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I just love Panera's Crispani!

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I get the pepperoni and basil Crispani and it is so good, I could not believe it when I read some of the comments (negative) on CH about it and about Panera in general. I am not a sandwich eater so have never tried their sandwiches, but I like their soups (often get their potato-bacon or vegetarian vegetable). Have tried a few of their pastries (ham and cheese scones, etc.). I don't get it - what is there not to like about their Crispani? I am a pizza afficiando - love only the good stuff, usually neapolitan style from authentic restaurants, I don't get into pizza from other chains, but love a good thin crust with a great sauce, cheese, etc and to me the Crispani fits the bill. All in all, yes I would prefer a thin-crust neapolitan style from Sally's or Pepe's or Tomatoes....

Just to show you how much I appreciate a great pizza, it is one of the first things I check out (where the good pizza is) whenever I travel to a new city. I could eat pizza several times a week. Can anyone enlighten me about their bad (or good) feelings about Panera and their Crispani?

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  1. Cheri, I can certainly appreciate your interest in pizza. I think I feel the same way. And I'm always in pursuit of a new pizza experience.
    On Crispani, I agree with you. However, I have noticed that the quality tends to vary form location to location. In Westfield, NJ , where I go for a Crispani for dinner with my wife once in a while, they seem to be somewhat consistent.
    I like the thin crust. Crispanis are typically not overloaded with toppings which is something I like. (I had the feeling in some Panera locations they even try to save on the toppings which is cheap).
    An enjoyable texture and flavor composition on a pizza does not result from overloading it with lots of toppings that have an "egocentric" pointed taste. Rather, it comes from a combination of modest but solid toppings that together form an enjoyable profile. And I think, Panera is actually doing a good job at accomplishing this.
    How would you compare the Pizza at Cosi with the Crispani at Panera?

    1. i think Panera collectively is an above average fast food restaurant. i travel a good bit by car and Panera is my usual place to stop if i am in a town i don't know. it consistently delivers a great fresh (relatively) healthy meal. i will have to try one of their pizzas next time

      1. We had their pizza a few times and it was ok, nothing to compare to my favorite local pizzarea but if I was away from home and didn't know the area, I'd have it again. Panera is good basic food, great for work lunches and if you're on the road you know it's a place for a clean bathroom, wi-fi, some company and a decent meal. Ours is a favorite hangout for the moms in the morning as well a seniors from a nearby senior complex and on Fridays does an open mike. It's always clean, friendly service and very busy.

        1. Panera's Bread Bowls are absolutely delicious. Give them a try!

          1. Have you looked at the calorie count on that thing? According to the website it serves three, so if you eat the whole thing, you're talking about 1140 calories, 54 grams of fat and over 100% of your recommended daily allowence of sodium.

            There food is good, but way too high in fat and salt, and unless you eat half a portion, way too high in calories too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: lulubelle

              easy with the calories, who cares if it is delicious.

              one can only guess how many calories the pizzas I get from the local italian joints have. something I surely dont want to know.

              1. re: yankeefan

                You know, I am willing to blow an entire day's worth of calories on fabulous local pizza, but not on chain food, particularly when I tend to grab lunches at places like this pretty often. I would rather eat a salad with the dressing on the side, or a bowl of soup (which is still super high sodium, but pretty easy calorie-wise) and then have something great for dinner.

            2. They just started these up here in the Northeast, so I will indeed try them. I've always enjoyed their food especially their asiago and cinammon crunch bagels. Chowder in a bread bowl or just a big hunk of bread and butter. Hot chocolate and a hot bagel by the fire on a rainy day one of life's little pleasures.

              1 Reply
              1. re: othervoice

                as you said..."chowder in a bread bowl or just a big hunk of bread and butter" ... well said.

                I do enjoy panera, maybe Im not a great foodie but I do love their bread.