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Panera Bread - A Restaurant Review
Panera Bread Restaurant: A Real Treat!
Panera Bread is a bakery and cafe rolled into one.
At Panera Bread, they make their own bread every night so it will be fresh for their customers every day! The Panera Bread bakery creates fresh artisan breads, specialty breads, bagels, and pastries and sweets!
Panera Bread also has a varied cafe menu featuring fresh salads, sandwiches, panini, soups, and fruit.
On this page you'll find my personal review of Panera Bread. No, I'm not employed in any way by Panera Bread, but it is one of my favorite restaurants!
Breads - Loaf bread, baguettes, bagels, pastries, muffins, and yummy desserts at Panera Bread
Freshly Made Breads
I counted 17 different types of bread on the Panera Bread menu, not counting their bagels, pastries, and desserts! These include:
- Whole Grain
- Sesame Semolina
- Focaccia (Sea Salt or Asiago Cheese)
- Artisan French
- Country Bread
- Three Cheese Bread
- Three Seed Bread
- All Natural White
- Cinnamon Raisin Swirl
- Honey Wheat
- Tomato Basil
- Sprouted Whole Grain Roll
- Dinner Roll
My favorite? Tomato basil! It's a sourdough bread with a sweet crust. It's really good!
I also enjoy Panera Bread's whole grain baguettes. Sometime I'll have to try their Asiago Cheese bread too, as I've had their Asiago Cheese croutons before and they're fabulous!
But their bakery doesn't stop with just loaf bread and baguettes! They have freshly baked muffins, bagels, scones, sweet rolls, bear claws, French Croissants, mini bundt cakes, cookies, brownies, and pastries. All of these are on a large display. Tempting? You bet!
Sandwiches and Panini
Panera Bread has a variety of sandwiches and hot panini. Examples of the sandwiches include:
- Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich
- Sierra Turkey Sandwich on Asiago Cheese Foccaccia
- Steak and White Cheddar Panini
- Chipotle Chicken Panini
- Tomato and Mozzarella Panini
- Roasted Turkey and Avocado BLT
- Italian Combo
- Fontina Grilled Cheese
- and many others!
The Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich
My favorite sandwich is the Mediterranean Veggie. It's made with that Tomato Basil bread I was telling you about earlier. Inside the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich are peppers, feta cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, cucumbers and cilantro hummus.
Salads and Soups - at Panera Bread
Panera Bread also has several types of salads and soups. Their soup and salad menu has some year-round staples, as well as some seasonal items. Their salads include:
- Chicken Cobb with Avocoda
- Grilled Chicken Caesar
- Thai Chicken Salad
- BBQ Chicken Salad
- Strawberry Poppyseed
- fresh fruit cups
- and more.
In the summer, my favorite salad is their Strawberry Poppyseed Salad! In addition to romaine lettuce, the salad has a variety of types of fruits, pecans, and low fat poppyseed dressing. My favorite salad in the winter is their Greek Salad.
Several types of soups are also on the menu. These include:
- Vegetarian Black Bean
- Vegetarian Garden Vegetable
- Vegetarian Summer Corn Chowder
- Broccoli Cheddar
- New England Clam Chowder
- Baked Potato
- French Onion
- Low Fat Chicken Noodle
- Tomato Basil
- and several others.
In the winter, my favorite soup is their Tomato Basil with Asiago Cheese Croutons. I don't have a favorite summer time soup, because in the summer I'm too busy eating their Strawberry Poppyseed salad!
You Pick Two
at Panera Bread
One of my favorite meals at Panera Bread is called, "You Pick Two." With this meal, you get to select any two of the following: a cup of soup, half a sandwich, or half of a salad. All meals also come with a side, which can be either a baguette, apple, or potato chips.
Although in the photo below I am having a salad and sandwich, I usually select a soup and salad.
Strawberry Poppyseed Salad and Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich with a whole grain baguette
Other Panera Bread menu items?
I've mentioned most of the things that I have tried and particularly enjoyed, but I don't want to leave you with the impression that I've mentioned everything they have! Panera has many other menu items too.
For example, above you can see a Frozen Lemonade that my children and I had the delightful experience of devouring yesterday! So cold and sweet, with a delightful lemon flavor! Yum!!
Panera Bread has a "Hidden menu" with several low carb entrees.
Did you know that Panera Bread has a secret menu from which you can order low carb meals? The hidden menu contains the following meals:
- Egg White Bowl with Roasted Turkey
- Egg Bowl with Steak
- Mediterranean Chicken Salad
- Mediterranean Roasted Turkey Salad
- Steak Lettuce Wraps
- Chicken Hummus Bowl
You can find photos and a list of what's in each one on their Hidden Menu.
To order one of these meals, just let the cashier know you are ordering from the hidden menu!
Are you a fan of Panera Bread Restaurant?
Do you enjoy eating at Panera Bread? (Please only vote if you've actually eaten there at least once.)
What menu items do you prefer?
What do you like at Panera Bread?
Panera Bread Is A Common Meeting Place For Groups
Free Wi-Fi too!
Panera Bread is also a popular meeting place for small groups, from high school or college kids gathering for a study session, to adults meeting for business or fun. There is a meeting room available, but groups also often just push several tables together.
They have free wi-fi there as well, and when I go, I often see people sitting at a table with a cup of coffee and a bagel or danish, typing away on their computers.
My Panera Card - Pick up a My Panera card at the restaurant and then register it!
Be sure and pick up a "My Panera" card when you visit Panera Bread! Panera Bread puts "surprises" on the card for you from time to time! For example, I recently received both a free drink (hot tea, soda, etc) as well as a free pastry!
My Overall Impression of Panera Bread
I do have two tiny complaints. One is that, at least in my area, they close at 8 in the evening. So many times we've wanted to go there after that, and had to go somewhere else instead.
UPDATE: Many Panera Bread restaurants are staying open later now. The one closest to me now stays open until 9, and another one in town is open until 10!
My second tiny complaint is that because they bake all their own bread the night before, when they run out of a particular type, they won't be getting any more until the next day. Sometimes they run out of some of the more popular soups too. Okay, this isn't that big of a deal, as there are so many other things on the menu I enjoy too. Having freshly made breads, delicious homemade soups, and fresh, tasty salads is surely worth a little flexibility on my part!
My overall impression of Panera Bread? FANTASTIC! I love Panera Bread!!
Panera Bread Cookbook - Discover Panera Bread's Breadmaking Tips and Recipes
In addition to bread-making tips and recipes, you'll find quite a few (over 120) recipes that use homemade breads.
Zojirushi Home Bakery Bread Machine - Wake up to fresh baked bread, or serve it for dinner!
Enjoy homemade bread made with ease! This breadmaker makes 1 lb loaves. In addition to making bread, you can use this machine to make cookie dough, pizza dough, pasta, rolls, jams, and more!