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favorite thing to eat from panera?

polly parker Jan 11, 2008 12:29 PM

for me - the bacon turkey bravo. the bread is wonderful. Soups and salads are good as well. and the pumpkin muffies. yum-o. anyone care to share?

  1. m
    mdepsmom Jan 11, 2008 03:28 PM

    My favorite is the pumpkin muffins. We don't have Panera in AZ so I have a friend in CO who ships me care packages of them every few months :) I also love the cinnamon crunch bagels, the choco-nut bagels, the asiago roast beef sandwich, and the cream of wild rice & chicken soup.

    1. pikawicca Jan 11, 2008 04:53 PM

      We used to love Panera, but will never go back after recent dreadful meals. Way too salty. Seriously soggy salads. Soups that are mostly flour. Extremely bad food.

      1. Suzy Q Jan 11, 2008 05:30 PM

        The Frontega Chicken sandwich is wooooonderful...I had one yesterday with a bowl of their veggie soup, and it tasted pretty darn good. And considering I'm in the throes of a terrible cold and can't taste much...that's saying something! :-)

        7 Replies
        1. re: Suzy Q
          Prav Jan 22, 2008 04:24 AM

          I used to like Panera sandwiches until I realized how deceptively unhealthy they were. The Frontera chicken panini has 890 calories and 43 grams of fat. :( It's good but it's not 890 calories good.

          1. re: Prav
            Karl S Jan 23, 2008 08:05 AM

            BAsic rule: if something is very yummy, there's fat you may or may not realize is there. It's why people love Chinese and Indian food buffets, where there's a lot of extra oil to keep things looking luscious under heat.

            1. re: Karl S
              Prav Jan 23, 2008 04:08 PM

              Definitely a good rule of thumb.

              1. re: Karl S
                Jacey Mar 16, 2008 07:45 AM

                What a bold statement; I don't agree with this at all. I can't stand kung pao chicken or burritos and enchiladas. However, I go crazy for a mixed green salad with a little balsamic and olive oil, sashimi and roasted veggies. It all depends on our taste buds.

                For Panera, alway ask for the spreads on the side and no cheese. Their breads tends to be quite caloric, so you can always make one of their sandwiches open-face.

                1. re: Jacey
                  iluvtennis Mar 17, 2008 07:38 AM

                  Totally agree w/ Jacey.

                  1. re: Jacey
                    yankeefan Apr 14, 2008 06:38 AM

                    Well said Jacey. Always a good idea to ask for things on the side given that at least if you dont like it, it doesnt gum up and kill your meal.

                    I love a ton of olive oil and balsamic but love to control it myself.

                2. re: Prav
                  Suzy Q Jan 23, 2008 04:49 PM

                  Hmmm, let's see...it has cheese AND mayo. Not a big surprise.

              2. k
                kerryd Jan 12, 2008 06:23 AM

                The Fuji Apple chicken salad is great. I'm not big on salads usually but I love this one.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kerryd
                  PDeveaux Mar 20, 2008 05:35 PM

                  Second that on the Fuji Apple chicken salad. I also love the french onion soup and the greek salad. You just have to be careful with the portion sizes. I usually end up taking two-thirds of my order home.

                2. l
                  libgirl2 Jan 12, 2008 07:00 AM

                  I love their chicken chili or french onion soup in a bread bowl. I used to like their old veggie sandwiches but now they have peppers in it and I am not a pepper fan!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: libgirl2
                    Wangus Jan 17, 2008 06:08 AM

                    It's all about the bread bowled french onion soup for me. It's a weird addiction. I actually don't really care for the rest of their menu.

                    1. re: Wangus
                      jkosnett Jan 17, 2008 03:53 PM

                      I get the bread bowl with the chix and wild rice soup. The sandwiches don't excite me. My wife likes the scones for breakfast carryout so sometimes I get a pastry.

                      1. re: Wangus
                        Jacey Mar 16, 2008 07:47 AM

                        Whenever I eat their french onion soup, I can feel my blood pressure going up. I'm afraid to look how much sodium is in one serving.

                    2. c
                      coasterphil Jan 12, 2008 07:16 PM

                      Bacon Turkey Bravo and the Asian Sesame Chicken salad.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: coasterphil
                        polly parker Jan 15, 2008 08:22 AM

                        i definitely agree with you on the bacon turkey bravo. i always come back to that one. the bread is AMAZING.

