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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.

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  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.

              1. I liked when they first started as St. Louis Bread Company, before they expanded nationwide and adopted the new name (everywhere but StL). I like many of their sandwiches and soups. But my favorite things in their shops are the bagel slicers -- they are these pneumatic tubes that suck up the bagels and propel them at supersonic speeds through the slicer and then out the other end. Fantastic! And even more fun if you substitute other items -- apples, tennis balls, oranges, doll heads. The bestest, funnest, most potentially dangerous machine anywhere! You are only limited by your imagination, and the manager's adherence to OSHA regulations.

                1. If I may, I'd like to twist the query! What's not so good and what used to be good? They just can't make a good bagel - at all, at all. Scones are a drug to me and I seek them out where ever. They baked a cranberry scone which was wonderful and then just stopped - discontinued, gone (forever). Not to be totally negative though, I/we still patronize them usually for a quick breakfast pastry (croissants, various gooey other pastries) and their breakfast sandwiches (not ecstatic but reliable and consistent).

                  1. I really enjoy their Asian Sesame Chicken salad!

                    1. the seasonal salads are good, i like the one they had during the summer with the strawberries and the fall oen with the pears are excellent. I enjoyed the sandwich with the tomatoes and the fresh mozzarella. You can get both together as a combo package

                      1. The asiago cheese bread makes awesome morning toast.

                        1 Reply
                        1. Asiago bagel, butter only.....

                          1. Yesterday I had the Chipotle Chicken sandwich w/cheddar. I was amazed at how spicy it was for a chain restaurant. I have to say I really enjoyed that sandwich. They also have a pretty decent chicken noodle soup for those cold days when you're in the mood.

                            1. The 4 cheese bread. they will slice it for you or not. My hubby and dad love it, plain for a sandwich or toasted with butter or cream cheese A+