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Jun 2, 2008 01:31 PM

Anything edible from Panera for lunch?

I am not a fan of Panera at all, I hate their breakfast breads, and menu, so I have never even thought about getting lunch there. However, unfortunately tomorrow that is the choice for the office for a lunch meeting, and I am not going to make waves, and be a bad sport(bad for office politics, so not eating lunch, or bringing a good sandwich from home is not an option). So I am curious does Panera make a sandwich that I might actually eat, instead of throwing more than half of it in the garbage?

For reference, I dislike Subway, Quiznos, Potbelly's, and all the other chain sandwich shops. I prefer going to a local Italian deli for a real sandwich, with real meat.

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  1. Do you get to choose your lunch or is the office just ordering a bunch of sandwiches to be brought in? If you're going to Panera and get to choose, I've had some good salads there if you want to avoid sandwiches altogether. Usually they bring out a nice tomato caprese salad for the summer.

    If you're stuck with sandwiches, I prefer their paninis to cold sandwiches, although they have a roast beef with blue cheese I like. I also like their veggie sandwich. However, I'm willing to eat Subway or Quiznos occasionally without total disdain, so my tastes may be much different from yours.

    2 Replies
    1. re: leanneabe

      I am not a salad person, unless it is before a meal. So a sandwich is the way I am leaning.

      I believe someone is going to phone in a carryout order, I do not want a "hot" sandwich since it will probably be sogged out by the time it gets back to the office. I looked at the website, and I am leaning towards the Italian Combo(but I ammguessing I will be disappointed, comparing it to the Itlian subs I get at other spots) One their turkey sandwiches may be the safest bet.

      1. re: swsidejim

        Ah, yes, a panini would definitely not survive a trip to the office. I wouldn't recommend the Italian, knowing your affinity for good deli subs. I still like the Asiago Roast Beef or Mediterranean Veggie. For turkey, I think the Sierra Turkey is better than the Bacon Turkey Bravo.

    2. The only thing that stands out @ Panera is their b'fast quiche ("baked egg souffles")...and unfortunately, you're having lunch. Everything else is just plain mediocre.

      1. I haven't been to Panera in some time, but always liked their tuna salad on multi-grain bread. It came with lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, sliced red onion, and mustard - I always told them to skip the latter, as mustard with tuna seems unnecessary and wrong. Many people, myself included, like their asiago baguette.

        1. I have had a lunch with co-workers dilemma too at Panera. I found the ham & swiss and the tuna to be pretty much ok but I have them hold the lettuce and tomato for each. Some really like their soups.

          1. Not sure if you'll get this prior to your lunch today, but I'm not a huge fan of Panera, however, I do really like their Mediteranean Veggie Sandwich....get it on Ciabatta, extra peppers.

            8 Replies
            1. re: stacylyn

              thanks for the input, I placed my order, Italian Combo, and chips.

                1. re: OCAnn

                  still only 11:30 here. waiting for lunch to be picked up.

                  1. re: swsidejim

                    I see you're waiting in anticipation!

                    1. re: OCAnn

                      Just ate half of the Italian Combo, and you know what, not a bad sandwich for what it is. The bread has a nice flavor, and it is loaded with meat(which appears to be real lunchmeat, not pressed/overprocessed stuff.

                      Overall I would eat one some other day, and compared to the breakfast breads/muffins etc I had had from panera previously it was much better than expected.

                      1. re: swsidejim

                        i'm not sure if all franchises are created equal, but if they do things like here in TX, the meat is not pressed and was all sliced that morning. and the bread was baked about 2am - they don't ever use day old bread. you're right about the muffins not being very tasty, same with most of the pastries and brownies and mini-cakes. but the cinnamon rolls, pecan-topped rolls, and "cobblestones" are quite tasty, as are the quiches.

                        1. re: NirvRush

                          the bread was surprisingly chewy(a good thing), and tasty. It also held up instead of falling apart.

                          The sandwich, and meats were not as good as the local Italian deli that slices them when you order the sandwich, but 100x better than Subway, Jimmy Johns, Potbelly, Quiznos, etc.

                          1. re: NirvRush

                            Reading this thread yesterday got me hungry for some of Panera's baked souffles (quiches); so I got some for the office this morning (mmmm as usual). I haven't yet tried their cinnamon or pecan rolls...I guess that'll be tomorrow!