                      2. p
                        pak1789 Jan 15, 2008 10:16 AM

                        I like their garden vegetable soup. It's so much better than the vegetable soup at their competitor Atlanta Bread Company. Maybe it's the little pasta balls in Panera's that make the difference!

                        However, I don't like Panera's vegetarian black bean soup. It's rather blah.

                        They also had a wonderful vegetarian soup in the past that I just loved even more than the garden vegetable. I don't recall the exact name, but it was something like roasted lentil with garlic, or maybe it was curried lentil. Then they took it off the menu - I guess it was only temporary. :-(

                        I also like the Tomato and Basil Crispani, but not all locations have them.


                        1. a
                          avena Jan 15, 2008 11:03 AM

                          Wow I can't believe no one has mentioned the Baked Egg Soufflés!!! I love those! Especially the spinach & artichoke one.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: avena
                            OCAnn Apr 8, 2008 04:05 PM

                            I only go to Panera for their souffles. Everything else...their soups, salads and sandwiches...is a big commercial MEH.

                          2. s
                            shoelace Jan 15, 2008 08:37 PM

                            the new creamy tomato soup is incredible

                            1. Karl S Jan 16, 2008 05:27 AM

                              Don't care for their soups.

                              The dried cherry pecan green salad is very good if you substitute feta for the eh-gorgonzola and get about half or two thirds the usual amount of dressing.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Karl S
                                shoelace Jan 16, 2008 10:34 AM

                                i dont like any of the other soups, i tried this one, bc i had a sore throat and couldnt attempt to swallow my normal salad, and im now completely addicted,

                                they have it posted now as suggested mix- the creamy tomato soup and a half of a tuna sandwich, im generally against purchasing tuna at a chain place, bc its chock full of weird fillers like bread crumbs, but i tried the combo, and its delicious

                              2. s
                                sueatmo Jan 16, 2008 05:00 PM

                                We eat out a lot at Panera. I especially like the French Onion Soup. And I agree that the egg soufllfes are really good. Today we went in for a snack and I had a braided pecan pastry. Very nice. They have a new sandwich. It is an open face bar-b-que brisket topped witt fried onion rings. I tasted the beef, and I think it was good. This is a departure for St. Louis Bread/Panera, I think.

                                1. iluvtennis Jan 17, 2008 04:08 PM

                                  Chocolate chip muffies! I go there every morning...everybody in there knows exactly what i get...two chocolate chip muffies and a large iced tea. If i am there for lunch or dinner, i love the orchard harvest salad, black bean soup, or seafood bisque! Oh, the cherry vanilla bagels they have for breast cancer awareness month are addictive.

                                  1. Chew on That Jan 18, 2008 06:28 AM

                                    I always get the same thing every time:

                                    You Pick Two with Asian Sesame Chicken Salad and Broccoli Cheddar Soup with a side of the french baguette.

                                    So delicious!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Chew on That
                                      tapas gal Jan 21, 2008 06:13 AM

                                      Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich on Country Bread and I add Smoked Turkey to it. I always get the raised eyebrow of adding meat to a Vegetarian sandwich... which is amusing... but I just tell 'em it's darn delicious...

                                    2. r
                                      rizzo0904 Jan 21, 2008 12:05 PM

                                      I usually get the you pick 2 with broccoli cheese soup, sierra turkey sandwich on asiago cheese bread, and the whole wheat baguette.

                                      I also like their cinnamon bagels.

                                      I do NOT like their brownie cakes though.

                                      1. litchick Jan 21, 2008 12:52 PM

                                        um... nothing. But I'm still bitter because when Panera was still St Louis Bread Company, it was a revelation. Now, it's all very... disappointing. Even the pumpkin muffies -- which used to actually taste of pumpkin, not just pumpkin pie spice -- have degenerated into a kind of lowest common denominator super-sweet gumminess. Gah.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: litchick
                                          rweater Jan 30, 2008 08:27 AM

                                          I too remember the St. Louis Bread Co. fondly and it was much better before it went Panera. Yes, the pumpkin muffins were much tastier and the salads were much fresher.

                                          That said, I still go there occasionally because it's convenient.

