalo Bleu Panino was delicious. It was hot and melty and the panino dough was golden brown from the oven. The bleu cheese was velvety smooth from the oven, so it mingled nicely with the buffalo sauce. Even if you’re not into celery, as one of us was not, it made a perfect home in this panino.
The cracker pizza is made with panino dough, just rolled out extra thin. We chose pepperoni, kalamata olives, and broccoli for our toppings. This is a single serve pizza, but you’d be hard pressed to finish a whole one. It was similar to a flatbread, only better than your average flatbread because the ingredients were so fresh and delicious.
The roasted tomato bisque was the soup of the day, and how can you pass up a tomato bisque? You can’t. We didn’t. It was good! I would get it again. The house made croutons (made from bread from the French pantry) were a perfect accessory and made the soup that much more delicious.
Let’s talk about the Famous Mud Pie. Even though a Trasca & Co. panino is the most delicious sandwich you will eat all week, you need to go there for the Famous Mud Pie. And bring a friend to share it with because you may suffer an early death from a food coma if you go it alone. That house made oreo crust is the stuff dreams are made of. But once it’s layered with dulce de leche, vanilla ice cream, and hot fudge, Trasca & Co. has upped the ante. A bite of the mud pie has the slightest hint of coffee from the espresso whipped cream. The vast majority of restaurants order their desserts in premade and frozen. It makes for an underwhelming experience. Before we took a bite of our mud pie, we did not yet know whether Trasca & Co. made theirs or ordered it in. One bite told the story. We knew immediately that an old, factory-made, frozen dessert could never taste that good.
If it seems like we’re fans of Trasca & Co. it’s because we are. They are doing something special in Ponte Vedra. Tasting is believing.