Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chains >
Oct 23, 2008 06:10 AM

What's good at Panera?

Got a coupon for a free loaf at Panera with any purchase. Need the advice from the experienced hounds please.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I like their coffee and hot chocolate, I can sit and use the internet while sipping bottomless coffee.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cstr

      Bottomless coffee. What happens if something falls in? Coupon "Excludes Miche sizes. What type of loaf is recommended?

      1. re: phantomdoc

        I buy the rye.

        My first job was in a Polish bakery in Detroit. I love a good loaf of fresh rye. They do it right at Panera. All the bread is fresh. They donate day olds to local food banks.

        You could ask which one just came out of the oven most recently and buy that one, since you don't seem to have a preference for a type of bread. .

    2. I can't tell from your original post whether you're looking for suggestions on what to buy to qualify for the free loaf, or what kind of bread to get as your free loaf. I can't comment as to the latter b/c I haven't bought whole loaves there. If you're looking for suggestions for the former, my faves there are their pumpkin muffins and cinnamon crunch bagels. My DH loves their asiago cheese bagels.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mdepsmom

        Sorry not to be on point. I was asking what is heavenly at Panera? I will buy anything that is wonderful. I like most all breads. When I lived in Dallas I could not bring myself to try a blueberry bagel. Just asking what's the best.

      2. Depending on when your coupon expires, hold out for the holiday bread!

        As for sandwiches, I love the bacon turkey bravo.

        3 Replies
          1. re: phantomdoc

            Just a reminder for coupons. Whether it's a Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon or a free coupon from Panera. By Law they do not expire, no matter what date they have printed on them.

            1. re: chipman

              I think that varies by state. I know it is true in California. However, whenever it is mentioned in the news there seems to be some mention that CA is one of the few states that does this.

              To the OP ... so what did you buy and how was it?

        1. Orchard Harvest salad. The best salad Panera ever came up with. Greens, gorgonzola, pecans, dried cherries and pears, and cherry balsamic dressing. It is wonderful, but available only in Fall and Winter. I usually order it with grilled chicken and extra dressing. It's fantastic!

          2 Replies
          1. re: zhelder

            I like many of the loaves...especailly the rye and the multi-grain. I buy them sliced and freeze. Their breads last well- no freezer burn if you use their plastic bag within the brown outer bag.

            1. re: zhelder

              zhelder thanks for the rec! Tried the salad today and really enjoyed it. The pecans were an especially nice touch and I'm fond of pears anyway. I commiserated with the cashier a bit, she was very nice, they had a sign saying open at three am on this friday. She said she was glad she didn't have to work in the morning. I bet they do well too, my Panera is in a shopping center in between a best buy and a toys r us.

            2. Yes, the holiday bread is good - but I'll settle for the tuna salad sandwich at other times of the year.