                                        2. h
                                          homecook1 Jan 21, 2008 03:56 PM

                                          Hands down, the portobello mushroom panini. Fabulous!

                                          1. l
                                            linz_e_moore Jan 22, 2008 02:56 AM

                                            For breakfast, an everything bagel and regular coffee. Don't try their mixed coffee drinks. Way too sweet and definitely overpriced.The bagels are good- not earth shattering, but decent, especially if you take the time to get them toasted. I used to work at the mall, and would spend my lunch break at Panera. Lunch was always the choose two-a greek salad and chicken noodle soup. Again, nothing earth shattering, but decent, moderately priced food that beats McDonalds. Also, my boyfriend loves their Italian sandwich, and their veggie isn't bad either. Don't get the Caesar salad though. Bad dressing.

                                            1. m
                                              Madelyne Jan 22, 2008 09:52 AM

                                              Fuji Apple Chicken Salad! I'm trying to re-create that dressing.

                                              1. y
                                                yankeefan Jan 23, 2008 05:15 AM

                                                Ive started to really like it better than atlanta bread and cosi although the one thing that has disappointed me in the reduction in the size of the bread bowls.

                                                Current favorite lunch meal is black bean soup in a bread bowl with the salmon salad. Actually quite good.

                                                Not huge fan of bagels or desserts, but the breads are nice.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: yankeefan
                                                  polly parker Jan 23, 2008 06:31 AM

                                                  i have to agree that the bagels or lacking, but the breads really are excellent. and the soups. and the salads. and i like the pastries in general. i wish they had a few in dc proper, unfortunately the place is overrun with cosis... which are second rate IMO.

                                                2. JonParker Jan 23, 2008 09:46 AM

                                                  They used to have a wild mushroom soup that I thought was quite good, but they took it off the menu.

                                                  On recent visists I've gotten the Greek salad with chicken, which has been decent -- not a great Greek salad, but ok.

                                                  1. tatertotsrock Jan 23, 2008 09:59 AM

                                                    CHICKEN AND WILD RICE SOUP
                                                    Perfect for a hangover when you don't want to get chili cheese fries from Tommy's.

                                                    1. southernitalian Jan 31, 2008 09:33 AM

                                                      I just came back from the Panera at Ballantyne in Charlotte. I got the asiago roast beef. It was very good but very small for what they charged ($6.61).

                                                      1. g
                                                        gudeatz Feb 1, 2008 08:22 AM

                                                        Asiago bagel, toasted w/butter, and a small coffee....

                                                        1. Patrincia Mar 15, 2008 12:55 PM

                                                          Black bean soup and a buttered sourdough roll.

                                                          1. a
                                                            agnesrob Mar 15, 2008 01:10 PM

                                                            Asiago bagel, Turkey Artichoke Panini and the egg soufles they serve in the morning.

                                                            1. FoodieKat Mar 15, 2008 01:22 PM

                                                              Love the bagels at Panera. Especially loved the Pink Ribbon bagel, but unfortunately it's only a short-term item. Also like the Asiago cheese, mochachip swirl and banana pecan bagels. Good stuff! And their sourdough bread is so good too. My mom is also addicted to their wholegrain baguettes. She can't get these in AZ, so every time she's in California she buys lots of these.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: FoodieKat
                                                                Mothership Mar 15, 2008 01:46 PM

                                                                Like several other posters - the fuji apple chicken salad is my fave. My husband would eat the chipotle chicken sandwich every day if he could. I caved and tried one of the "cobblestones" last week for breakfast. Couldn't eat it until later in the day because it was just too sweet, but later on, it was a gooey - cinnamony - butt enhancing treat. Yum.

                                                              2. s
                                                                starbucksbrew Mar 15, 2008 01:41 PM

                                                                Holiday bread!

                                                                1. j
                                                                  Judi0044 Mar 15, 2008 05:21 PM

                                                                  My husband loves iced tea with his Bacon Turkey Bravo & chips. I liked the Broccoli cheese soup; however, lately it's been too salty for me. I never eat a whole sandwich - always take half home for another day. When I do, it's usually the Chicken Frontaga (sp.) or the Turkey Artichoke pannini. They've done well here except we've noticed the prices have really been climbing lately. My husband also thinks there are very subtle changes in the sizes of the bread slices from several months ago. We've cut our visits way back due to gas prices and their rising item prices. Also, the Pecan 'sticky' roll is my husband's fav and I like their original (round) cinnamon roll. The new 'twist' is good but seems heavily laden with icing - more of it than the roll.

