The Mayan Love panini at Under Pressure Grill is based off "Modern Love" by David Bowie or "Mother Love" by Queen.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

That’s what you’ll be asking yourself when you take a bite out of Keith Powell’s unforgettable paninis, transporting you to a cheesy, flavorful world fit for a rockstar.

Since 2022, Powell has been running Under Pressure Grill, a food truck serving up paninis inspired by Queen and David Bowie songs. The flavor combinations and ingredients used mesh together perfectly, just like the collaboration between the iconic musicians.

Opening a food truck was always in Powell’s cards. Since he was a teenager, he knew he eventually wanted to open one, developing a love for cooking at a young age.

Powell attended culinary school for a bit but decided to leave and work in restaurants instead. Eventually, he got the opportunity he had been waiting for: the chance to open a food truck with a friend.

With the help of friends, Powell was able to transform a trailer into a mobile panini joint, making him one step closer to fulfilling his dream. All that was needed was the perfect name. Luckily, inspiration came from one of the most revered rock bands.

Keith Powell started Under Pressure Grill, a food truck serving paninis inspired by Queen and David Bowie songs, in 2022.

Paninis are pressed and put under literal pressure from the panini press, which inspired Powell to name his new food venture Under Pressure Grill. “Under Pressure” is also the title of a very popular Queen and David Bowie song, which made the name a million times better to a pun lover like Powell.

“All my sandwiches are named after puns on David Bowie or Queen names,” Powell said. “We have Mayan Love, which is kind of based off of the song ‘Modern Love’ or ‘Mother Love.’ And of course, we have Bulgogi Rhapsody.”

Under Pressure features seven paninis on the menu such as I Want It Meat Free and Fat Bottomed Grill. Powell likes to put his own unique twist on his paninis — for example, he uses a French roll for the bread and incorporates flavors from different cuisines, morphing them into a sandwich.

He also makes fresh-cut fries and fried plantains to go along with your panini of choice.

“Creating the sandwiches is what I enjoy doing,” Powell said. “One of the reasons we did paninis is that I wanted to be able to use flavors from around the world, not just doing just Chinese food or or a specific cuisine of food. I can pick from all the different cuisines as long as I can find a way to translate it into a panini.”

Pictured is the Mayan Love at Under Pressure Grill, which is one of owner Keith Powell’s favorites.

One of the favorites on the menu is the Mayan Love, which brings in various Southern Arizona flavors. Biting into the sandwich, you instantly notice the bread is perfectly pressed, keeping it crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Spilling out the sides of the sandwich is Powell’s slow-braised pork, aka the star of the show. The pork, which takes six hours to cook, is juicy and tender, absorbing the flavor and spice of the cumin lime vinaigrette, making it taste similar to barbacoa.

The bell peppers and pickled red onions help elevate the sandwich, tying all the flavors together nicely. Finally, you get a bite of the gooey melted cheese which is the icing on top of the cake.

The Mayan Love is actually one of Powell’s favorites. He also has a soft spot for the Bulgogi Rhapsody, made of grilled sirloin beef, kimchi, green onion and Monterey jack cheese.

“It's really a tough one between the Bulgogi Rhapsody and the Mayan Love,” Powell said. “The Mayan Love has your earthy and savory flavors with little tiny hints of spice in there. The Bulgogi Rhapsody isn't super spicy but it's like a sweet and spicy which is one of my favorite flavors.”

The key to creating Powell’s tasty sandwiches: the bread and cheese. The bread has to be grilled to perfection, that way you get the crust on the outside without burning it. It is also essential that the cheese is melted inside the sandwich, creating that gooey cheese pull we all dream of.

Typically, you can find Under Pressure Grill parked outside of Casa Video and Film Bar, serving up paninis for the lunch rush. Powell also takes his sandwiches to various breweries for dinner, making sure no one goes home hungry. Check out their Instagram page to see where they'll be next.

So don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time ... eating Powell’s delicious paninis.

Become a #ThisIsTucson member! Your contribution helps our team bring you stories that keep you connected to the community. Become a member today.

Jamie Donnelly is the food writer for #ThisIsTucson. Contact her via e-mail at