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Panera Breads

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Anybody been? Saw that they opened up in The Shops of Don Mills and now curious.

Thanks

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  1. Not to the ones here. Our US corporate offices have one in their building so our lunches have been catered in by them (sandwiches) sometimes. Meh. Too much bread, little in the way of "sandwich guts". I wouldn't go out of my way for it

    3 Replies
    1. re: CocoaChanel

      I definitely agree with the "meh." They use good quality bread, but the sandwiches themselves are uninspired -- they're about on the same level as the ones they serve at Tim Horton's.

      1. re: Michael N

        I certainly haven't tried all of their sandwiches, but I have tried several (at US not Canadian locations), and I believe them to be a good step up from what's on offer at Tim Horton's. We usually get the jalapeno hummus sandwich, which is served with a bunch of veggies and cilantro. Among other things, there are grapes and almonds in the chicken salad, and it's a far cry from what's available at Tim's. I think it will be a long time before I see gruyere, gouda, hummus, cilantro, smoked cheddar, or horseradish on a Tim Horton's menu (all of which are found on Panera's menu). That said, it's not somewhere I'm rushing to, as these are just sandwiches, the likes of which I easily make at home, but when I'm on the road and there's one en route, I would rather stop there than eat a chain burger.

        1. re: Full tummy

          I tend to agree. This is not a place that will WOW you but for a chain, I think they provide a pretty decent sandwich.

          DT

    2. I've been to the one on Centre Street and have enjoyed their sandwiches/soup, etc. Especially like their cinnamon bagels:)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Helen

        Assuming you mean the ones with the streusel topping, the cinnamon bagels are basically breadier, less sweet donuts. (Not that that's a bad thing...)

      2. I've been to the one in Thornhill (or is it Richmond HIll). Either way, it's not worth even checking it out. There are so many places that sell great bread and pastries. Don't waste you're time going to Panera.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kwass

          Bread and pastries are fine. combo deals are good value where u pick soup/salad/sandwich. Otherwise, very pricey. $11 for a panini sandwich.
          We like that there is calorie info posted on the menu boards.
          Great place to take a rest between shopping since it's comfortable and has wifi. But at these prices, I can think of better places for a real lunch.

          1. re: kwass

            Have to agree that the pastries are disappointing. Shame.

          2. I agree with FT and Davwud. Not much to add other than the price point is a bit higher than most sandwich places (Tim's or Select) but the quality is better.

            I work close to one near Square one. Two sandwiches I enjoy are the Chipotle Chicken and Bacon as well as the Prime Rib and White Cheddar.

            1. If the store is very newly opened keep an eye out for promos. When they opened the Oakville store they had a bunch of different promos including one where you bought a "pick 2" and you got a $10 gift card free.

              Overall, it was a pleasant experience not of the "standard" sandwiches looked interesting on paper to me. I had their "cuban" sandwich and didn't think it was anything really specially (sliced deli meats) but again it was a "pleasant" experience. The place was jammed with people, I guess there is a market for "casual" dining in Ontario.

              4 Replies
              1. re: ylsf

                On that note, I received a postcard with a few coupons from their new Don MIlls location (presumably since I live nearby) and also noticed they had a full-page ad in the Saturday Star. The ad had four coupons: ie. Free Coffee, Free Pastry with Purchase, etc etc.

                1. re: pakmode

                  Yes, this is what caught my eye, the ad in the Toronto Star.

                  From the ads, I was hoping it was something like Stoney's in Oakville but from what I can tell here, it doesn't seem so.

                  1. re: millygirl

                    Stoney's is definitely better...

                    I personally wasn't a huge fan of the bread I tried there (the sandwich bread and the side of bread that came with my soup)..

                    Still, with the coupons it is worth trying.. Maybe there are better things on the menu then what I ordered.

                    I did like the coffee.

                    1. re: ylsf

                      Yeah, it's definitely not Stoney's. It's more of an upscale Tim Horton's 'Bake Shop' (as they call it in the US of A).

              2. I don't think of Panera Breads as a bakery but more like a direct (and very good) threat to Tim Hortons/Starbucks...their locations are more upscale and comfortable than those two and I think the food choices are a step up!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Beermonger

                  Yes but they are also twice or three times the price. A combo here will set you back $13.