                                                                  1. z
                                                                    zhelder Mar 15, 2008 08:30 PM

                                                                    I think that the Orchard Harvest salad is the best salad Panera has EVER offered, and it's one of my favorite salads of all time. I usually get it with grilled chicken and ask for an extra vial of that delicious cherry balsamic dressing.

                                                                    Unfortunately, Panera is going to offer the salad for only a couple more weeks, but they told me it will be back in the Fall. I need to get my fix in now, I guess!

                                                                    I also love the caramel apple danish and the mini pineapple bundt cake.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: zhelder
                                                                      iluvtennis Mar 16, 2008 07:23 AM

                                                                      Yeah, i know...they have a little "two weeks left" sign by the orchard harvest salad on our menu. I am glad to know it will be coming back, but since i love most of their salads, i can't wait to see what kind of salad replaces it.

                                                                      1. re: iluvtennis
                                                                        Judi0044 Mar 17, 2008 04:38 PM

                                                                        We were in to our local Panera today. This is the last week for the Orchard salad as previously stated. They said the "Fandago" is coming back - a salad with mandarin oranges and raspberry? dressing - to replace it.

                                                                        1. re: Judi0044
                                                                          Milt Mar 23, 2008 03:22 PM

                                                                          The Fandango salad is what I have enjoyed most at Panera - of the offerings I have tried.

                                                                    2. b
                                                                      burlgurl Mar 15, 2008 08:39 PM

                                                                      Panera is opening soon in Mississauga...I think a first for Canada..looking forward to checking it out!

                                                                      1. Firegoat Mar 17, 2008 03:04 PM

                                                                        Cinnamon Crunch bagels with hazelnut cream cheese. Yum!

                                                                        1. l
                                                                          lvanleer Mar 18, 2008 03:55 PM

                                                                          The creamy tomato soup and tuna combo.....any of their salads....either their roast beef or turkey sandwiches....love their breads

                                                                          1. k
                                                                            Kam7185 Mar 24, 2008 06:03 PM

                                                                            I used to go when it was St. Louis Bread company in the chicago area. I loved the asiago breads and foccacia. I'll never forget when I went once with some girlfriends and their Mom. The mom ate a bowl of creamy chunky soup, then proceeded to eat the ENTIRE bread bowl. I must it was impressive, but I lost my appetite!

                                                                            1. podunkboy Mar 25, 2008 05:02 PM

                                                                              I'm a purist -- I just like slices of their sourdough bread, straight from the bag, often before I've started the car to take the bread home. Oh, and the asiago bagels.
                                                                              I've never actually eaten one of their sandwiches, and they're right across the street from my job.

                                                                              1. i
                                                                                itri Mar 29, 2008 05:14 PM

                                                                                From the bakery, cinnamon crunch bagels, cinnamon chip scones, and chocolate raspberry brownies. From the cafe, the bacon turkey bravo, asian sesame chicken salad, and fuji apple chicken salad. Yum!

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: itri
                                                                                  Apple a day Apr 4, 2008 01:12 AM

                                                                                  I used to enjoy Panera but ever since I found out that their pastries and soups are FROZEN it just hasn't had the same appeal.

                                                                                  1. re: Apple a day
                                                                                    iluvtennis Apr 4, 2008 08:57 AM

                                                                                    Their pastries are frozen? I thought they were made freshly on-site. I'm disappointed.

                                                                                    1. re: iluvtennis
                                                                                      rweater Apr 4, 2008 11:26 AM

                                                                                      No. A friend I knew who worked there called them "glorified pop tarts."

                                                                                2. g
                                                                                  gudeatz Apr 7, 2008 02:40 PM

                                                                                  Asiago bagel,toasted,butter....

                                                                                  1. p
                                                                                    polly parker Apr 14, 2008 06:54 AM

                                                                                    this weekend i tried their new breakfast sandwiches. the bresh baked ciabatta bread was AMAZING. made the sandwich. i HIGHLY recommend. also, french toast bagel samples while i waited in line really were yummy.

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