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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 18, 2001

Dining Scene
Baci goes Xpress with sandwiches and pasta

By Debra Yuen
TGIF Editor

Baci Xpress on Merchant Street can seat up to a few dozen customers. The downtown eatery serves sandwiches and pasta.

Jeff Widener • The Honolulu Advertiser

The challenge, when chomping on a sausage-and-pepper hero sandwich ($6.50) from Baci Xpress, is to send every morsel where it belongs — in your mouth — instead of on your hands, on the table or in your lap. It can be done, but the task is daunting, considering the heap of locally made sausage chunks, green bell peppers and onions is smothered by a hearty marinara sauce that seems destined to splatter something, preferably white clothing.

But your mouth is where that sandwich belongs, because it's pretty good stuff.

Baci Xpress, near the downtown post office, opened several weeks ago. A Baci restaurant that had been in Restaurant Row recently re-opened as Ferno; Baci owner Bill Duval also owns Ferno.

Baci Xpress offers everything from hero sandwiches on french rolls, to pasta (spaghetti or rigatoni under marinara, meatballs, that sausage/peppers/onion combo, chicken and broccoli alfredo, and even lasagna and ravioli) to panini sandwiches.

Speaking of which, the grilled vegetali panini ($4.95) is quite a winner. Slices of eggplant, zucchini and red bell peppers, dressed with pesto or a red bell pepper topping, nestle deliciously between a pair of herbed focaccia. Each panini comes with a side of pasta salad; other panini varieties range from turkey-provolone ($5.95) to marinated chicken (also $5.95). Salads, Caesar or Greek, and a soup of the day also are available.

The eatery, which has seating for a few dozen, is at 233 Merchant St. It's open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays. 521-6303.